I am 71, diagnosed about 3 months ago. I try to do my exercises most days but have to admit I find it boring. They are a group of exercises I have devised myself from looking at various You Tube videos of PD / general / pilates type exercises.
I would be interested in what others do. Which exercises do you do? How often? Where did you find them?
Be warned this is a long post but if you manage to make it to the end, hope it helps.
I understand exactly what you are saying, for slightly different reasons perhaps but the end result was the same - I needed to get an exercise routine kick started. Like everyone I know regular exercise is important to all and even more so with Parkinson’s and the advice is to find something you enjoy because then you’ll be motivated and it will all fall into place. The reality is not that straightforward at least it wasn’t for me. I got some small pieces of equipment to use at home and I walked every day - still do that bit most days but the equipment, videos, YouTube or whatever ended up being hit and miss. I did look at various classes but as I no longer drive the logistics were not straightforward for me and it was easy to not go. About a year before lockdown I found a personal trainer about a 15 minute walk from me. Not cheap and a bit daunting to have someone’s undivided attention for an hour but it meant I was at least doing something and he was relaxed and I found I enjoyed it then the lockdown happened and it all stopped and I was back with my hit and miss routine… About a year ago and after spending a bit of time really thinking about what I needed rather than what’s out there, and what can I do at home with no real focus, I completely changed my approach. I wanted a strong core and balance work at least initially because that would help keep me upright, mobile and independent. I couldn’t judge that properly on my own, I had tried gyms before but it’s not an environment I’m comfortable in and there remained the practicalities of getting there… The personal trainer was good but although close by it somehow seemed to disrupt the whole day. A radical rethink was needed.
I found a personal trainer who understood Parkinson’s and who would come to my home bringing any equipment needed with her. I started with 2 x 30 min sessions pw, increased to 45 mins and now do 2 x 1 hour sessions and it is the backbone of my exercise routine. We do all sorts from boxing and weights to yoga and much more, very varied and worth every penny… At about the same time Lemon on the forum flagged up an online class for people with Parkinson’s by the English National Ballet which complements the personal trainer brilliantly. Finally Forever Active have set up a fortnightly virtual cycling group which now includes arm exercises with resistance bands and singing all good for Parkinson’s. I still walk most days and do my own stretching routines more regularly now on days when there is no set exercise and it has made a massive difference to me.
I’m not suggesting what I’ve done is right for you but thinking carefully about what I wanted to achieve and how I could best achieve that turned my whole thinking round. it wasn’t so much find something you enjoy, although that is important, but more about I wanted - to keep mobile, maintain balance and postural stability etc that suggested gym type work and that naturally led to the actions I have taken and am doing well on it. So give some thought as to why your current regime isn’t working - why are you bored, is it because you’re on your own, or doing the same thing over and over, do you know how to vary it, would a different activity be more beneficial something like nordic walking or tai chi. Try turning your thinking round to what you want to achieve and that could be walk with a group for company first which by default will help your Parkinson’s both physically and from a mental health point of view… Lots of areas do health walks perhaps that may appeal. Thinking about what I wanted from my exercise routine gave me the focus I needed to search for ways to achieve that rather than just find something you enjoy. with no direction.
Apologies for the length of this post but it was not a quick process for me and I hope it makes some kind of sense to you. I wish you luck.
Wow Tot, that was some reply!!
It was very informative though and I thank you for it.
I think I’m finding it boring because, as you say, I’m doing it on my own, its repetitive and I dont use any music which makes it less stimulating.
Am I right in thinking that you still have your personal trainer? Can I ask if you are male or female?
Like you I want to stay generally fit and mostly improve my balance, walking and endurance. I have the added problem of having had polio when I was very young which affects my left leg and foot which are much weaker than my right.
So, balance has never been good on my left side and I certainly cannot stand or balance on that foot at all.
I might email our local PD nurse to see if she knoes of any trainers or classes that would suit me.
Thank you so much for your reply x
Thank you again for the very useful information.
I’m not sure how to reply to your private message, sorry.
No problem Alfsnan. For your information to reply to a private message click the reply button at the end of the message just as you would click reply at the end of a general post, The reply will be sent as a private message.
This reply will show as a general reply on the open forum. If you want to try it, click reply on the personal message and I will let you know when I’ve got it. There are quite a few on the forum who don’t find it easy to navigate and I include myself in that and doing something for the first time can be daunting; so if you want to use me to test replying to a private message go right ahead.
Hi, is this a private message ??
No but the other one is well done.
A private message will show in your replies with an envelope like yours did to me. See the photo. The one below it doesn’t have an envelope so it will apoear on the open forum. I opened the one with the envelope and my reply will be a private message to you. This one is a general reply and will appear on the forum. Does that make sense? You are doing well you got a private message back to me. It takes a bit of getting usecd to but you’re doing ok.
Could one of the moderators help please and direct Alfsnan on how to send and receive private messages i fear I may have confused him and can’t find the tutorials to give the link - probably not seeing it it’s hot and Im tired but don’t want to leave him unsure and not sure i explained it very well. Thanks
or any forum member who can explain it easily Cheers
Websites I have found useful include “Power for Parkinsons” which have a good range of free classes and Don Fiore you tube Tai Chi videos.
