It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, so we will be looking at how stress and anxiety can worsen tremor and how exercise can help.
As with all physical therapies, some people with tremor may find some physical activities challenging, However a small amount of practice can bring benefits in health and fitness, enabling the mind and body to relax, and help cope with the challenges of living with tremor.
There are many types of exercise that can help with tremor. Low impact exercises, that do not put too much stress on the joints, such as going for a gentle walk to swimming, can help.
Dancing – whether that be to jazz or even taking up Zumba – is known to help increase endorphins – the chemical in your body that makes you feel good. Not only does dancing keep you physically and mentally healthy, it is good way to meet other people and socialise.
The best part is that dancing is free, although there are lots of different dancing classes available from £5 a class. Have a look what’s happening near you.
Hydrotherapy involves doing gentle exercises in swimming pools to maintain health and prevent disease. Hydrotherapy can help people with tremor as it uses the water’s buoyancy to support weak muscles and allow limbs to be moved in a less painful manner. In addition the the small resistance of the water helps strengthen muscles and limbs.
Find a hydrotherapy class today.
3. Tai Chi
Tai Chi, an exercise and martial arts, combines slow movement, meditation and breathing regulation. It creates a sense of relaxation, improve balance and posture, and enhances the flow of energy (or Chi) in the body.
Unlike most sports or exercises, Tai Chi does not rely on strength, force or speed, which makes it ideal for everyone, whether young or old, strong or weak.
Classes are very social and vary in prices, but they don’t have to break the bank. Classes can be found online.
Gentle walks can help anyone of any fitness level – whether that is taking the dog for walk around the park to going to to the countryside for some air.
However, when walking longer distances, chose your surfaces wisely, as hill walking or walking on hard surfaces for sustained periods of time increases the risk of pain or discomfort. Therefore it is advisable to choose flat, softer surfaces such as grass, sand or mud as found in wooded areas.
Similar to walking, some people have found jogging beneficial (read about Merane and the Great North Run), although you should see a GP before taking up jogging.
What make walking and running so good, is that not only is it good for keeping in shape, it is free and you can do it any where. Planning a route before hand is advisable, and you can find popular routes online.
Yoga involves gentle activities designed to maintain fitness, suppleness and muscle tone as well as optimising the body’s own healing powers. Breathing is an important part and this, together with meditation and visualisation (imagining a scene) exercises, is thought to help to energise the body and mind, reduce stress and improve concentration and clarity.
Find a Yoga class near you.
Exercise can be incorporated into anyones life and there are a wide variety of activities you can do- so get creative and you’ll soon to have found a new passion to help you cope with tremor.