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Exercise Tips

You will find the most benefit if you exercise on a regular basis. In a study from NPF's Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, researchers found that increasing physical activity to at least 2.5 hours a week slows decline in quality of life. Check out the guidelines below to make the most of your exercise program, and download or order your copy of Fitness Counts for more tips.

If you are just starting to exercise, stick with it! It takes time to see and feel the benefits of an exercise program.

Safety First

  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that provide good support.
  • Make sure you have the proper safety equipment for your activity (e.g., bike helmet if you are going cycling).
  • Good posture is critical to good balance. When the body is correctly aligned, movement is more efficient and stable.

Know Your Body

  • Choose a time to exercise when your medicines medications are working well and you feel rested.
  • Do NOT continue an exercise that causes pain. All movement should be done in a controlled manner to prevent injury.
  • Learn to recognize when you are tired.
  • If you overexerted yourself one day, take a break from your exercise routine the following day so you can heal and restore your energy.

Mix It Up

  • Do simple stretches and posture exercises daily. Avoid bouncing when performing stretches.
  • Follow a varied routine, incorporating strength and balance exercises several times per week.
  • Aim for aerobic exercise (such as walking, biking or swimming) at least three days a week for a minimum of 20 minutes at a time.
  • Try exercise videos or home exercise equipment if it is hard to get out.
  • Challenge yourself to keep exercise intensity at a level that feels “somewhat hard” for you (this will be different for every person). In research studies, the best results that were sustained over time were achieved through greater intensity (i.e., speed) for longer periods of time.

Get Moving

The National Parkinson Foundation invites you to join us for Moving Day®, a day that will move you and others to speak up about Parkinson’s disease. Moving Day is more than just a fundraising walk: It’s a day to change the state of awareness about a disease that affects so many of our family and friends. It highlights exercise as a symbol of hope and progress because of its essential role in treating Parkinson’s disease. Find an event near you!