Staying Active: Hobbies and Leisure Pursuits

Enjoyable activities are essential to replenish mind, body and spirit. It is is important for people with Parkinson's disease (PD) and care partners to stay active through physical, mental and social stimulation and to engage in activities that promote relaxation.

Important Considerations for Leisure Activities:

  • Set aside time in your calendar for leisure activities in your week to make sure they happen.
  • Consider trying new activities and/or exercise classes. Call our free Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) to find a PD-specific class near you.  
  • Schedule the time of your leisure activity to coordinate with your “on” time. Remember to take your medications with you to ensure dosage schedules stay on time.
  • Stretch before engaging in any physical activity to prevent muscle strain.
  • Join a group or take a class to explore new hobbies and/or connect with others with similar interests. 
  • Balance activity and rest to reduce fatigue. A variety of interests may provide opportunities for both active and more sedentary leisure pursuits.
  • Try simple adaptations to your leisure interests. Build up golf club grips for a better swing; install a handrail on the dock to make getting in and out of the boat easier; experiment with a recumbent bicycle; or build raised beds in your garden.
  • Be aware that Parkinson's can make movements slower, smaller or affect balance reflexes. Use common sense and "test the waters" before beginning activities.
  • Invite others to join you in your leisure activities.
  • Get creative. Try writing, painting, photography, ceramics, knitting or other creative possibilities. Creative expression is an important component to quality of life.

Involving your team

An occupational, physical or recreational therapist can provide assessment and recommendations for current leisure pursuits, make suggestions for exploring new options or provide assistance in making adaptations if needed.

For more information about managing Parkinson's, PD resources, financial matters and personal stories visit Living with Parkinson's

 

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Tips for Daily Living
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