Why exercise

Physical activity and exercise


Being active with Parkinson's can help improve your mental and physical wellbeing as well as your balance, strength and coordination. Learn the  benefits of being active and how to start your physical activity journey.


Low-intensity physical activity

Low-intensity doesn’t mean low effort. Even gentle movements or activities can help to lift your mood and help you live well with Parkinson's. Remember that doing something to stay active is always better than doing nothing. 

It’s a great way to start being active and, if you’re not used to regular exercise or physical activity, low-intensity can be the perfect place to start. 

•   Even a stretch or gentle movements can help if you feel tired or have low energy.

•   Make it part of your routine.

•   If you're unsure where to start make an activity diary or ask a friend to exercise with you.

•   If you’re not used to being active, or if you’re still finding your feet with Parkinson’s, then it’s important to try activities that you enjoy.

•  There are numerous Parkinson’s friendly sports and activities, or you could even try being active at home.


Whatever you do, it’s important that you exercise regularly.

•  Keep challenging yourself. Once you start being active, think about ways of increasing activities each week, or try new activities that will challenge you.  

• Make physical activity part of your routine. Ask a friend to join you or keep an activity diary to chart your progress. Keeping a record of your activities will also help you see what's working for you. 

• Don’t give up. Remember that the first step is always the hardest and being active is all about building a routine into your lifestyle. It’s not about running marathons, but you should find an activity that you enjoy and want to keep doing. 


High-intensity physical activity


Moderate to high-intensity means building up a sweat when you're active and challenging yourself to do something that takes plenty of effort. Moderate and high-intensity activities will push you but they can help to build your strength and fitness. 

It's not meant to be easy. Whether it’s lifting your mood or supporting neurons in the brain, high intensity doesn't just help you physically, it can also help you mentally. 

• Try something that challenges you. There are lots of activities for people with Parkinson's that are high-intensity, so find something that's a challenge. 

•  Take things at your own pace. Try to build up to high-intensity workouts and consider sports or activities that you'd like to try. 

•  Make a plan for being active. Try to build high-intensity activities into your routine, or keep an activity diary to track your progress.