Parkinson's Movement
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Cycling on a recumbent bike

I was impressed by the article on NBC about riding a recumbent bike for three times a week at an RPM of 80-90 for 45 mins each time. If anyone is also doing this exercise could you please advise if your PD improved and how long it took to see any results. I bought a recumbent bike three weeks ago and have been doing 5 miles a day so far. I am also on Sinemet 25/100 3x/day. I would really appreciate any advice you can pass on. The article was very positive about the results. Many thanks.


6 Replies

I am pleased to hear about one more way to overcome some of our Pd symptoms. I do fast walking, which is cheaper than the recumbent bike, but I was unable to walk fast for more than 20 minutes, even though I thought I was very fit. So I had to slowly increase the time over the next 4 months until I reached 1 hour, which is the optimum time for exercise.

You mention a distance but not the time taken. Will you be increasing your time riding your bike?

Good luck with the bike.

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John, I don't know that "1 hour . . . is the optimum time for exercise"-- I haven't had any divine revelations on that score :) . But it does sound like a reasonable, not-too-strenuous goal for many, provided the PD is not too far along. On the stationary bike at my gym--I assume this is a pretty typical cycle--85 rpm equates to about 32 km/hr = 20 mi/hr. So babarapal's 5 mile ride, if at the optimal cadence of 85 rpm, would take her about 15 minutes.


There are many forms of exercise that are capable of reversing Pd symptoms, but which is the best exercise, I do not know.

I was diagnosed in 1992, at which stage I was already shuffling and could not speak properly, among many other Pd symptoms. I then went to the gym for 90 minutes every day, six days a week. I did aerobic exercise for 60 minutes, at maximum level (for me) and continued to go downhill. The Pd was getting worse at a higher rate than it had been before diagnosis, when I only did 60 minutes a day. So I gave up going to the gym. Why do all that exercise and get worse, quicker?

My late wife urged me to join an organisation called, RUN/WALK for LIFE, with whom she had been walking as fast as she could for two and a half years. She had lost 14 kilograms in weight, had come off all her blood pressure and anti-depressant pills and she was feeling better than she could ever remember. She begged me to join RWFL, and after 3 months I gave in to her and joined, believing that it would not help my Pd.

Guess what? After 4 months my performance had improved from over ten and a half minutes a kilometre down to less than 9 minutes. That was the first time that my performance, previously in the gym, had improved at anything. Why was this? It could only have been because I was walking as if the devil was after me.

Since 2002, I was able to come off all Pd medication and have lived a normal life ever since, even though I still have Pd. I am bow 82 years old!

It costs nothing to walk! If you would like to know more about how to deal with Pd symptoms then see my website, and read over 400 artiicles on dealing with Pd symptoms. It costs nothing.


Hi Barbarapal. It's all about the cadence and sustaining 85-90 rpm for 45-50 minutes 3 x a wk, As has been noted in a recent thread here, you can do this on a road bike, a mountain bike, a tandem, a stationary set up or rolling down the road, so long as you are hitting that cadence.

My experience is that if I miss the biking I'm in way worse shape.

I also make a point of walking 3-4 miles 2-3 days a wk on my non-biking days. And - layperson speaking here - being totally up right and moving has its benefits, too.

But the biking is the one exercise i absolutely cannot do without.


Hey Barbara. Go for it! I don't know really if the exercise reverses the symptoms (although some claim this). When I got dxed I went for the cycling like a man possessed but the progression continued sadly (if very slowly). Then I got medicated, no Levadopa yet, started on Azilect and then a low does of Requip. These worked (and work) pretty well and it's all I need to work hard as a Deputy Head and raise a family. I think that the exercise combined with some low dose meds can be a winning ticket.

My only misgiving re. your post is the 'recumbant' aspect ( the type that lies you down a bit). My home bike is one of these and I could manage 70/80rpm but not 80/90. Going to a big gym with commercial bikes made a lot of difference as I found out that the ones that force you to sit up seem to enable one to go much faster. I'm going to hit the recumbent in a minute actually as sometimes it's just nice to stay in your home, BUT the speed does count and - as I said - I reckon the uprights bring that requirement out of you better. Good luck.


The original article is at:

The most recent research covers 100 patients over 5 years and yielded the same results.


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