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  • Skip Shaputnic replied to the topic Were you an athlete before diagnosis? in the forum Parkinson's Disease and exercise 7 months, 3 weeks ago

    I’d like to think I’m still a bit of an athlete, or at least a committed exercise fiend, though I don’t quite have the ‘go for it’ attitude that I once did when younger. My primary care physician delights in reviewing the results of my annual physical exams as the numbers remain very good, so I’ve at least got that going for me.

    Going on 8 years since tremor symptoms started I’m happy to report continued stabilization and little, if any, disease progression (my neurologist told me during September’s appointment that progression appears to be flat). My take on this is that it is at least partially due to my lifelong devotion to exercise as it appears to be a key factor for a favorable prognosis (I sure hope so!). I’m still getting several hours of cardio each week, which is even more important now, and overall feel much healthier than not despite living with PD and another chronic condition. I feel blessed that I can keep on keeping on with my favorite activity—mountain biking—and hope that I can continue riding with confidence for many years to come and avoid what I call ‘premature dismounts’ though I don’t bomb down the hills like I used to. I believe that my lifelong commitment to exercise may have actually delayed disease onset until my early 60s.

    • Skip, I’m glad to hear that the progression is slow or flat. I’ve heard similar speculation about exercise and PD progression before. Cardio is great! And high intensity activities are known to help some PD symptoms. But mountain biking? How cool! Do you live near some cool peaks? I live in Colorado, and people get really serious about their mountain biking out here.

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