Managing Parkinson’s

| Hillary Rotunda

It is Parkinson’s and Stress Awareness Month! With Parkinson’s Disease (PD) comes stress for both the one diagnosed and loved ones. It can cause sadness, denial, grief and much more. Depression can affect up to 50% of people living with Parkinson’s.1 Combating these feeling and symptoms of PD can be tough to navigate. Listed below are some strategies to help ease the worry that comes with this disease.

  1. Surround yourself with a solid support system. Loved ones often want to help but do not know how. Basic needs that may be exhausting such as driving, meal preparation or cleaning may become more overwhelming and tiring than they once were. Do not be afraid to ask for help with these tasks. There are also many support groups, helplines and podcasts that can help navigate through a new diagnosis. Click here to learn more.1
  2. Diet can make a huge difference. The foods you eat can help ease your symptoms.
    1. Limit sugar, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages as these can cause sleeplessness.
    1. Maintain bone density by including enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet.
    1. Drink plenty of water and consume fiber to help avoid constipation and discomfort.2
  3. Exercise is medicine! Moving everyday to maintain strength and balance can make a huge difference as symptoms progress. The Parkinson’s Foundation suggests:
    1. 30 minutes of aerobic activity three days a week such as walking, cycling, swimming, or aerobic class
    1. Strength training at least 30 minutes, 2-3 days/week focusing on upper and lower extremities with handheld or body weight.
    1. Two or three days of balance training. This should include dynamic balance, weight shifting or multitasking
    1. Stretching at least 2-3 days a week while using sustained breathing. This can be done before or after exercise as well!3
  4.  Look into non-medication ways to ease symptoms.
    1. Massage therapy has been shown to potentially relieve some effects of PD such as a resting tremor or muscle rigidity.
    1. Acupuncture is often used to treat Parkinson’s disease in other countries. It helps alleviate symptoms such as fatigue, poor sleep and even depression.4

Live Your Life can help with your Parkinson’s! From physical therapy to dietary services to acupuncture, we are here to help! Contact us today to get started with our team of experts!


Hillary grew up being active her whole life. After playing many sports, she settled on volleyball and softball, which she played through college at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. While at Concordia, she earned a double major in exercise science and nutrition. After she moved to the MN twin cities area after college, she earned her certified personal trainer certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine along with a certified strength and conditioning coach through USA weightlifting. She found passion in motivating people to reach their goals by finding a personalized nutrition and exercise plan that worked best for them. She has worked with clients 1-on-1, as well as small group classes. She looks forward to continuing to grow her knowledge base and help people achieve their health and wellness goals through Live Your Life!

In her spare time, Hillary can usually be found at the gym, playing volleyball, or coaching softball. During the summer, she participates in many sand volleyball leagues and tournaments. She enjoys Minnesota summer activities, such as rollerblading, kayaking, paddle boarding and swimming. She loves playing board games with her friends and family and trying any new recipe she can find.


  1. “Emotional Well-Being.” Parkinson’s Foundation,
  2. “Diet & Nutrition.” Parkinson’s Foundation,
  3. Pd Expertbriefing the Effects of Exercise … –
  4. “6 Medication-Free Ways to Feel Better with Parkinson’s Disease.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, 8 Aug. 2021, ,an%20adequate%20amount%20of%20sleep.

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