Mounting evidence shows that exercise is essential to managing Parkinson’s disease (PD). Creating a fitness routine soon after your diagnosis is key to living well. Regular physical activity can improve many PD symptoms and also offer a neuroprotective effect. Research shows exercise helps people with Parkinson’s improve or better manage:
- Depression and anxiety
- Gait and balance
- Flexibility and posture
- Motor coordination
- Working memory and decision making
- Attention and concentration
- Quality of sleep
Do What You Love
An exercise program should be enjoyable. It should also include stretching, aerobic and strength activities. The Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, the largest-ever clinical study of Parkinson’s disease with more than 12,000 participants, showed increasing physical activity to at least 2.5 hours a week can slow decline in quality of life.
Experts recommend exercising consistently, frequently and with intensity for people with young-onset or those in the early stages of PD, to reap the greatest benefits. Talk with your doctor and a physical therapist before making big changes to your exercise routine to confirm your chosen exercises are safe for you.
Join a Group
Seek out a local PD-specific exercise class, such as yoga, dance or non-contact boxing. These classes offer community along with activity.
To find answers to your PD questions, nearby exercise classes and other resources in your area, call our free Helpline, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) or Helpline@Parkinson.org.