Ive recently been dx and yet to meet with a parkinsons Nurse. So i could really do with some advise. At the moment i'm on medication which has improved my movement but i still struggle to walk far and stand for long periods. I havent been doing much exercise because of this but don't want to become a coach potato.
Does anyone have any suggestions of what exercise i should be doing and how often? Does it help?

by the way im 36

hi and welcome,
When i was first diagnosed approx. 3 years ago i was off sick and so i was not very active. My son saw an item on the TV about the Nintendo Wii and how it can help people with PD. He went out and bought me one and to this day I still use it every day. For me it helps with my balance, it does Yoga and some aerobic excercises and you can play tennis, bowls, golf etc on the wii sport.And above all it is FUN. I havnt lost weight by using it, in fact i have put some on but it gives me something to look forward to each morning and it is something i enjoy doing.Good Luck.
Thanks wifit, i've read about this before. I have one so may get the wii sports and have a go. The issue at the moment is if i did the exercise, i'd be in agony later that day or the next morning, and have trouble walking.
PD affects people in many different ways, for me I suffer from slowness in movement especially on my left side and at the moment I am dragging my leg when I walk. It is hard for me to walk some days as it is like walking through deep snow. So the wii helps me get going on a morning but I do not have any pain like yourself. Maybe for you the safest thing is to do gentle stretches and swimming is also good . There is a DVD and exercise information booklet you can get from the society. I have it and it gives you some ideas of what to do so as not to cause too much discomfort. You can download the exercises too.. Hope it goes well.

I was dx 5 years ago (now 48) & found Tai Chi great for me

There is evidence suggesting that Tai Chi slows the progress of Parkinson’s.
The gentle movements of Tai Chi improve balance, and move the body about 95% of the ways it can normally move. The likelihood of ‘losing’ movement is diminished. The phrase ‘Use it or Lose it’ is very relevant in this condition. In many major studies Tai Chi was found to be twice as effective at reducing falls as any other balance exercises.

The slow flowing, graceful movements not only strengthen muscles and joints, maintain flexibility, balance and relaxation but appeal to those who fear they are losing physical ability but also fear what they see as normal exercise including high impact Gym routines.
Tai chi has a calming yet uplifting effect on the mind, the feel good factor of releasing endorphins. This helps Parkinson’s sufferers feel better about themselves. another aspect of Tai Chi has been shown to produce significant increases in left sided brain activity, which is associated with positive emotional states

Tai Chi is not a cure for Parkinson’s Disease but can significantly slow it’s progress and enhance life quality. It increases flexibility, balance and co-ordination, posture and improves muscle and joint strength and tone.
I hope this helps you like it has me

Kind regards
i do something similar to tai chi which is using very low weights and extremeley slow movements with only one or two repetitions. the idea is to retrain the brain's understanding of relationship between extensor and flexor muscles. i don't know whether it works but so far i have had little tremor 4 years after dx.
I try to exercise in some form nearly every day - half an hours walk, 5 mins exercise bike and stretching. I did Pilates before I was diagnosed and find some of those exercises very useful. I have been wondering if I should have more rest days as I do get pretty stiff and sore at times. But all in all I am sure it s important to keep moving and to release endorphins which make you feel better.
Turnip, could I ask which weight exercises you do?
2 x 3kg dumbbells or less

all done standing and as slowly and smoothly as possible including returning to start position.

1 x lateral raise - arms at side nearly straight raise to shoulder height to make T shape
1 x frontal raise - as above but with arms in front
1 x fly - start with weights together in front of chest arms nearly straight, open arms until forming T shape
1 x curl - arms at side, slowly bend and raise elbows until weight touch shoulders
1 X tricep - lean over elbows at right angles straighten arm until parallel with floor
1 x reverse fly - lean over arms slightly bent pointing at floor, raise to form T
1 squat - very slow holding onto chair
1 calf raise - slowly go onto tip toes holding onto chair

i have found repetitive exercise causes injuries so do one rep very slowly intstead, it may be coincidence that i dont have much tremor. i never lift weights above shoulder height as i get sore joints. i do stretches afterwards.
Thanks very much for that - will try tomorrow
Thank you guys, all really helpful.

I may start yoga again, either way i will slowly get my leg and arm moving and feeling less painful

Happy New year
Hi happy new year to you, I myself find cycling helps me, I cycle for about 30 minutes 5 times a week and find it good for fitness but also it helps improve my walking and stiffness afterwards. I find my balance is better when cycling than walking but if you have problems how about using an exercise bike. There was an article in the daily mail recently about pd and cycling saying it helps improve some of the symptoms of pd, it's worth a look on the internet if you google it, regards Martin
Hi GirlRed,

If you live within striking distance of Oxford, it may well be worth getting in touch with Brooke's Oxford University.

They have a research exercise programme which I'm on and they are still looking for more people.

There is a link under Research, Brooke's etc. which Ezinda put on there for anyone who is interested.

I'm finding the exercise really beneficial.


Thanks Mike700, im not near Oxford, however i might see if there is anything similar near me.

mrn307, i'll wait till the weather is better and dust off my bike, that maybe a good and cheap option.

So im swimming and cycling each day while in the evening beating my husband on the wii, while doing some thai chi at the weekend. I won't have time to go to work :)
Hi Girlred,

I'm 47, DX around 18 months ago, and have since been swimming two hours a week. Overall I feel it has a good positive impact on me. I work during then day and swim in the evenings ;-)

I have read or heard somewhere that it's good to focus both on endurance as well as on reflexes. So I guess it would be ideal to combine something like swimming / running / cycling with a more reflex-oriented sport... but haven't done it myself yet, so can't speak from experience about it.

Overall, I feel it's very important you find something that you enjoy,

Hi Ifs

I now have an appointment with the nurse at the end of the month, but will start to get a plan together and start some exercise. As im feeling more tired doing nothing.

Just need to find the cheapest option for gym membership or adhoc classes after work.

Hope you are well.

you should definitely try to exercise. There's lots of recent research highlighting the positive benefits on PD, and they're now beginning to understand why - the recent study on cycling used MRI scans to show actual changes in the brain from cycling. Google for "Pedalling for Parkinson's". (that's not to say cycling is the only exercise that benefits us!) Also google for "Neil Sligar". He's an inspiration for anyone with PD.

Only a few years ago, accepted wisdom was not to encourage PWP to exercise! I believe that this change in understanding is the single biggest advancement in PD treatment in recent years. Don't worry if your level of exercise isn't considered strenuous by normal measurements - if it feels strenuous to you, it's working! (and obviously take medical advice before significantly changing your exercise levels. It should always be built up slowly, or you can risk injury and doing more harm than good).