My strategy for walking


#1

I am interested in the strategies that others use to walk.  I am mildly affected, I walk with a cane, and I can walk up to one hour.  I walk every day at noon with my dog, Kona.  I wear headphones and listen to my favorite rock and roll radio station.  When I begin my walk, my left leg drags and I need to consciously lift it forward, but my right leg functions pretty good so I make progress; I hold my cane by the shaft just in case I lose my balance.  But when I reach the fifth block the dynamics change.  My right leg gradually slows as the blocks pass, and my gait becomes a slow shuffle forward.  I grab hold of my cane by the handle and swing it forward in a cadence to match my weaker left leg.  I give Kona the command "Up!" and he moves out in front of me so that he does not trip-me-up with his leash.  I turn up the volume on my radio for motivation, check my pocket to make certain I have my cell phone. I steady my pace and head the five blocks for home. There is not much thinking to be done in the struggle for home.  I keep my eyes on my feet, watching as they move forward and fall flat footed.  I concentrate on not tripping while the movement of my cane orchestrates my gait.  My pace slows.  I start breathing hard from the effort.  When I reach home I am exhausted, but still I always walk down the driveway to the street to get the mail.  It's not a big deal, getting the mail, but it's a matter of having control over this little thing.


#2

 

Hi slow legs - my days vary with my legs, I use a metronome, some days I can keep up with it at one certain pace, then the next day I have to alter it to a different pace because I can't keep up with it! My pace also depends on how the weather is, if it's cold I am slower and vice-versa.

Regards Sheila

 


#3

slow legs,

It seems to me that you are undermedicated.

In the same way that you burn up energy as you exercise, PwP burn up dopamine as well.

To see if this is the case, time your route, noting down how long it is since you took your last levodopa medication. I suspect that if your walk is at the time you're fully on, perhaps 60 -120 minutes after you're last medication, you perform better than if you're "off".

Stick with it. I think walking is one of the best therapies that there is for PD.

I'm 11 years post diagnosis and until recently have never had any trouble walking. I often walk 10 miles plus in a day. I am now starting to get pain, due to  a poor posture, caused by dystonia,  straining my back.

John 


#4

My husband (I’m his carer) has VP and walking is extremely difficult. The strategy which seems to work best for him is to listen to music with a regular beat, either through headphones (iPod or similar) or through the music system in the house . A personalised playlist is an option but from experience he’s found “Ballads and Other Cautionary Tales” by Warren Vache - 12 tunes in total of which 11 are 60 beats a minute and the other one 80 beats a minute, is the most helpful. Thanks to my son (a professional musician) for this timing information!