Tips to Live Your Best Life While Living With Parkinson’s Disease

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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If you’ve been feeling down in the dumps lately, the solution to feeling good again might be simpler than you think.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I did everything I could to have an easier labor than I did with my first one. I walked every day, pushing myself up various hills and covering at least 3 miles each time. I strived to accomplish this at least three times a week. 

When I exercised while pregnant, I found that I wanted to eat better. Exercising affected me mentally (for the better), and I started eating more healthily, not wanting to undo the good I had done to my body by exercising.

I found that this also happened when I started exercising with Parkinson’s disease. I wanted to eat a healthy diet. When I ate better, exercising became increasingly important to me. I found that one mindset fed into the other.

To give you the best opportunity to live your best life with Parkinson’s, I want to share a few tips that have helped me feel and live better with this disease.

Get going!

The first is that you must start moving. Someone said that exercise is the best drug available for a person with Parkinson’s, and it’s true. For exercise to be beneficial for Parkinson’s, strive to get the heart rate up and use what is termed “BIG movements,” part of a therapy program of the same name.

Eat right

In terms of eating better, get rid of the stuff that makes you feel bad mentally, emotionally, and physically. Sugars and processed foods will do this. They can increase the tiredness you already experience from the disease, as well as intensifying the blue mood you may be fighting already. Getting rid of the junky food will not only help you to start feeling better physically, you’ll also find that mentally and emotionally you’ll start to notice a change for the better.

Whenever you can, choose organic foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that are considered “cleaner” than others, based on the trace level of pesticides found on them. These include avocados, sweet corn, pineapple, sweet peas, onions, papaya, eggplant, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, cauliflower, cantaloupe, broccoli, mushrooms, and honeydew melon. 

Have a cup of fruit ready to enjoy when you come in from your walk or after you have finished exercising. You will feel better in more ways than one, and we all know feeling better when you’re living your best life with Parkinson’s is a very good thing.


Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


Shannan avatar


How do I incorporate any exercise when my balance has gotten so bad following Bilateral DBS 2 years ago in Oct 2019 - STN(?) target and then left brain revision last year Oct 2020 - GPI (?) target, it's gotten worse with each surgery. I cannot walk up or down steps without holding onto something...walking up my right leg usually at some early point will just keep going up and I will fall back. My foot and ankle Dystonia in my right leg has moved into my knee where it just won't bend so I'm dragging my foot a lot in addition to my right toes least I'm not walking on the outside of my foot. I'm young onset too...just turned 40, diagnosed just before my 34th birthday, symptoms started as early as 30,maybe earlier. I hear it all the time that exercise can slow down progression and I just don't know where to start with my balance issues and walking issues in general...I slam into walls losing my balance, my right foot will start to pull left as I'm walking and I find myself spinning in a circle to the left trying to regain my's a mess! And I don't know what to do!

Susan Hall avatar

Susan Hall

I couldn’t agree more! I was diagnosed in 2018 and my disease has remained “status quo” for nearly 3 years. I walk 2 miles 4 to 5 times a week, go to the r gym and ride the stationary bike for 30-40 minutes 3 times a week, and do stretching and weight exercises for legs. I also do Big and Loud routine several times a week. When I do even some of this I feel great and have a good level of energy!


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