Any good exercise tips for parkinsons? - Parkinson's New Z...

Parkinson's New Zealand

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Any good exercise tips for parkinsons?


Hi there,

My mother has parkinsons. She was diagnosed just about 5years ago now when she was 56. As a lot of people with parkinsons, she struggles with very low energy and tiredness but still works and is manager at work. She is on medication and that seems to help a bit. She still gets around everywhere fine, but just a lot slower.

She does not put time aside to do exercise and i really think she should because i see people say it is good for the condition - and in anyones case it is good!

She is really really weak so i wonder if she should get some little dumbells to try and get some strength?

What exercise do other people find good? Walking? Light weights for strength?

Anyway, i hope everyone is having a nice relaxed weekend. Yay for a long weekend :)


12 Replies

Hi there

I'm 57 diagnosed 4 years ago, I had a breakdown 12 months ago and as a result no longer work.

Stress is a big downer with Pakinsons, the more stress in work and or home life agravates the situtaion. I basically did nothing other than the mild walking each day for the first 3 months to cut out any sress. I just coudn't cope even with simple what do you want for lunch.

I'm now walking around 3 k's each day or two, even when you dont feel like it. Summer I water stride twice a week at the local pools this gives you some resistant to work against. Walk as briskly as you can (mine was a shuffle to start with) swinging your arms and pulling faces. Dont ask why but this helps neck and facial muscles and you DO feel better.

The biggest thing though is to reduce STRESS and put off till tomorrow rather than panic now - Life is a lot slower, frustrating as I was very quick, multitasking running a large bussiness. Now my health and family is the most important thing. Take each day as it comes, and contact your local parkinsons group to discuss further.

I've even put my watch away as time and meetings no longer seem so relevant.

Best moto - Use it or lose it, Sh...t happens pick up the pieces and get on with it!!

Harsh but true -

Go for it

I agree

Go to amazon and pick up the dvd's by David Zid. Outstanding help and the more you exercise the better you manage

They just help with all aspects of the disease. Fitness, balance, turning, getting out of a car and lots more

I heartily agree with scooterboy6. We have a walking group which meets every Monday morning. Apart from the 'walking' we go to a coffee shop when finished and have ½ an hour or more , discussing our problems or anything. We have a lot of laughs and have become a very friendly group. Our walks can last for up to 2 hours. Some are on the flat and some are rather difficult hill work. The walking has improved beyond all expectation.

Tuesday morning we have a singing get to gether for 1 hour. We have a pianist and a guitarist. At the beginning of the session we do facial exercises, which often have everyone in fits of laughter.

Then get on with all the old favourite songs.

I go to a Never 2 Old group at the local YMCA where the warm up is done with others for 10 minutes, then people work on their own tailormade exercises (treadmill, cross trainer, rower, bike , weights , mat etc), then come together for 10 minutes cool-down before repairing across the road to a cafe for coffee if we feel so inclined. This is 3 times a week and I do tai chi on one of the other days , also at the Y . Your mother might not have the time as she is working but a walk after work or on the weekends with you or other company would be good several times a week. Good for the blood supply to the brain and staves off pesky symptoms as well as increasing well -being .

It does depend on what you are interested in and what can be fitted in. I work full time and go to yoga twice a week, dancing once a week and aquarobics once a week. Also try to walk when I can, which is easier in Summer. There is a booklet put out by Parkinson'a NZ Called Keep moving which gives some good ideas.

ParkinsonsNZ1Parkinson's New Zealand in reply to cafelatte

Keep moving booklet and poster If you want a hard copy mailed to you please contact

I'm lucky we live on a small property that needs lots of little jobs done, so when home I get outside and do whatever I can - without firm targets on getting much done.

I find that after a weekend where I get out both days I'm better off for it, might feel physically tired but the muddiness is gone. Also in those two days I get in far more stretching, twisting, balance exercise in than I would if I went and did two sessions a day at a gym, also there is no additional cost and I get satisfaction from getting things done.

I try to involve exercise in what I do rather than going to exercise activities - I find them frustrating and stressful especially when someone gives advice that I am not exercising correctly when due to other reasons (bad accident as a teenager) I cannot do particular exercises.

I see a physio and an Osteo every so often and they are helping me to maintain condition – they are very practical and seem to understand my aversion to formal exercise routines.

On the tiredness – Since a change in medication a few weeks ago I feel more tired.

cafelatte in reply to rigger

Yes I have had that when the instructor is not trained in what to expect in Parkinson's and decides to tell you what you 'should' be doing, when you know your body and how much you can manage. I find my osteo great for helping with keeping in good shape too.

Great to read all the comments. I'm 63, diagnosed six years ago. Exercise seem to be the one consistent positive action to make. I continue to search for more ideas to help make each day better and have had lots of help along the way. I've been fortunate to have completed LSVT BIG & LSVT LOUD- although with the daily practices recommended completed may not be too accurate. I agree wholeheartedly that keeping moving- especially outside in fresh air and doing things that are enjoyable has many benefits.

I've just started attending a Never 2 old exercise regime at AUT Akoranga.

It is something i've wanted to do because I run my own business and work all hours so having a session which runs between 1 and 2 good for me.

Any exercising is good, but I think walking with a group of Parkinsonians is a wonderful way to get exercise, but with a group you can freely talk about your problems and get ideas from others. You are also out in the fresh air. You will feel much better mentally as well as physically. Go as a group after your walk and have a cup of coffee somewhere.

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