The American College of Sports and Medicine is a well-respected, venerable international organization (established in 1954) which, among other things, provides exercise guidelines to promote health and fitness. Their recommendations are trusted, well founded and research-based. (Note: A Parkinson’s Disease research unit, the Oregon Health and Science University, cites them.)
The ACSM recommends 4 principle exercise groups: cardiorespiratory (aerobic would fall into this), resistance exercise, flexibility exercise and neuromotor. These are all obviously important in achieving and maintaining good health and a high quality of life, but the latter – the neuromotor exercise category – has some extra relevance for PD. These would pertain to motor skills including balance, agility, coordination and gait. Tai chi and yoga are mentioned as types of exercises to utilize in promoting these skill sets. We already use a few warm-up exercises that are derived from yoga. Maybe we should adopt some more. And maybe we should explore tai chi and see what we can harvest there.
Finally, as an aside, the ACSM says this: “Flexibility exercise is most effective when the muscle is warm. Try … a hot bath to warm the muscles before stretching.” Okay, since the ACSM is the gold standard, let’s have everybody take a warm bath about 15 minutes before we meet at 7:30 next Wednesday. Bring your own tub … I guess. ART/Lao Du