Exercise is the answer

Happy new year to everyone

My name is John aged 73 and diagnosed 3 years ago. I’m very happily married with two grownup boys and two grand daughters aged 7 and 3. Despite having PD I’m getting on with my life and have a very positive attitude. I firmly believe that exercise can delay the progression of our disease which is why I do it!! I started going to Warriors based exercise classes 18 months ago and love it. I now attend an additional Warriors exercise meaning I go twice a week. In addition I attend gym 2/3 times a week working on my strength and balance and next week I’m attending my first Boxing for PD class bases in Ipswich. During the Christmas period I didn’t exercise and started to feel sluggish but yesterday and today I’ve been to the gym and feel decidedly better.

So, my message to everyone is take control of your disease-if you are able to.



Hello John this Tom From the USA. Glad to hear you fight PD. If you don,t move it you lose it. Positive attitude! I use the forums to get ideas on what other do to make life better. Enjoy your family and have a happy New Year.

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Lke you I was really enjoying my Warrior class once a week then one week we were doing the penguin move, ok at the time but unfortunately I woke up next morning with a terrible pain in my back going down my leg. Worst pain I have ever had. I went to chiropractor who said I had a slipped disc. I am a lot better now but I am reluctant to go back to my Warrior class because I feel that was what started my back problem.

Admittedly I have had problems with my back off and on for a few years but nothing like I have just experienced.

I ensure that I go for a 2 mile walk 6 days a week - the 7th day I go for a 5 mile walk. In a couple of weeks I will attend tai chi lessons

Hear hear! I would add: sort out your digestive system. I have been put on the AutoImmune Paleo diet with good effect after only 3 weeks. I have also taken up Nordic Walking as a refreshing outdoor alternative to the gym, though I still do my gym too. I am sure that having a positive attitude helps and that feeds off the exercise too. Cheers

Hi Margs, I’ve never hurt my back or anything doing Warrior exercise-although I’ve hurt my back by incorrect lifting and bending down in a confined space! I think you have to make a judgment on how important exercise is to you and then make a decision to continue or not. There are seated Parkinsons exercise classes which you may enjoy-anyway good luck John

Hi John. I’ve never heard of the paleo diet so I’ve done some research and it sounds interesting. Did your Parkinsons nurse or consultant recommend it or was it google. It would have to be pretty much OMG for me to change to it - but what do I know! Nordic walking sounds brilliant and I’m starting myself in early February!

Let me know how it goes



17 miles a week is 10 more than I do so well done.

Tai Chi is supposed to be excellent and I would love to hear how you get on


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The AIP diet comes with a complete diet plan and recipes. The idea is to heal a leaking gut and reset your immune system to make it operate effectively. Hopefully that will enable your digestive system to support your neural system and sock it to PD advancement.
Look at the entitewellbeing.com site.
Re Nordic walking. It is said to use up 40% more calories and exercise 90% of your skeletal muscles. If you do it properly your arms propel you forward working from the shoulders. The Nordic walking UK website is very helpful with tutorial videos etc. Pole length is critical so start with adjustable pols.
Good luck! John


I will try to enter some updates this thread. Cheers!

Hi John
I am interested to hear that you have found Warriors classes in the Ipswich area, Are these organised by you local NHS team? We seem to have nothing here in Cambridge.

I agree - do as much as you can (while you can!). I must admit I’ve slowed down recently and would love to find some group PD activities.


Early days yet but it is The 18 movements of shibashi which the course concentrates on. Lesson two was this afternoon - much to learn

I think of exercise as my medicine. And if I do not wish to deprive myself of the odd cake or three I can at least do something to earn a treat…

Regular Exercise, Quality of Life, and Mobility in Parkinson’s Disease: A Longitudinal Analysis of National Parkinson Foundation Quality Improvement Initiative Data M. R. Rafferty, P. N. Schmidt, S.T. Luo, K. Li, C.Marras, T.L. Davis, M. Guttman, F. Cubillos, T. Simuni and on behalf of all NPF-QII Investigators published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, Vol. 7, Issue 1 by IOS Press. March 2017

Research-based exercise interventions improve health-related quality of life (HRQL) and mobility in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Objective: To examine whether exercise habits were associated with changes in HRQL and mobility over two years.

