DAT image

Derby Parkinson's Disease Services

HomepageMovement Disorder Clinic Multidisciplinary Parkinson's Clinic Advanced Parkinson's Clinic Local Hospitals About Parkinson's Parkinson's Nurse Specialists Useful Links Contact usParkinson's UKEducation CoursesDriving ExerciseDietSpeech Therapy Drug Treatments Research



The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that physical activity has significant health benefits for hearts, bodies and minds and reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also enhances thinking, learning and judgement skills. In addition, physical activity contributes to preventing cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Exercise and physical activity are especially important for people with Parkinson's. They can improve:

  • Mobility
  • Balance
  • Cognition
  • Mood
  • Memory
  • Fatigue
  • Apathy
  • Sleep
  • Quality of life

There is evidence to show that people with Parkinson's who do at least 2.5 hours a week of exercise have a better quality of life (Rafferty et al.; 2017). The Parkinson's Foundation exercise recommendations for people with Parkinson's are:

  • 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week
  • Aerobic activity 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes per session (moderate or vigorous intensity)
  • Strength training 2-3 non-consecutive days a week for at least 30 minutes per session for 10-15 repetitions for major muscle groups (resistance, speed or power focus)
  • Balance agility and multitasking 2-3 days a week (with daily integration if possible)
  • Stretching 2-3 days a week (daily stretching is the most effective)

It can be hard fitting exercise into your daily routine, especially if you are not used to being very active. Start where you are and set yourself small achievable goals. Your physiotherapist should be able to advise you on your personalised exercise programme. Parkinson's UK have developed an exercise framework that professionals can follow to ensure they deliver the key exercise messages to the people they are supporting as well as find examples of exercise styles to follow at different stages of Parkinson's. Online exercise advice and programmes are available for people with Parkinson's on the following links:

Parkinson's UK
Advice about exercise
Staying active when you have Parkinson's
Exercise options

Parkinson's Foundation
Parkinson's Foundation Exercise Recommendations
Parkinson's Foundation Exercise video with LSVT big

Power for Parkinson's - 10 minute video sessions

Parkinson's Wellness Recovery (PWR) Exercise options

References and links
WHO factsheet on physical activity
Parkinson's Foundation Exercise guideline references
Rafferty MR, Schmidt P, et al. Regular exercise, quality of life and mobility in Parkinson's disease: a longitudinal analysis of National Parkinson's Foundation Quality Improvement Initiative Data. Journal of Parkinson's disease 2017; 7(1):193-202
Parkinson's UK Exercise Framework
Parkinson's Foundation Advice for professionals

Fiona Lindop
Fiona Lindop, specialist Parkinson's physiotherapist

Fiona Lindop running
Fiona Lindop - practising what she preaches!