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In Partnership With PD Warrior ?

Move Well With These Exercises for Early-Stage Parkinson’s

Updated on September 27, 2021
Medically reviewed by
Evelyn O. Berman, M.D.
Article written by
Torrey Kim

This week, PD Warrior founder Melissa McConaghy and physical therapist Camille Mance present and explain exercises that can improve movement for people living with early-stage Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Watch the previous workout Watch the next workout

Parkinson’s disease can lead to a wide range of symptoms, but some people with the condition are so early in the PD journey that they don’t have strong symptoms in any one specific area. Understanding and developing strong habits early can help a person move well with Parkinson’s.

MyParkinsonsTeam has partnered with PD Warrior — an organization that specializes in providing rehabilitative exercise programs to people with Parkinson’s disease — to help spark your exercise journey.

During previous weeks in this six-part series, you learned how to warm up, tackle tremor, overcome bradykinesia (slow movements), and boost agility. This week’s videos cover the steps required to perform low-impact, neuroprotective exercises that are helpful for anyone with PD, particularly those early on in the diagnosis journey. They’ll also boost your heart rate.

Consider the following guidance before you work through the video:

  • If you aren’t accustomed to exercising, check with your physician first.
  • If your doctor gives you clearance, it is suggested that you warm up prior to exercising and stretch after you complete your session.
  • Try to engage in exercise three times per week.
  • Feeling some muscle soreness following exercise is normal.
  • Warming up, stretching, and staying hydrated can help combat muscle soreness.

Below are the written steps of the video exercises. You can write them down or print them for reference:

  • Stand with your hands on your hips and your feet together. Extend your left foot to the side, then return it to center. Repeat with your right foot. Perform these exercises three or four times.
  • While standing still, reach your right arm above your head and extend your left arm out from your chest. Tap your shoulders, then reverse the exercise, moving the left arm above your head and your right arm out from your chest. Repeat these movements three or four times.
  • Combine both moves above, stepping to the side as you reach one arm up and the other forward at the same time. When you extend your left foot, you’ll raise your right arm above your head and extend your left arm out from your chest. You’ll do the opposite when you extend your right foot.
  • For a higher-impact version of the exercise, jump slightly in the air and land with your legs spread apart to the sides. Then jump again, landing with your feet crossed and your right foot in front. Jump again to extend your legs back to the sides, and then jump again, landing with your left foot in front this time.
  • If you find this exercise easy, you can increase the speed.
  • Add your arms to the above jumping movement, with one hand to the ceiling and one pressed out in front of you as you jump, alternating arms.
  • Try and perform these exercises five to 10 times in a row if possible.

To better tailor the exercises to your specific needs, consider taking the What Type of Parkinson’s Do You Have? quiz from PD Warrior.

About PD Warrior

PD Warrior offers in-person and online regular, targeted, and personalized exercise programs to help reduce parkinsonian symptoms — from the comfort and privacy of your home.

PD Warrior’s signature 10 Week Challenge is the leading exercise rehabilitation program for people with Parkinson’s. Designed by renowned neurophysiotherapist Melissa McConaghy, the 10 Week Challenge is tailored to suit the individual needs of participants and their specific types of Parkinson’s. This rehab program will make you move, stretch, and sweat, but most of all, you will feel good. Find out more about the 10 Week Challenge.

PD Warrior’s online gym offers the option to join an intimate group, one-to-one private coaching sessions, or a combination of both. No matter what you choose, you will be training with an experienced PD Warrior coach who will work to your ability and provide exercises specific to your Parkinson’s. Find out more.

Find Your Team

Through MyParkinsonsTeam, you can join an online social network for those living with Parkinson’s disease. In doing so, you will gain access to a social support group of people who are facing similar challenges and understand what you are going through. Start a new conversation on MyParkinsonsTeam.

Disclaimer: The exercises provided by PD Warrior are general in nature and are not to be interpreted as a specific treatment plan, product, or course of action. Exercise is not without its risks, and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. Risks include and are not limited to injury, aggravation of a preexisting condition, or adverse effect of overexertion, such as muscle strain, abnormal blood pressure, fainting, loss of balance, falls, disorders of heartbeat, and rare instances of a heart attack.

To reduce the risk of injury, before beginning this or any exercise program, please consult your health care provider for appropriate exercise prescription and safety precautions. The exercise instruction and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for an individual consultation. PD Warrior and MyHealthTeams disclaim any liability from and in connection with this program. As with any exercise program, if at any point during your workout you begin to feel dizzy or faint, or have physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult with a physician. Please see your health professional immediately, if you suspect you may be ill or injured.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Evelyn O. Berman, M.D. is a neurology and pediatric specialist and treats disorders of the brain in children. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about her here.
Torrey Kim is a freelance writer with MyHealthTeam. Learn more about her here.

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