Climbing - exercise idea

I used to climb a bit (indoor climbing walls) but with Covid and my PD diagnosis 2 years ago I got out of the habit. Exercise at the moment is 3 gym sessions a week, 1 boxing, intermittent yoga and swimming. So along with meditation I’m already keeping in reasonable shape and seeing the benefit. Then I saw this article:

Now contacted my local climbing wall and they’re keen to support me as much as needed. Anyone else tried climbing?


Hello DLM this is very interesting and although I haven’t tried climbing a wall I can understand the movements involved make a difference - the closest I have come to a piece of equipment that gives similar movement is a vertical climber. However I was particularly interested in one small paragraph which I copy here

Of the small handful of certainties and commonalities surrounding Parkinson’s treatment, perhaps the most widely understood is the critical role of exercise in slowing the disease’s progression. Not just any activity will do, however: Addressing the tremors, muscle rigidity, and neurological effects of Parkinson’s requires exercise that blends (among other things) balance, aerobics, flexibility, and strength training. This is exactly what Lessin was seeking.

I have long thought that the advice regularly given out regarding exercise ‘… to find something you enjoy…’ is not enoigh. Of course it is important to enjoy it and any exercise is better than none but of itself it may not be intensive or varied enough to incorporate all the elements listed here and not have the benefit of slowing progression down. I have written elsewhere about the barriers I faced in trying to find an exercise regime which would give me all these things and that I would enjoy. Climbing is an exciting project to be involved with and it will clearly motivate you to take full advantage of any climbing opportunity that may come your way. I wish you every success and perhaps you could post now and again to let us know how you are getting on. Over and above that however, I think it is important that we are just not told exercise is important and find something you enjoy when it would seem to get real benefit it should be much more focussed and varied than that advice implies.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ve had to find other distractions too.

Thanks Tot. You’re right, and I think maybe I have been focusing too much on gym and general fitness rather that blend of balance, aerobics, flexibility, and strength training. Probably doing more yoga will help as well. Will update every now and again on how the climbing is going. Encouraged by the positive response of the climbing wall as well.

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Hello DLM
It took me a while to find an exercise regime that suited me. I was diagnosed in 2009 but it wasn’t until about three years ago that I finally found something that suits - which is quite a long time, although life did kick in a few times in the intervening years and the search for an exercise routine had to go on the back burner. At the beginning I continued the walking that I had always done and tried to incorporate an exercise routine at home. I found however that I was not being consistent and it was too easy to make an excuse not to do it that day. I also found it a bit boring and more to the point, didn’t really know how to progress things so I started to cast around for other ideas. I have written elsewhere about how I finally got to where I am today, including the barriers that can prevent you from taking part in an exercise programme - for me a major problem was my location. I gave up my licence when I left work so rely largely on public transport and taxis. I invariably have to go to the next town a few miles away before I even start. I finally came to the conclusion that what I needed was a personal trainer who would come to my home - and again I have written about this on the forum. Since finding Claire I’ve not looked back and am fitter and stronger than I have been in years. I accept it is not a cheap option, although Claire’s rates are very reasonable, but I pay for her out of my PIP and think this is a good use of this particular benefit - the trick is not to see PIP as part of your household income but separate money for the extra costs involved in having a disability. I have gradually built up the number and length of sessions and now do three one hour sessions a week with her and her sessions include all the elements listed in the climbing article. As long as you find the right trainer and can cover the cost, it is something worth considering. To me irs not a luxury or some kind of status thing that makes you look good to others rather I see it as absolutely necessary. It’s been a life changer for me and I will stay with her for as long as I can.