Ask the Doctor

Ask the Doctor

Dr. Terry Ellis, Assistant Professor at Boston University College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, Director of the Center for Neurorehabilitation, Advisor for the APDA Massachusetts Chapter.

Q. What is the best kind of exercise for Parkinson’s?

A. There are several types of exercise that are important for people with Parkinson’s disease. Aerobic exercise, strengthening, balance and stretching exercises are all recommended. Aerobic exercise is important for fitness and may reduce PD symptoms. Strengthening exercises are important to improve muscle function and to reduce PD symptoms related to slowness or bradykinesia. Balance exercises are important to reduce fall risk and stretching exercises may reduce stiffness and improve mobility.

Q. How do I get started on an exercise program?

A. To get started on an exercise program, you can go to the APDA website www.apdaparkinson.org/resources-support/download-publications/ and download an exercise booklet called “Be Active & Beyond.” This is a free booklet containing information about exercises, pictures of exercises and exercise instructions. We also recommend that you consult with a physical therapist with expertise in PD. A physical therapist can work with you to develop an exercise program tailored to your needs. If you need help finding a physical therapist in your area who is knowledgeable about PD, feel free to contact us at this toll free number: 888-606-1688 or you can e-mail us at rehab@bu.edu.