: We identified a cohort of National Parkinson Foundation Quality Improvement Initiative (NPF-QII) participants with three visits. HRQL and mobility were measured with the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) and Timed Up and Go (TUG). We compared self-reported regular exercisers (≥2.5 hours/week) with people who did not exercise 2.5 hours/week. Then we quantified changes in HRQL and mobility associated with 30-minute increases in exercise, across PD severity, using mixed effects regression models.

Participants with three observational study visits (n = 3408) were younger, with milder PD, than participants with fewer visits.

After 2 years, consistent exercisers and people who started to exercise regularly after their baseline visit had smaller declines in HRQL and mobility than non-exercisers (p < 0.05).

Non-exercisers worsened by 1.37 points on the PDQ-39 and a 0.47 seconds on the TUG per year.

Increasing exercise by 30 minutes/week was associated with slower declines in HRQL (–0.16 points) and mobility (–0.04 sec). The benefit of exercise on HRQL was greater in advanced PD (–0.41 points) than mild PD (–0.14 points; p < 0.02).

Consistently exercising and starting regular exercise after baseline were associated with small but significant positive effects on HRQL and mobility changes over two years. The greater association of exercise with HRQL in advanced PD supports improving encouragement and facilitation of exercise in advanced PD.

Effects of physical exercise programs on cognitive function in Parkinson’s disease patients: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of the last 10 years. da Silva FC, Iop RdR, de Oliveira LC, Boll AM, de Alvarenga JGS, Gutierres Filho PJB, et al. (2018) PLoS ONE 13(2): e0193113

…cognitive impairment is one of the most prominent features of PD, considering that 25 to 30% of the patients have cognitive deficits at the onset of the disease and 50% of the patients demonstrate significant cognitive decline in the first three to five years of illness. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) affects between 18.9 and 38.2% of patients in the early stages of the disease.

The term "cognition" describes multiple mental processes, including executive function. Executive function includes, but is not limited to, judgment, planning, initiation, abstraction, problem solving, sequencing, and mental flexibility. Executive function and visual-spatial domains may be affected after the onset of PD, and changes in executive functions may predict the onset of dementia.

…, we found that physical exercise programs promote positive and significant effects on global cognitive function, processing speed, sustained attention and mental flexibility in Parkinson’s disease patients, at a mild to moderate stage for patients with a 6-year clinical diagnosis of PD


I have been doing a daily 18 Shibashi routine for nearly 10 years: started a few years before I was diagnosed. I also go to a weekly Chi Gong/Tai Chi Class. All these have helped me maintain balance and control and even provided some relaxation and ‘calm’. I also walk at least 2 miles per day which I find stretches the legs and stops them from aching.
I am now trying PD Warrior but there are no classes near me so I am having to try an independent approach using the DVD and book. I think the exercise routine is just the challenge I need. It would be great if there was a local class but I will give it a go but not sure how good my self-motivation will be!
Have considered swimming but not sure how effective this would be. Does anyone find swimming effective?


All got kinda kicker for you. One of the men in your rock steady boxing class talks about some of his special diets.

I don,t know what he had eaten. But he had a problem passing wind. He just couldn’t help it.

Well I thought how could I ease his anxiety over his problem. I told him softly not to worry most of have lost our sense of smell. Then one of the ladies at the class piped up louder and said, But it has not effected our hearing. The place went up in laughter. Tom

Hello Marigold
I have not tried swimming yet but, besides walking (2 miles minimum per day) I was advised by a Local Adviser to ask my GP to refer me to a gym - this will mean that I will get a discount and will speak to a coach who will know which routines are most effective for PD patients

Well if only if only. I actually feel so jealous reading the posts
I wish that I could do some form of exercise? I have rheumatoid arthris along with PD.

Hello John

Can you tell me where you attend the warrior based exercise classes please. I live in Norfolk, I cant find any here, but I’m willing to travel
Thank you

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Hi Steph - I lve in Bury st Edmunds and travels to Martlesham (Ipswich) every Monday and its well worth it! I think it’s the only class in Suffolk and is run by a lady called Kim - if it’s not too far I’ll give you her contact details

If you’re interested there is Parkinsons Boxing class in Ipswich which is great and I also believe there is one in Norwich.

Let me know



Hi Marigold sorry for delay in replying!

The session in Ipswich is not run by NHS but was initially funded by Parkinsons uk - it now costs £5 a time and is well worth it.

I suggest you try Facebook PD warriors Tribe 365. It’s run by Melisa McConachy who started Warriors in Australia. It’s free to join and the exercises are better than you tube. You can also join the 10 week challenge but that’s expensive at about £165.

Let me know how you get on