Was pleased to hear your PD Nurse has given you some ideas and hopefully will re-energise your exercise routine. Let us know how you’re getting on.
Hi Alfsnan I was dianosed in 2010 and untill last year i was doing quite well. exercise wise I used to go line dancing, (Not just for ladies) I had taken up green bowling outdoors in summer indoors in winter, made lots of friends, went all over GB with the game, Took upTAI CHI which I really enjoyed again made lots of friends. Then last year had a disagrement with a concret slab, and guss who won. I find now that my right foot keeps going under my left leg so yes a fall so now have to take a walking stick were ever i go. So you ask what do I do for exercise. Not sure if you are with a partner but being a woman I do the house work but not just house work, I try to make the jobs i have to fun. I do find it hard to relax though but when ib do I do Chinse brush painting. Or go on the computer. I am writing my life story so one day my gradsons will sit down and read it . Hope this helps keep posting let us know how you get on.
I am a woman living alone. I lost my lovely husband 3 years ago.
I’m going to look into the local groups that the PD nurse sent me but, like you, I had an argument with a concrete path a couple of weeks ago so I’ll wait until the knee is a bit better.
Thanks for your positive reply
An update - be warned this is quite long.
I thought I would do a bit of an update on my article of September last year and some of the issues that affected my establishing a regular and effective exercise routine - which as we all know but not necessarily so easy to do, is one of the most important aspects of living with Parkinson’s.
First of all I am happy to tell you that two years on I am still working with Claire and just this week increased my routine to 3 x 1 hour per week. Although her rates are very reasonable for a personal trainer, I’m not going to pretend it is a cheap option, the majority of my PIP goes on ongoing funding of Claire, but as far as I am concerned she is worth every penny.
At the moment we are doing some intensive work to correct my tendency to lean to my right - a long standing issue and one of my earliest symptoms. It is hard work as I am in effect, relearning how to move with a more upright posture, I am using my muscles and spine differently and it is exhausting. It has always been an element of our sessions but it is the right time to put this issue centre stage to minimise the risk of storing up additional problems in the future.
I am more than happy with that as an overall aim but what I have come to realise over the last two years is how Claire has been able to move me forward with some really quite simple exercises that, had I known about them I could have easily incorporated into my routine to address the boredom issue that stopped me exercising regularly. I would tell myself the reasons for not exercising were legitimate but in reality the reasons were excuses and I was fooling no-one but myself…
So for me some key things that I have learnt over the past two years if you are only an averagely sporty person like me or not sporty at all and are trying to get a regular exercise routine going that you will actually do are the following:
Have a regular time to do your exercise and put it in your diary or on your calendar and treat it exactly as you would any other important appointment. You need to pick a time that suits your everyday routine. If come the time you don’t feel like doing your exercises don’t go off and do something else. Simply sit and wait until the time your session is ended. Chances are you will think if I am just sitting here watching the clock go round I may as well do my exercises and you will feel great that you’ve actually kept to your exercise schedule - and as a by the by, probably feel better too. One of the best motivators for me is knowing that Claire will be here as our schedule and that’s that. No excuses, it’s in the diary, Claire will come and the session will go ahead as planned however I am feeling about the session on that particular day. (Note there will be odd days when you do need to give it a miss but be sure it is a legitimate reason and not an excuse and such days should be rare).
Getting bored and moving forward. These two factors are highly significant for most people who are exercising alone and can easily become the reason your exercise routine fails. In terms of boredom you could try varying the order in which you do your exercises or maybe put on some music with a good beat that can get you moving if you are basically happy with what you do. However for me the second point - how to move your routine on is far harder to do on your own. The internet is an excellent place to search out new ideas or suggestions for amending your routine if you can identify what the next step is. Some of the videos are excellent and may be enough to prevent the boredom and allow you to move on. Don’t discount books and other literature as some of these can be very helpful
Generally speaking though, I think the best way to prevent boredom and move you forward is to find a source of external help. Whether you opt for a personal trainer that has worked so successfully for me, or join one of the highly rated options such as this
or join a local group or class.There are obviously cost implications for this 3rd suggestion and you will need to decide on affordability and if it’s worth it but the costs do not seem excessive for the most part.
None of the above is probably telling you anything new but there one final comment I would like to make since finding a way to fit a proper exercise routine intio my life with Parkibson’s.
When I started working with Claire my aims were very simple ie to maintain what I had in terms of core strength, balance etc to keep me going. However by finding a way to not let boredom take hold and having a means to continue moving forward my mindset has completely changed. I no longer want to just maintain but improve and that is now my main motivation and the results are quite amazing. The sessions with Claire are something I look forward to and whilst she is integral to my keep moving forward, I find I can contribute more to issues I would like to address and do so with confidence. Best of all for me is that I have given myself the best chance I can to continue to do well for the longest time possible even with Parkibson’s sitting on my shoulder waiting to cause havoc. It is very empowering and has reinforced for me how important being proactive and positive are the key tools for me.
My way doesn’t have to be your way but I would encourage anyone struggling to develop an exercise regime that truly works for them to think long and hard about what form this may take and search hard for the resources that could meet what you want to achieve. You may find as I have, when you get it right, you will be amazed at what you can do.
Good luck to anyone who is facing this struggle right now, I hope this will have inspired you not to give up - the answer for you will be out there somewhere.