A man who suffers from Parkinson’s has found that exercising at the gym has left him symptom-free.
Scott Hanley, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease over six years ago, has discovered that by regularly exercising at the gym, his Parkinson’s symptoms have seemed to disappear.
Through having a more active lifestyle, Scott’s life has been completely transformed, and he believes that his story can act as an inspirational one
Parkinson’s – a terrible and debilitating disease
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative condition which primarily affects how a person’s brain effectively communicates and sends signals to muscles in the body. It is a disease which is most commonly associated with muscle rigidity and visible tremors.
A person suffering from Parkinson’s disease can also, unfortunately, experience a plethora of psychological problems.
In 2017 after experiencing some changes in his body, such as hand twitching, and after being referred to a neurologist, Scott was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
A few months after his devasting diagnosis, Scott came to the decision that he would not allow the disease to “dominate” his life and instead sought out advice online from other Parkinson’s sufferers on how to combat it.
Since receiving his diagnosis, Scott has successfully used a mixture of physical activity, cognitive exercise and diet to effectively combat the disease.
Scott’s fight against his diagnosis – using a mixture of cognitive exercise, physical activity and diet
Scott joined CrossFit classes three times a week from April 2021 after the lockdown rules changed and allowed gyms to reopen once again.
Scott used conditioning and strengthening programmes which included a wide range of workouts and activities.
These were all designed with the aim of improving strength, flexibility and mobility. Scott chose this workout plan specifically as he wanted something which would challenge him both physically and cognitively at the same time.
Within a few months, he already began to notice significant positive changes. “All the tremors, cramping, sleep deprivation, the nightmares… they are a thing of the past”, Scott revealed.
Scott’s last neurological consultation was in December 2021. His neurologist said that his “symptoms were much less prominent and had decreased significantly”.
Scott’s coach, Niall McHugh, when speaking about Scott’s journey, revealed that “Scott didn’t make us aware at the beginning that he had Parkinson’s. So, he never got any special treatment.
“When he let us know about six months later, a lot of things made sense in terms of his movements. He has put in the hard work and has really improved”.
Crossfit – providing a reprieve from the challenges Scott was facing
Scott now goes to the gym five times a week as he continues to feel the benefits of going to the gym while managing his Parkinson’s symptoms.
He says Crossfit has given him a new lease on life and a much-needed reprieve from the challenges that Parkinson’s disease poses. “I’m not sick – I forget that I have Parkinson’s disease. I mean, I do, but I don’t,” he added.
Dr Jonny Acheson from Parkinson’s UK’s Excellence Network confirmed the benefits of exercise for those with Parkinson’s disease as he said, “Research has shown that 2.5 hours of high-intensity exercise a week slows the progression of this condition.
“If you have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it’s really important that you re-engage with exercise because it is the one thing that really helps you get control of the disease”.