In 2013, researchers at Cleveland University discovered in a study that cycling considerably improves the movement and well-being of Parkinson’s patients.
26 people took part in an investigation involving training for eight weeks on an ergometer. Pedals were pushed three times a week and the results amazed both researchers and patients. When brain activity was checked after training, it was recognised that the brain was better supplied with oxygen and thus the information exchange between the cells became more effective. It was also identified that more intensive training achieved better values than gently turning the pedals. These results were confirmed in further studies. However, a special bicycle is needed to make this kind of training possible, so that no strains arise in other parts of the body, e.g., in the knees or spinal column. Well-prepared information on the types of bicycle, characteristics and selection of suitable training equipment can be found e.g., at www.fahrradexperten.com
The study showed that patients found many movements considerably easier than before following the training. In the meantime, cycling has come to be regarded as a comparatively simple, and primarily side effect-free, therapy for alleviation of illness symptoms. There are even patients who ride several thousand kilometres per year, and claim not to notice their illness symptoms at all, or only slightly, while riding. At the moment, research is underway to see if other types of activity have a similar influence on Parkinson’s symptoms.