Parkinson's Movement

Has anyone managed to perform athletic activities at a competitive level despte PD?

I compete at ballroom and latin dancing. I should be very interested to hear of anyone who has continued to engage in sport or other athletic activities at a competitive level. How long were you able to continue at a competitive level? Can you share any tips and tricks for maintaining a high performance level?

11 Replies

Here are my own strategies:

1. massage as close as possible to the competition

2. an extra sinemet tablet or even two on the day

3. Once I've warmed up with 30 minutes of stretching, I don't stop moving until the competion is over. I don't sit down and I keep doing stretching all day when I'm not actually dancing.

4. Plenty of caffeine.helps keep me fired up.


Mark1 - Thanks for your advice. I don't dance but I did walk marathons to raise money for charity. I want to complete one for PD but I am having difficulty maintaining enough control and less pain R/T spasticity and tremors. A fall 2 years ago on concrete has effectively sidelined me with various ortho problems. My goal remains - it's just taking me forever.



Mark1 - Good luck with your competitions.


I still compete in 5, 8 and 10 k races, usuually race walking and on occaission, running. I'm not sure of your definition of a competitive level, but I am 58and still do a 5k in around 31 minutes race walking. I work out regularly (6 days a week for 1 to 3 hours), do a good warm up and cool down, do extra strethcing at night, and go to phsyical therapy once a month to get additional balance and agility exercises. I am on Sinemet (1.5 tablets of 25-100 5 times per day and 2 tablets of 50-200 slow release at night) and Mirapex (.25mg 3 timres per day). I have to work hard to maintain turnover, and though I have lost speed in shorter distances I have maintained my pace at 5k and above.

That said, there are mornings that I get up and am unable to compete, so do not race and just workout, but I am able to compete most race days.


Hi guys, great to hear of your achievements and perseverance. :) I'd love to hear more such stories.


....and interesting rch21 that you have maintained your pace at longer distances. I would have guessed that it would be the longer distances that were harder.


ALl I can say is more power to you! Keep on no matter what and share your experience. My ballroom teacher passed away last year and I am bereft. I am looking for another but he knew me before I got PD and was not swayed by it and a good friend. It was the best preparation for PD! I can dance when I can't walk.


PatV, you don't live in London by any chance do you? If you do, I can point you in the direction of dance studios/teachers.


I was diagnosed Oct 2011. I am not sure what the future holds however I did a marathon in Feb 2012 and plan to do two this winter, Lord willing. My weekly training presently includes running 2x or 3x. spinning class 1x , and weights 1x. I am doing fine except for crazy thumb tremors while I run. My balance is still good although I now plan the route carefully to avoid uneven sidewalks. What has caught be off guard are the non-voluntary motor movements such as ear / voice. Go figure.


Hi, The only sportsman I know of was Ray Kennedy, of Liverpool and Arsenal and England. I read his book, Ray of Hope, Very sad but states it like it is, I think he was the first person I know who showed the signs of Impulsive-Compulsive Behaviour which was co authored by Prof A Lees.

Ray Kennedy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The "Ray of Hope Appeal", organised by three Liverpool fans Karl Coppack,

Stephen Hinds and Matthew Anton to help Kennedy, was featured in the Daily ...

Football: The Ray Kennedy Ray of Hope Appeal to be celebrated by ...

21 Apr 2009 ... Ewen Cook: The remarkable campaign to rescue the Parkinson's-afflicted legend

will culminate in a tribute at Anfield this evening.


Re Ray Kennedy: it's interesting to note that although his playing naturally deteriorated with PD, he did manage to play for quite some time after problems were noticed. This is illustrative of the slow rate of progression of PD, and in a way can be seen as encouraging to those of us who wish to continue with athletic activities.


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