National Fitness Day is a great opportunity for more people to get active and try something new. We've found some inspiring stories from people with Parkinson's who are getting active and feeling the benefits.
If you have Parkinson's, being active can be one of the best ways to improve your physical and mental wellbeing, and live well with the condition.
National Fitness Day is a campaign to help more people get active and find something they enjoy doing. We want to celebrate the day by encouraging everyone in the Parkinson's community to try a new physical activity, push yourself in your current activity and explore what else is on offer in your area.
We've been speaking to the Parkinson's community about the importance of being active with the condition and getting some tips on things you can do to live well with the condition.
Gym bunnies and YouTube workouts
Kimberly has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's and she enjoys a mix of different activities to help her stay active.
"This summer I've been travelling a lot and that's meant being away from my gym, but I've still been active using the many free HIIT and Tabata workouts on YouTube.
"There are lots of them to keep things interesting and you can specify with or without equipment or jumping, as well as length. This helps me stick to my routine and stay active."
Visit our physical activity resources page to discover great ways to get active at home, plus lots more useful advice.
Sheila manages her Parkinson's by taking regular trips to her local gym, where she's become part of a Parkinson's 'gym bunnies' group.
"I really enjoy the classes and I attend every week. Since starting, I've noticed a big improvement, particularly when I'm walking. Previously, I would need 3 breaks when I was walking around the supermarket, but I no longer need to stop.
"At first I couldn't complete the class, but now I'm able to finish the class and stay for the gym session as well. The exercises have improved my fitness and are helping me with everyday activities".
Check out our partnership with Everyone Active who offer free membership to people with Parkinson's.
Improving balance with boxing
Non-contact boxing is an activity that's growing in popularity across the UK and the strength and coordination needed make it a great high-intensity option for people with Parkinson's.
In Blackpool, the local council are delivering their own non-contact boxing programme which is helping the local Parkinson's community to improve problem areas such as balance, coordination and strength.
Susan is one of the Blackpool participants with Parkinson's who is starting to feel the benefits that 'neuro boxing' has to offer.
"Since I started the neuro boxing classes I've been able to increase my fitness and improve my coordination, plus the punch bag is a great way to take any frustrations out!
"I would definitely recommend any form of exercise as it promotes a sense of well-being and brightens your mood."
Being active across the nations (and the world!)
Graham was a keen road cyclist for many years before being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2017. Since his diagnosis, Graham has been able to start indoor cycling again, thanks to the Zwift app which has allowed him to cycle various international courses virtually.
"All the Zwift rides I do are organised by people from a Parkinson’s Facebook group. And it doesn’t matter what your ability is, an elastic band effect keeps you all together. You can go at your own pace."
"Time just flies by when I take part in these events and it can really make a difference, not just for my fitness and mobility, but the social side also improves my mental health. I have only been cycling with the group for a few months but my motivation and fitness have improved and I have made friends from all over the world."
Jo is an activity provider in Scotland who runs Parkinson's Beats sessions, a music group with a difference.
"I've helped to introduce Parkinson’s Beats to the Parkinson’s community in Scotland. It's all about energetic exercise drumming which can have so many benefits, not only does it help to lift your mood, but it's really accessible and a great way to stay fit when you live with a long term health condition."
A Zoom subscription helps Bill to lead an active life with Parkinson's and he puts his success down to the availability of online workouts and the Movement to Music class that he does in his home in Northern Ireland.
"The idea of an online seated exercise class might sound a bit unusual, but I've found that the Movement to Music class is so beneficial and practical for keeping active when you have Parkinson's.
"The music is carefully chosen to match the age of the participants, the movements are natural and we have a brilliant teacher. My first experience of Movement to Music was a trial session and I really enjoyed it.
"I've been living with Parkinson’s for the past 14 years and I feel like there is so much more available for people to get active. The arrival of Zoom and other online meeting tools make it so much easier for anyone living with Parkinson's to get active and I can't recommend it enough."
We want everyone living with Parkinson's to enjoy an active lifestyle and to live well. On National Fitness Day there's never been a better time to get active and stay active with Parkinson's.
Getting active with Parkinson's
Whether you need help to get started or want some inspiration for a new activity, we've got information and support to help you get active and stay active.