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Exercise - both physical and mental - is good for everyone, including people with Parkinson's! Check out the classes and other opportunities we offer in collaboration with a wide range of providers such as Age UK and English National Ballet.

Opportunities for exercise, therapy and learning

Exercise guidance from Parkinson's UK

Exercise guidance from Parkinson's UK

MoveMe - physio-led exercise classes

NEWMoveMe - physio-led exercise classes

Exercise and physiotherapy

Exercise and physiotherapy

Dance for Parkinson's (ballet class)

Dance for Parkinson's (ballet class)

Intensive physiotherapy in Italy

Intensive physiotherapy in Italy

Mindfulness for people with Parkinson's

NEW classes!Mindfulness for people with Parkinson's

Fighting Fit exercise programme

Exercise guidance from Parkinson's UK

Our national body Parkinson's UK has recently updated its guidelines on exercise for people with Parkinson's (PwP).

There's a clear and informative web page for PwP, with animations and a video.

You may also find it interesting to look at their 2-page framework document, which is aimed at health professionals but is easy to understand.

Dance for Parkinson’s

For many of our members, a highlight of the week is their participation in the Dance for Parkinson's classes supported by Oxford City Council and led by a team from English National Ballet.

The classes have featured on BBC national news. They also appear in the wonderful half-hour documentary Parkinson's: The Funny Side, devised and presented by Branch member Paul Mayhew-Archer, which is permanently available on BBC iPlayer at this link.

Dance for Parkinson’s classes in Oxford have been supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery. You can find more, and see a video featuring our members, on the PPL website at this link.

Two short videos (one minute each) created for English National Ballet and starring Oxford Branch members are available hereand here. There is also a 7-minute video describing the project in more depth.

If you are interested in joining the classes, please visit Oxford City Council's information page.

Exercise classes and physiotherapy

Research consistently shows that exercise helps to reduce Parkinson’s symptoms as well as increasing fitness and reducing your risk of falling. More recently, strong evidence has emerged that regular vigorous exercise (enough to get you slightly out of breath) has especially beneficial effects.

Always check with your GP, physiotherapist, Parkinson’s nurse or other qualified health care professional before embarking on a new exercise programme, especially if it involves vigorous or strenuous activity.

Subsidised local classes: Big, Bold and Balance

Big, Bold and Balance is a physiotherapy programme designed for people with Parkinson’s and delivered by Age UK’s Generation Games service. Weekly classes run at several venues around Oxfordshire. A subsidy from Oxford Branch means that we can offer these classes for a suggested donation of only £3 per session.

To confirm exact dates please check the Generation Games programme, view our online calendar, or contact us.

In this 1-minute video, physiotherapist Jo Preston shares her enthusiasm for the Big Bold and Balance project and you can get an idea of what to expect.

Town Time Venue
Didcot Wednesday, 10.30am-11.30am Didcot Civic Centre, OX11 7JN (map)
Oxford Friday, 10.30am-11.30am
Seacourt Hall, 3 Church Way, Botley, Oxford OX2 9TH (map)

Specialist Exercise Classes near Oxford

ON Physio (Oxfordshire Neurophysiotherapy) run exercise classes specifically developed for people with Parkinson’s. All classes are held in a light and spacious studio in Worton Park, between Yarnton and Cassington, just north of Oxford. The classes are designed and led by specialist neurological physiotherapists with extensive experience in treating people with Parkinson’s, and with a particular interest in the management of Parkinson’s through exercise.

All class participants are reviewed on an individual basis before joining a class, to ensure all participants exercise effectively and safely.

There are currently 5 classes a week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.

Also offered: Pilates for Parkinson’s

Led by a specialist neurological physiotherapist and APPI certified Pilates instructor, who brings both these areas of her training together to improve your core strength, balance and posture in this small group exercise class.

Classes run weekly on Mondays at 10am.

For further details on any of these classes please email

MoveMe: physio­therapist-led group exercise

These group exercise classes, promoted by our good friends at Parkinsons.Me, are based on the high-intensity PD Warrior ® commercial programme but are led by an NHS physio­therapist.

For more information about the programme and details of how to register, visit the MoveMe page on the Parkinsons.Me website.

Parkinsons.Me has joined forces with the NHS Trust and is hosting a physiotherapy based exercise class near Wantage. We’ve called the classes MoveMe: they take place at the Loyd Lindsay Rooms in Ardington (OX12 8PS) and by Zoom on alternate weeks.

What is MoveMe?

It's an exciting group exercise programme for people with Parkinson's led by a physiotherapist who also works for the Physical Disability Physiotherapy Service (PDPS. It is based on the principles of PD Warrior ®.

Jo Preston delivers the class, supported by a qualified assistant.

Physiotherapy in Italy

Several of our members have attended the one-week intensive course at the European Parkinson Therapy Centre in northern Italy, with encouraging results. To find more you can visit the Centre's own website, and read this report from Martin Cowell and Nick Wrigley who attended courses there a few years ago.

The Branch can now offer grants for up to 20 people to attend, making it more affordable. This report, from Sally and Paul who also did the course at the centre a while back, includes details of how to apply for a grant using the application form which you can download here. Please feel free to discuss it with the Chair or Treasurer (details on our committee page) before making any arrangements.

The Fighting Fit programme

A not-for-profit organization called Fighting Fit operates a weekend programme for younger and working-age people with Parkinson's. You can find all about it on their website.

Mindfulness for People with Parkinson's

An Introduction to Mindfulness for Parkinson’s

Thanks to the efforts of mindfulness teacher Azizë Stirling and support from social enterprise Community Based Mindfulness CIC, Azizë is now able to offer a free introduction to mindfulness for people affected by Parkinson’s.

Details are available in the leaflet that you can view or download here. Alternatively you can contact Azizë directly by email:

The impact of mindfulness classes
As described in our September 2021 meeting, Azizë has been running online mindfulness classes throughout the pandemic and beyond, with impressive results. You can read her detailed reports, with extensive first-person evidence from participants, at this link on our website.

More about mindfulness

Azizë writes:

Research is showing that stress is seen to have a significant role in neuro-degeneration and depression in Parkinson's disease. Some studies find that non-motor symptoms like depression, anxiety, emotional dysregulation, cognitive impairment, and apathy, can have a far greater impact on disease progression and health related quality of life than motor symptoms.

It can sometimes be hard to recognise the stress in our lives, as in today's world it is part of the air we breathe. Mindfulness can teach people how recognise stress. A programme in mindfulness can give us the time we need to step outside the lives we lead - time for just being. Time for learning new life skills and consolidating old ones. Time to develop a less reactive way of being, and to develop a kinder and wiser way of relating to what life throws at us. It starts from the premise that we all experience distress and discomfort and all have the capacity for joy and well-being, even in the midst of challenge and difficulty.

Further information

You can listen to a talk on mindfulness by Prof. Mark Williams at this link on our website. The Mental Health Foundation's website provides a reliable resource for mindfulness information, and Prof.Williams recommended it as a way to find well-trained accredited teachers.

Here is a link to an article written by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the person credited with starting the secular mindfulness movement, on the event of the All Party Parliamentary Committee's report Mindful Nation on the policy implications of mindfulness. You can find the original report here.