Exercise is one of the best things we can do for our bodies and minds — especially when living with Parkinson’s. It’s also one of the best things we can do for ourselves now, during the pandemic, when many of us are experiencing mood and sleep changes. Exercise can ease these symptoms and can lessen motor symptoms, too. It also can help your medication work better and some research suggests it may even slow disease progression.
While many gyms and group activities remain closed for safety reasons, you can join online fitness classes (alone or with others), exercise outdoors, or workout in your home with little or no equipment. (Check out more tips for staying active during the pandemic.) They key is to find something you enjoy and feel safe doing so that you’ll stick with it — because the best exercise is the one you’ll do regularly!
You may have to get creative and learn new or different exercises. Your doctor, physical therapist and others in the Parkinson’s community can help. And, if your motivation wanes (happens to even the most driven exercisers!), lean on your support system for encouragement and consider ways to make working out more fun. Think of exercise as part of your Parkinson’s treatment: Add it to your schedule just like you do medication and don’t skip a dose.
Ask the MD has been made possible through the leadership of members of our Parkinson's Disease Education Consortium in conjunction with The Albert B. Glickman Parkinson's Disease Education Program and Charles B. Moss Jr. and family. These partners' support allows us to furnish high-quality educational content to the Parkinson's community while maintaining our commitment to allocate donor dollars to high-impact research. Editorial control of all Michael J. Fox Foundation-published content rests solely with the Foundation.