A group of people with Parkinson's doing exercise in a circuit, some are sitting down, others are exercising with exercise balls.

Exercise in Scotland

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People with Parkinson’s of all ages repeatedly tell us that exercise plays a huge part in the management of their condition.

Improving access to exercise classes is a top priority for our Scotland Development Team.

Exercise takes different shapes and includes dancing, Tai Chi, Nordic walking and singing as well as traditional gym and class based activities.

Establishing a national network

Parkinson's UK has increased its direct support for all sorts of classes across Scotland. But more than that, we're now establishing a national network of exercise providers who are all committed to improving services for people with Parkinson's.

More than 100 providers came to our exercise event in Perth in the Autumn and many more since have made it clear they want to work with us in developing a Scotland-wide programme.

"The response has been staggering," says Cathy Orr, Area Development Manager, "there's a real appetite among physiotherapists and other providers to learn more about providing services tailored for people with Parkinson's. From Shetland to the Borders people have approached us expressing their enthusiasm for becoming involved."

Following that event the charity is bringing therapists and people with Parkinson's together to build a Parkinson's Scotland Exercise Network. We're planning further events and exploring funding opportunities. Work will also be done with clinicians to ensure people are told about the benefits of exercise from the moment they receive their diagnosis.

Recruiting Exercise Ambassadors

We'll also be recruiting exercise ambassadors from the Parkinson's community and beyond to promote exercise. People like Janet Kerr and Alison Williams, stars of the Perth event, who painted a vivid and compelling picture of just how exercise has transformed their lives. No-one who heard them could doubt just how much of a difference exercise can make.

Cathy concluded: "Increasingly people tell us that exercise is every bit as important as medication in managing their Parkinson's. We're determined that the new network will make exercise work for everyone with the condition, regardless of age, ability or stage of Parkinson's."

To find out more about the development of the new national exercise network for Scotland contact Cathy Orr on 0344 225 9831 or at [email protected]