APDA American Parkinson Disease Association
Information & Referral Center

Exercise - what, where, and why?

Studies show that exercise can be very helpful to those with Parkinson's Disease. A common question at support group meetings is "what exercise is best?" Most movement disorder specialists say that the best exercise is one that is safe and that the participant enjoys (as it improves the chances that you'll do it every day).

Living in Northern or Central California? Here's a list of exercise classes available, with an emphasis on classes for those with PD. If you don't see anything listed near you, check with your local senior center for classes designed for seniors or those with disabilities. See our separate list of fall prevention programs.

Want to exercise in the privacy of your home? See this list of some of our favorite PD-specific exercise videos.

Other good resources are listed below.

Best Publications - Downloadable

“Fitness Counts,” by Heather Cianci, PT, MS, GSC
Published by the National Parkinson’s Foundation, 2006
This 51-page manual describes exercise methods that contribute to stability and includes photos to demonstrate proper form. Additional sections cover complementary therapies and partner assisted exercise.
En Espanol: Enfermedad de Parkinson: Estar en Forma Cuenta

Best Online Information

"How Exercise Can Improve Life with Parkinson's"
By Margaret Schenkman, PT, PhD, PDF News & Reviews, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, Spring 2016.
This webpage (previously newsletter article) discusses how exercise can benefit someone with Parkinson's Disease.

"Parkinson's Disease Journal Article Recommendations"
By APDA National Resource Center for Rehabilitation at Boston University
This webpage lists the best medical research on the management of PD symptoms through exercise. Note that the center offers a tollfree “exercise helpline” where callers can speak with a licensed physical therapist. Available Monday to Friday, 9am-3pm (Boston time) at 888-606-1688 or rehab@bu.edu.

"When in doubt: Exercise!"
By World Parkinson Coalition, early 2016
Terrific 36-minute podcast featuring movement disorder specialist Helen Bronte-Stewart, MD, and physical therapist Terry Ellis, PT, PhD. In this podcast, the speakers explain what the research tells us about the value of exercise for PD. And they address what exercise is best.



 

 

 

 




This page most recently updated May 2016. Page was initially created in late 2012 by Robin Riddle with Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach.

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