Ways of staying active with Parkinson’s

Try to reduce your daily sitting time; walk rather than drive short distances, such as to the shop; take the stairs instead of the escalator or lift

Try to exercise at least 150 minutes a week, making an effort to get warm, a little sweaty and out of breath, to the extent that it is difficult to hold a conversation. For example, exercise for 30 minutes on five days a week. If 30 minutes in one go is too much, try shorter periods, such as three times 10 minutes.

To keep fit and healthy, you need more than just one style of exercise. For example, try some exercise that helps you build muscle power one day, then something that improves your endurance the next day. Add exercise of a type that keeps your joints flexible: make large movements. Preferably choose functional-task exercises, using large movements whilst lying down, sitting, standing, walking or swimming. This will improve your day-to-day function, such as walking and help in keeping your balance.

Choose types of exercise you like and that suit your physical capabilities. This makes it easier to stick with it. For example, some people like playing a sport whilst others need to exercise while sitting or lying down.

If you can exercise with others, this offers social support that helps you to keep motivated. If there is a Parkinson’s specific or general exercise, dance or Tai Chi group near where you live, consider joining.

Exercise at the times of the day when you feel best and your medication is working well.

Try to link the exercises to your daily routine.

Feeling tired and starting to sweat during exercise is normal. Please stop exercising and seek medical advice if you break into a cold sweat or if you feel pain, nausea, tightness or pain in your chest for more than a few minutes, unusual breathlessness, dizziness or light-headedness or a sensation of your heart skipping or adding beats.

Please consult your doctor before starting any type of exercise if your doctor has told you that you have one or more of the risk factors for heart disease, if you have recently experienced a heart attack or other heart problem or if you have previously been inactive.

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