How to Sneak Exercise into a Parkinson’s Day


What seems impossible today will one day become your warm up.

I got delayed in a post office line recently. The customer ahead of me was mailing a package to Italy with address issues. Within seconds, I knew the transaction was going to be time-consuming. But I needed to stay to mail an eBay order. As the minutes ticked by, frustrated customers dropped out of line. Others were on their phones or muttering to themselves. I was exercising!

My Light Bulb Moment

My “light bulb moment” as I waited for my turn was a result of what I do while brushing my teeth. I stand on one leg and alternate to the other as I brush. My electric tooth brush stutters after two minutes. I can anticipate when I near the one minute mark and switch legs. Or reach for the goal of standing on one leg for two minutes. (Which by the way I can do without support!) The vanity provides stability if I ever need to lean on it. Single leg balance exercise has improved my posture and increased my leg strength.

So as I was frozen in the post office line, I thought, why not stand on one leg? I have a bar along the waiting line where customers place packages. If necessary, I can lean against it and stay safe. The seventeen minutes before my service turn passed calmly. I returned home feeling clever!

Exercise is Parkinson’s Medication

I understand the importance of exercise. In fact exercise is a medication for Parkinson’s. Evidence-based research shows exercise can slow the progression of the disease. But I do not always get enough exercise.  Doing single leg balance routines is a sneaky way to work exercise into my daily activities. By doing so,  I am also multi-tasking which is good exercise for the neuroplasticity of the brain.

Exercising while waiting can be coupled with a variety of daily activities. Since it is  fun and a change of pace, I am more apt to do it. I have balanced on single leg in a cashier line when I have a cart for support. It works in the kitchen when I have counter support while I am waiting for tea to brew. Brushing my hair, hugging Joe… get the picture! Just be creative and you will discover opportunities in your daily life.

A shopping cart provides support if I wobble.

Easy-Peasy. Let’s go for 2 1/2 minutes!

If you are new to this type of exercise, I recommend you consult a physical therapist. Go slowly and be safe. Always have a chair or counter or some form of support that you can lean on or touch with a finger if needed. I recommend viewing this excellent less than one minute video on how to do the single leg balance.

Most people do not notice what I am doing. But when someone asks, I simply say, ”This is one way I maintain balance, improve posture and keep from falling.”

Question to Ponder:  How do you motivate yourself to exercise?  I would love to hear your tips in the comment section.




    • Sandy Franklin on September 14, 2019 at 6:44 am
    • Reply

    I admit I don’t do it every day, but I try. while still in bed I do as many leg exercises as I can.

    1. Hi Sandy, That is a great way to sneak in some exercise! My physical therapist showed me how to do a lumbar rotation stretch in bed. Lie on back with arms stretched out from shoulders, bend knees and then lower knees to one side as far as you can and still maintain stretch. Repeat on other side. It is a pleasure to meet you.

    • Sandy Franklin on September 14, 2019 at 6:55 am
    • Reply

    I’ve tried to enter my email address several times to the article 7 ways to make your life better. It just keeps saying unable to sign in help

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