The 4 P’s of a Parkinson’s workout

Husband’s sudden interest in Aquafit is all because of the sexy instructor.

The 4 P’s of a Parkinson’s workout

We , Parkies must have more impact and more involvement, not only in finding a cure but by being more in charge of our own day to day care.

To often we let our doctors and therapists design a program for us with out any involvement from us. We must get more comfortable with providing them with our own information. It happens to often that the health experts lead us down a path designed for the many and not a path for us, the individual.

We can start taking charge by using what I like to call the “4Ps” and use the 4Ps every time we work out.

We have all heard the phrase “Practice makes Perfect”.

However that phrase is one of the biggest myths one may hear.

Practicing something wrong over and over, does not make one better. It just makes them better at doing it wrong.

Too often we get caught up in the theory that being physically active is what an exercise or therapy program is all about.

Parkinson’s takes its toll on not only our Physical skills but our Mental, our Visual and our Oral skills as well So in order to maintain a “perfect practice makes perfect” agenda we must realize that these are fundamentals that need to be constantly worked on.

Any Parkinson’s work out plan must use the combination of body movement. mental complexities, visual acuity and oral communication.

The outside observer can sometimes become so fixated on the physical movements of a drill, that the movement looks like the participant is actively engaged in the drill. However that engagement may be limited if it only involves the Physical component.

People with Parkinson’s can experience OFF moments at any time and if a drill is not working for them in one aspect they may still benefit from the drill by incorporating one or all of the other three.

In order to do this we must use the “Work smarter, not harder approach.”

We may achieve this approach by understanding and using the 4P’s

1: Purpose – before the start of each workout and drill we must ask ourselves a number of questions. What is the purpose of the drill? How can I get the most out of the drill? How can each drill make me better than I was before? How can I use this drill to get better every day? ***** The purpose of each work out and drill is to not only make us stronger physically but mentally, visually and orally as well.****

2: Precision – Since perfect practice makes perfect. It only makes sense that we strive to be as precise as possible. Most drills have a starting point and ending point. A target that we visually can focus on. This is where our Vision plays a role. Vision provides the brain the visual cues needed so that the brain can command the body to respond physically. Visual attachment and reducing Visual Resets can enable us to move easier by adding visual clarity to our movements. **** Actually Vision probably is the most important aspect of any drill. As Vision tells us where we go, how to get there and what we do when we get there.****

3: Power – Power is another tool that aids us in precise movement. We should strive to be powerful in our actions. Using our voice is a way to aid us as well. Using our voice can help us memorize any pattern that the drill may incorporate. ***watch any Marching band drill team they use cadence as not only a way to march in unison to the beat, but as way to add power and precision to their steps.***

4; Patience – It takes time to achieve the benefit out of most drills. As the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” If you patiently follow the first 3 Ps, your confidence will grow over time. This confidence will assist you in being more comfortable about discussing how Parkinson’s is treating you with your Physio Therapist. Again this involvement will enable them to use their expertise to assist you down your own individual path.

So discuss the 4 Ps!

By using the 4 Ps in your work outs on a daily basis this will ensure the establishment of fundamentals and advancement or maintaining of skills. You can then display to those around you the most important P of all.


Published by Parkinson's My Super Power

My name is Ian Robertson, I was diagnosed with parkinson's May of 2012. I started taking medication May 2016. I am active. I run, I dance, I curl, I hike, I bike, I skate and I am a Instructor for hockey goaltenders I am self employed. I married in 1982 and have three children, and 8 grandchildren.

3 thoughts on “The 4 P’s of a Parkinson’s workout

  1. Great piece Ian!! Empowering and encouraging.
    As one of my leadership mentors used to say to us, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent.”


    1. Heather, I really don’t know where to start. As a parent you want to take charge. However, the support and companionship you will be able to provide,will depend on how much your son allows you to provide.

      That being said communication is vital, and must be two ways.

      The more you can get him to talk about it. The more you can talk about it with him.

      This dialog will hopefully make the acceptance of his diagnosis easier for him. While not liking it, Parkinson’s will be a part of his daily routine from now on.

      Parkinson’s will become a part of who he is. BUT it doesn’t have to define who he is!

      For me there was a sort of comfortibility in that. The more comfortable I was with Parkinson’s the more other people seemed comfortable being around me as well. These other people became teammates in my competition with this disease.

      This brought me a somewhat sense of normallacy to my life.

      There are episodes and days where Parkinson’s reaches out and tells me otherwise. Yet by having established a support network to draw on, those times are either fewer or for less duration.

      So communicate, communicate, communicate!

      This communication does not have to be about the disease. But you will find once it starts, the topics discussed will often lead back to the disease.

      There are just so many variables that one can’t touch base on them all.

      Sometimes, the best support you can give him, is the knowledge that you are there for him, when ever he needs you.

      Good luck and I wish you both well.


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