Starting a fitness regime

I have been recently diagnosed with PD. my main symptoms at the moment are pins and needlles and a tremor in my right hand/arm some muscle weakness in my legs. I am waiting to see a specialist so in the meantime i have started to exercise daily on a stationary bike as well as doing stretching and exercises with light weights. Will this improve my muscle strength and will i be able to maintain my current level of flexibility or does PD mean that this will decline anyway? Is the stiffness inevitable or are everyones symptoms different. The neurologist who diagnosed me noticed a lack of expression in my facial muscles but i havent noticed stiffness elsewhere.
Expect to feel a lot better quickly in terms of self esteem and mood / confidence also medicines work better stretching and meditative movement with enjoyment and reaction like kicking or throwing ball against a wall i think are really good but also expect people to tell you your over doing it but take no notice of then
Hi Camargue,

You might also be interested in reading a recent thread on exercise here

A physical therapist can help assess your level of fitness and suggest an exercise regime that's right for you. We had a Q&A a while back with a physical therapist. You can read a transcript here:

Hope it helps,
Hello Camargue

I find an exercise bike really good. I think it improves stamina and all round fitness. I would urge caution with the weights. Movements become increasingly unpredictable and random when tired, I did once hit myself with a 1kg weight when enthusiastically swinging about to music!
There is an interesting article at the following URL

Here are a couple of excerpts

All types of exercise appear beneficial for people with PD. This study is unique because of its comparison of different types of exercise and the relatively long follow up of study participants (16 months). The effects of exercise vary depending on the type of exercise performed but all types appear beneficial for people with PD.

Only aerobic exercise demonstrated long-term benefits. The participants performing the aerobic routine demonstrated more efficient or economical walking, that is they used less oxygen to walk the same distance as before. An improved economy of walking with the aerobic routine could lead to better endurance, less fatigue and fewer falls for people with Parkinson’s
Hi, I thought that I might add my experiences of excercise, it may just hel some people. I was dx 11 years ago and in the last 12 months my condition has become much more difficult to cope with. We have large muscles which run up either side of the spine and the muscles on my left sie are being pulled across toward the right. Obviousley this causes me severe bachpain and for that I now attend a pain clinic. I though all excercise was now beyond me but I recently enrolled in an aqua aerobics class, i did it for my daughter really, she had 2 aneurisms last year which have caused her to have problems with her legs. In an effor to try to help her I joined the class and it has been great. I can manage movements in the water that I could never achieve on dry land, I think it must be the bouyancy or ssomething. Suffice to say I am feeling much better in myself and at the very least I am getting some excercise and my lovely daughter is moving her legs much better. She too has managed movments that would be unachievable out of the water.

I hope this might help other to try aqua areobics it has certainly heled me.

hi,i think exercise is wonderful,with illness or with out.we all have to try and keep our muscles moving,specially with pd cus of goin stiff,ridgidy.there is a gymplan set up by gps you can go to,in the local gym,having a one to one with a expert,thats worth looking in to,and its free.:smile:

If possible do as much exercise as you can, but listen to what your body is telling you. Start off gentle and progressively build it up. Arm stretching & excercising improved the mobility and reduced the stiffness in my arms and upper body. If your balance is a bit off these exercises can at least be done sitting down safely. I used to just let my left arm hang about, but my PD Nurse said get it moving or it will freeze up! She is suitably blunt and forceful in her approach to me!

In the begining I started off with no weights, then I went onto 0.5Kg velcro strap wrist weights, then I moved on to 1Kg wrist weights again secured with velcro. Got them from John Lewis.

I spend about 22 minutes every morning before work on the Wii Fit doing both balance games and aerobic excercises. It really does help. The body test bit is always interesting! I generally manage a Wii Fit age of under 30, I'm 49, so that helps with the feel good factor! I also do 10 or 12 press ups before getting into bed at night, this helps a little bit with the problem of my arms "getting in the way" of sleep.

I keep in the back of my mind that if a big step change in the treatment/management of our symptoms comes out I want my body to be as ready as it can be.

Regards Tractorman.
Thanks for all the helpful and encouraging replies. I have noticed a difference already with flexibillity particularly legs and hips, not much difference yet with strength as my legs still fee a bit wobbly at times. I have played competitive sports in the past so a life without some sort of exercise would seem strange to me. We have not been out on our road bikes for months due to the weather so it will be interesting to see when we get out if i have built up any endurance. I am 62 and was putting down my slowness to aging now i realise that it is up to me to keep myself as fit as possible. Good point about the future, if there are any wonderful advances in treatment i want to be able to take advantage of them.