Do you exercise enough?

These exercise recommendations are an important framework to ensure the PD community is receiving safe and effective exercise programs and instruction

John L. Lehr, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation

The Parkinson’s Foundation and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) released new exercise recommendations last week based on research studies and meetings with various experts in the field. The goal is to provide people with Parkinson’s important guidance on staying active and living well with the disease. You can read the press release here.

The recommendations:

  1. 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate to vigorous exercise per week
  2. Exercise should include aerobic activity; strength training; balance/agility/multitasking; and stretching
  3. Meet with a physical therapist specializing in Parkinson’s for an evaluation and patient-specific direction
  4. 3 days per week for at least 30 minutes per session of continuous or intermittent aerobic exercise at moderate-to-vigorous intensity. This includes rhythmic activities such as fast-walking, running, cycling, swimming, or aerobics class.
  5. 2-3 non-consecutive days per week for at lest 30 minutes per session for strength training,
  6. 2-3 days a week of multi-directional stepping, weight-shifting, balance activities, large movements, and activities such as yoga, tai chi, dance, or boxing for balance agility and multitasking.
  7. 2-3 days a week of sustained stretching with deep breathing or stretching before exercise.
  8. Most of these should be done under supervision to prevent falls and injuries.

That’s a lot of exercise and it adds up to much more that 150 minutes per week. Many of us have been exercising diligently since our diagnosis. This past 15 months has been a challenge because we could not go to our exercise classes. For me, exercising with an online class just wasn’t the same. The motivation that I got by going to the gym for yoga classes or to boxing classes wasn’t there. So I probably haven’t been working out as hard as I should. Of course it doesn’t help that it is really easy to blow off exercising when you don’t have a class to go to on your calendar.

You can help spread the word

The recommendations are good. This definitely gives us something to aspire to. I hope that the Parkinson’s Foundation will get this to every Neurologist and Movement Disorders Specialist because the unfortunate reality is that many of them still do not recommend exercise to their newly diagnosed patients. If your doctor has not prescribed exercise to you, please make sure that you bring this report with you to your next appointment. Explain how important exercise has been for you to live better with Parkinson’s. We need to get the word out so that everyone who is diagnosed has some guidance for starting and maintaining an exercise program that works for them.

Parkinson’s Revolution June 12

Speaking of strenuous exercise…

Join the Revolution!

I am riding next Saturday, June 12 to raise funds for the Parkinson’s Foundation. I would love to have you join me on Team Parkies with Pelotons, no matter where you live. You can choose from a location near you or ride from home. If you cannot ride, please consider supporting the Parkinson’s Foundation. My personal page is at


5 responses to “Do you exercise enough?”

  1. Roger Q. Fenn Avatar

    thanks for the reminder – I’ve been slacking off – travelling and can feel the difference. shake a leg 😉

  2. You’re right, Sharon. It’s easier to forget about exercise, when it’s not on your calendar. Throughout the pandemic, my husband and I fished Arizona. We have a travel trailer we bought last February; talk about lucky timing! So I’ve done a lot of walking, hiking, and fly fishing this past year. I also attended a wonderful dance class on Zoom.

    Now I’m back to my weight trainer twice a week, I go to Zumba with my daughter occasionally, I walk the neighborhood, I do some Yoga in the morning. But I miss my boxing class and my Dance for Parkinson’s class at Ballet Arizona. I’m hoping to be back doing both of those after we return from a busy summer of travel.

    1. yes, the Pandemic has definitely been a deterent to exercise. Keep doing what you are doing and have fun fishing

  3. Aim to exercise every day (yes 7) then when something comes up and you have to miss one day, you’re still doing plenty. If your body needs a day off, consider light yoga, or stretching and a walk. Exercise is my medicine, so it is scheduled the same. Exercise is part of my work day. It is scheduled like a meeting I must attend where I am the boss. xox

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A Note To My Readers

I love to see your comments and get your emails as we share our collective experiences. But based on a couple of private questions from some of you, remember, I am just a lay person and a patient like the rest of you. For medical and similar advice, you need to talk to your own doctor

Twitchy Woman

Twitchy Women partners with the Parkinson’s Wellness Fund to ensure we have the resources to offer peer support for women with Parkinson’s.