Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological condition that could result in tremors, muscle rigidity and balance and mobility issues -- all symptoms that seem to be at odds with keeping a regular exercise regime. But new research shows those diagnosed with Parkinson's disease should embrace exercise -- and the more vigorous their workouts, the better.A 2017 study published in JAMA Neurology followed 128 participants between the ages of 40 and 80 who had been newly diagnosed with Parkinson's disease rather than taking any drugs to handle their symptoms. After participating in a workout program three times per week for six months, data discovered slower disease progression among those who exercised high intensity -- described as 80--85 percent of maximum heart rate -- compared to those who participated in moderate-intensity exercise (with heartbeat at 60--65% of maximum) or didn't exercise at all.Although the researchers did not explore the motives exercise slowed disease progression, it could be connected to increased blood flow to the brain, based on James Beck, PhD, chief science officer at the Parkinson's Foundation."The dopamine neurons [in the mind] help control movement and people with Parkinson's disease don't produce enough dopamine," explains Beck. "Exercise releases chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, which might help the brain compensate for the disease."To wit, medications prescribed for Parkinson's disease were created to replace dopamine. The medications can't cure the illness but fostering dopamine levels helps alleviate the symptoms -- and exercise might have a similar effect says Beck.A combination of medication and exercise is often suggested to those living with Parkinson's disease. Along with this JAMA Neurology research demonstrating exercise is connected to slower disease progression, multiple studies have found regular workouts help ease symptoms like muscle rigidity and stiffness. In reality, a 2014 JAMA Neurology study showed a combination of high-intensity workout, stretching and resistance training aids enhance gait rate, muscle strength and motor skills."Exercise doesn't alleviate the disease but it does help with symptoms, so it is not a panacea but it will make life simpler," Beck Some symptoms, especially in advanced stages of this disease, may make vigorous workouts harder so Corcos considers those with Parkinson's disease should talk to their physicians about safety considerations before beginning an exercise plan.And, while the latest research analyzed the effect of high-intensity exercise on those in the first stages of the illness, Corcos adds, "There is no reason to think those people with later-stage Parkinson's disease won't also benefit from vigorous exercise."The sooner you intervene, he states, the more likely you are to prevent the development of the disease.