How can I motivate myself to exercise?

Exercise can be as important as your medication to help you take control and manage your Parkinson's symptoms. Doing anything more than you are already doing can help.

Here, Specialist Physiotherapist Fiona Lindop shares her tips on how you can motivate yourself to get exercising and overcome some of the barriers that might be in your way.

1
"It's easy to keep putting it off."

Make the decision to do exercise the night before and lay the clothes out you are going to exercise in. That way, when you wake up in the morning, you don't need to think about what you need, you can just get dressed and get on with it.  

2
"I don't want people to see me exercising."

Remember, no one has to see you exercising. You can do an online video, or if you are joining an online class, you can switch your camera off.

There are lots of online exercise videos you can do at home at your own pace on YouTube.

3
"Without encouragement, I find it easy to give up on the exercise."

Find an exercise buddy. This could be someone you live with, or a friend or family member that lives miles away, it doesn't matter. You could agree to do the same activity every day and talk about how you did afterwards. Even if you are not physically together, you can still encourage or motivate each other.  

4
"I feel like it's too late for me to start exercising now."

It’s never too late to start exercising and anything more than you are already doing is a good start - even if it’s moving on the spot while you wait for the kettle to boil.

If you are exercising every day already, you might need to challenge yourself more to get out of breath, maybe a little bit sweaty and even feeling tired afterwards. So on a walk for example, could you manage to walk more briskly? 

5
"I know exercise is good for me, I just have no motivation."

Give yourself a reward after you’ve exercised - a piece of cake, a coffee with a friend - it can be anything as long as it keeps you motivated! 

    If your symptoms are more complex and you are just starting exercise, talk to a physiotherapist who knows about Parkinson’s for more advice and to plan the right exercise for you.

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    Hear more from Fiona about the best ways to stay active as well as other experts on our World Parkinson's Day livestream. 

    • Find out how to be involved in research and build your own research network with Parkinson’s research and engagement expert, Claire Bale.

    • Get the most from online and telephone appointments with advice from Parkinson’s nurse consultant, Dr Annette Hand.
    • Consultant neurologist Professor Bas Bloem tells us why the future of Parkinson’s treatments will see people as people rather than patients.