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Exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone. For those with Parkinson’s disease (PD), exercise is more than being healthy — it is a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and activities of daily living. Research shows that exercise and physical activity can not only maintain and improve mobility, flexibility and balance but also ease non-motor PD symptoms such as depression or constipation.

What type of exercise should I do?

To help manage the symptoms of PD, your exercise program should include these key components:

  1. Aerobic Activity

  2. Strength Training

  3. Balance, Agility & Multitasking

  4. Flexibility

There is no “exercise prescription” that is right for every person with PD. The type of exercise you do depends on your symptoms and challenges. For those who may be more sedentary, starting with low intensity exercise, such as walking, is beneficial. This can be increased to regular, more vigorous activity as tolerated.

The most important thing is to do the exercise regularly. We suggest find an exercise you enjoy and can stick with!

Let us help guide you along the way. Call to speak to our fitness and health professionals today, to see how our Parkinson's Fitness program can help you!

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People with Parkinson’s who engaged in at least 2.5 hours of exercise a week had a better quality of life than those who didn't exercise at all or started exercising later.

Research finding from the Parkinson's Outcomes Project, the largest-ever clinical study of Parkinson’s

Benefits of Exercise

Research has shown the following positive impacts of exercise:

  • Engaging in any level of physical activity is beneficial and can improve motor symptoms

  • For people with mild to moderate PD, targeted exercises can address specific symptoms. For example: aerobic exercise improves fitness, walking exercises assist with gait and resistance training strengthens muscles. One study showed that twice-a-week tango dancing classes helped people with PD improve motor symptoms, balance and walking speed.

  • Aerobic exercise can improve age-related changes in executive function, a type of thinking that is affected in Parkinson’s.

  • People who start exercising earlier experience a significant slower decline in quality of life than those who start later.

  • People with advanced PD who exercise show greater positive effects on health-related quality of life, so it is particularly important to keep exercising and finding new ways to facilitate exercise as the disease progresses.

     -Content created by the Parkinson's Foundation

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