Six Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise after a Parkinson’s Diagnosis

paddling-image-cropYou signed up with a local gym, bought a stationary bike or new running shoes, but haven’t exercised in weeks. Sound familiar? Exercising regularly can be challenging for anyone, but for people with Parkinson’s, symptoms like apathy, fatigue and depression can make exercise the last way you want to spend your time.

Besides choosing an exercise you enjoy, connecting with the right motivation can turn exercise into a habit. How exercise affects symptoms tops our community’s list of best motivators, but many find other benefits inspire them, too.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation community recently shared tips on staying motivated and committed to your exercise regime.

1. Write down how you feel after you exercise. Exercise can ease symptoms like tremor, stiffness, mood and more. If your flexibility has improved or your anxiety has lessened, for example, make a note in your calendar or phone. Look back at your notes for inspiration.

2. Join a group fitness class or exercise with friends. Knowing you’ll spot a friendly face can make exercise class more enjoyable. Find an exercise buddy, and commit to working out together.

3. Add variety to your routine. Keep your workouts fresh by trying new routines, like yoga, tai chi, dance or high intensity interval training (after talking with your doctor, of course!)

4.Fundraise by participating in an athletic event so your fitness can support Parkinson’s research too. Join a marathon, 10K, 5K or walk in your area for some extra motivation.

6. Listen to your favourite music and enjoy the alone time. While some enjoy exercising with friends, others appreciate the time alone with their headphones that exercise can offer.

Source:  The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research

Registrations are now open for athletic events right around the country. See what’s happening in your State on our Participate in an Athletic Event page>

In Australia each of the State Parkinson’s Organisations provide support services for people living with Parkinson’s and may be able to refer supporters to specific Parkinson’s exercise programs. To access this support call 1800 644 189. Alternatively you can make contact via the Parkinson’s Australia website.