Joe Wicks and St Thomas’ Hospital launch Parkinson’s exercise video

Wednesday 7 June 2023

Photo of Carol Webb, Joe Wicks, and Milly Khan

Fitness coach Joe Wicks has joined forces with St Thomas’ Hospital to release a dedicated exercise video for people with Parkinson’s.

The online class comprises of ten different exercises, including a one minute ‘sit to stand’ challenge, all of which have been designed for people with Parkinson’s to take part in at home.

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that affects about 145,000 people in the UK. The main symptoms include slow movement, stiffness and tremor but it can also affect people’s walking, sleep and memory.

Research has shown that taking part in regular physical activity can positively impact patients’ symptoms, both physically and mentally.

Milly Khan, highly specialist neuro-physiotherapist at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said:

We were delighted to create an exercise video with Joe Wicks designed especially for people with Parkinson’s. Physical activity is a really important component of treatment for Parkinson’s, and the condition shouldn’t be a barrier to being physically active.

“It’s important that physical activity sessions contain components of aerobic fitness, strength training, balance and core control, and stretching. You don’t have to challenge these systems all in one go, spread them out throughout the week! We have tried to incorporate all these components in this video and recommend you complete them at your own pace. Physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean attending exercise classes several times a week, it also includes gardening and dancing. It’s important that you challenge your symptoms and you enjoy it.”

Joe Wicks said: “I’m so passionate about making exercise accessible for all people, no matter their ability. Taking part in regular exercise has many benefits not just for your physical health, but also your mental health. It was great to come down to St Thomas’ Hospital to hear more about how exercise can help people with Parkinson’s manage their symptoms and to create this workout video tailored specifically for them.”

St Thomas’ Hospital hosts exercise classes for patients’ with Parkinson’s in six-weekly blocks. While visiting the hospital, Joe took part in one of the classes.

Joe Wicks taking part in exercise class

Carol Webb, from Eltham in south east London, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2019 and has previously attended exercise classes at St Thomas’ Hospital.

Carol, 52, said: “Since being diagnosed with Parkinson's, I've found taking part in regular exercise like yoga really helps to keep my joints flexible. If I sit still for too long, my joints can feel stiff so it's good to keep moving. I found the exercise classes with Milly really helpful and, although tiring, it has given me the confidence to start a circuit training class locally - something I would not have thought possible previously. 

“During lockdown, my youngest daughter and I took part in Joe’s online PE lessons in our garden, so it’s been exciting to take part in this video alongside him!”

Milly Khan continued: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to Joe for coming along to St Thomas’ Hospital and not only creating this great video, but also taking the time to meet some of our patients and join in with one of our weekly exercise classes.

“Having this specially-created resource that people can do in the comfort of their own home will make a huge difference to not only the patients I see at St Thomas’, but those across the country.”

The exercise video for people with Parkinson’s is available free online on The Body Coach YouTube channel.

Last updated: July 2023

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