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2008 Nov 15;23(15):2239-43. doi: 10.1002/mds.22293.

Nordic walking improves mobility in Parkinson's disease.

Abstract

Nordic walking may improve mobility in Parkinson's disease (PD). Here, we examined whether the beneficial effects persist after the training period. We included 19 PD patients [14 men; mean age 67.0 years (range 58-76); Hoehn and Yahr stage range 1-3] who received a 6-week Nordic walking exercise program. Outcome was assessed prior to training (T1), immediately after the training period (T2) and-in a subgroup of 9 patients--5 months after training (T3). At T2, we observed a significant improvement in timed 10-m walking, the timed get-up-and-go-test (TUG), the 6-min walking test and quality of life (PDQ-39). All treatment effects persisted at T3. Compliance was excellent, and there were no adverse effects. These preliminary findings suggest that Nordic walking could provide a safe, effective, and enjoyable way to reduce physical inactivity in PD and to improve the quality of life. A large randomized clinical trial now appears justified.

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