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The Benefits of Exercise With Parkinson’s Disease

Updated on August 30, 2021
Medically reviewed by
Evelyn O. Berman, M.D.
Article written by
Torrey Kim

Check out the first video in this series, as PD Warrior founder Melissa McConaghy and head online coach Jason King demonstrate exactly what benefits people with Parkinson's disease (PD) can gain from exercising. You’ll also see a four-minute exercise routine that can help you warm up, with a focus on dexterity.

Watch the next workout

Staying active when you have Parkinson’s disease is one of the best tools you have to support your overall mental and physical wellness. While exercising with PD can be challenging, finding the routine that works for your health needs can help you feel your best.

To help spark your exercise journey, MyParkinsonsTeam has partnered with PD Warrior, an organization that specializes in providing rehabilitative exercise programs to people with Parkinson’s disease. PD Warrior focuses on the core principles of neuroactive exercise, education, empowerment, and support to help people manage their Parkinson’s symptoms.

During this six-part series, you’ll gain an understanding of why exercise is so important and how to tailor exercise to your type of Parkinson’s. You’ll see step-by-step exercises and stretches specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Consider these steps 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.
  • It may be normal to feel some muscle soreness following exercise.
  • Maintaining hydration, stretching, and warming up can help combat muscle soreness.

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

  • Start by marching in place by raising your knees to hip height.
  • Circle your right arm forward and your left arm backward while marching. Then, reverse your arm movements by circling your left arm forward and your right arm backward.
  • Step forward first with the left foot and then with the right, raising your knees to hip height. Then step backward, still keeping your knees to hip level, and repeat the movements. After three repetitions, add arm movements by pushing your arms out from your chest.
  • While keeping your feet apart, lift your left knee to hip level while reaching your hands up toward the ceiling. Then, while lowering your foot back to the ground, swiftly pull your hands down to your sides. Repeat with the other leg. If you find it challenging to balance on one foot during this exercise, stand next to a wall or chair to stabilize yourself so you can avoid falling.

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.

Have you found that exercise helps ease your PD symptoms? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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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