My dad was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson’s probably about a year and a half ago now. He has always been fit, he used to play rugby when he was younger, then moved onto running and marathons, but now he just does the Park Run (5k run) and when he is in France he cycles (they have a house in France in the countryside and they spend probably about 4 months of the year there). But when I look at him run, and I know he is in his mid 70s, but I can see that his Parkinson’s is starting to affect him. I did the Park Run with him over the Christmas period and he looked so frail when he finished, he was leaning to one side as he was running and as he crossed the line he was asked if he needed help to get down the tunnel to the end as he looked unsteady and quite weak. Now I know my dad and he is as stubborn as a mule and of course he denied the help. He has been running for over 30 years since he gave up rugby so he is desperate to keep it going, I am a runner too and I know exactly how he feels about not running. I worry, and wonder, if this is the right exercise for him to keep doing. I know exercise is good for his well being, both mentally and physically, but I just want him to be doing the right thing.
But it also worries me that he says he wants to cycle more. Seeing how frail he was after the 5k run I can’t help but think terrible thoughts about him getting on a bike on the roads, especially in this country. Many years ago he fell off his bike and broke his wrist in France, and that was when he was fit and healthy. He has lost a lot of weight and there’s nothing to him now (he’s never been a big chap though) so the slightest gust of wind or a lorry cycling past too close will have him over I’m sure.
So I’m just a concerned daughter just looking for any advice and tips re exercise and early onset Parkinson’s.
Thanks for reading, I hope to hear from some of you soon.