Parkinson's Disease and Exercise

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Topic Overview

Exercise is an important part of home treatment for people with Parkinson's disease . It has benefits in both early and advanced stages of the disease. Regular exercise can help you:

  • Keep and improve muscle strength and endurance.
  • Control your weight and improve your cardiovascular fitness.
  • Improve your balance, coordination, flexibility, and range of motion.
  • Reduce the likelihood of becoming constipated.
  • Reduce your fear of falling and improve your quality of life.

Exercise can promote a sense of well-being and improve your mood. For those who have mild Parkinson's symptoms, exercise can also reduce the chance of falling.

A physical therapist can help you learn exercises and stretches to do at home to improve posture, strength, flexibility, and endurance.

A physical or occupational therapist can also help you to:

  • Plan more efficient movements for daily living activities (such as bathing and dressing) so that these activities are easier and less tiring.
  • Improve balance and walking.
  • Use walking aids (such as canes or walkers) correctly.


Other Works Consulted

  • Canning C, et al. (2015). Exercise for falls prevention in Parkinson disease. Neurology, 84(3): 304–312. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001155. Accessed January 28, 2015.


ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine

E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer G. Frederick Wooten, MD - Neurology

Current as ofMarch 27, 2015