Getting the body moving for some people with Parkinson’s can be challenging.  For people with Parkinson’s it’s called being in an on or an off state.  This can happen for a number of different reasons.  Medication timing can possibly help you move better, decrease your symptoms and be in an on state more often.  Timing of your medication can set yourself up to move your best with Parkinson’s. Being in an on state for people with Parkinson’s can help one live a better quality of life. I’m going to share with you a number of different reasons why this happens and how to get in an on state more often so you can move better, live better, and decrease your symptoms.  When I’ve gone to clients houses who have difficulties with getting their body moving I look for some key factors.

Is the person taking their medication regularly and in the right dosage?

This is a very important part of keeping the body in an on state and decreasing your Parkinson’s symptoms.  You would think that everybody takes their medication in the right amounts every single day that the doctor recommended.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen all of the time.  I’ll share with you some instances of when people haven’t done that and how it’s affected them.

Take the recommended dosage of your Parkinson’s medication

I started training a 95-year-old lady with Parkinson’s.  She wasn’t moving very well and had a hard time getting her body going.  The doctor prescribed her to take  1 Sinemet three times a day.  They decided not to do that and tried to have her take some supplements and only give her a half a pill a couple times a day. I  was wondering why she wasn’t moving well. I asked about how much of her Parkinson’s medication she was taking.  When I found out, I suggested giving her the one pill three times a day as the doctor suggested.  Once she started receiving the dosage the doctor prescribed she started moving better, being in an on state more often, and decreasing her Parkinson’s symptoms.

Keep track of when you are in an on and off state

I’ve had a couple of clients who weren’t moving well when I went to their houses. I asked them when they took their Parkinson’s medication last.  It turned out to be a while ago.  My thought was that the Parkinson’s medication had worn off in their system and they went back to being in an off state.  I suggested them to take the medication to help get their body in an on state.   Being in tune with when you are in an on or off state is good to keep track of.

Time your medication when you want to move

I found it also important and beneficial to time your medication also for when you want to move.   If I have a client who has a challenge getting into an on state, I have the client get their medication 30 minutes to 45 minutes before I come.  A person who has Parkinson’s who has difficulty walking and moving will probably spend a lot of time sitting or lying down.  I want to make sure the medication is in their system when I am focused on getting their body moving so I can have the best session possible with them.  If you’re going to do an exercise program or do something that requires a lot of movement it will be good to time it with your medication to the best of your ability so you can be in an on state to get your best movement.

Timing Your Medication So You Can Improve Your Agility

Making sure you are in an on state can help with improving your agility with Parkinson’s.  Becoming more agile can help you change directions easier and quicker as well as move faster.

Remember to take your Parkinson’s medication 

I got to a clients house one day and was wondering why he wasn’t moving well.  I asked him if he had taken his Parkinson’s medication and he said he forgot.  I got his house around 3 o’clock in the afternoon.   The last time he took his Parkinson’s medication was in the morning.  He went to a doctors appointment and forgot to take his medication.  When I started working with him, he was wondering why he wasn’t moving well.  This I’ve seen happen with some of my clients.  It’s really important to stay on track with taking medication regularly and not skip doses.

Talk to Your Doctor if Necessary about Your Medication Options

People with Parkinson’s can have different responses to medication. Levodopa is used a lot for people with Parkinson’s. The on period for many people who take Levodopa is about three hours and one can plan accordingly. It’s great when it’s predictable, however that isn’t always the case. Over time the on state of people who take Levodopa can decrease and it may be worth exploring other medication options.

There are some options in medications one can talk to their doctor about to see if they can decrease their off time and increase their on time.

For some, motor changes seem to respond to Sinemet which is a controlled release form of levodopa. In some people it doesn’t work well and may cause other symptoms to get worse.

Dopamine agonists added to levodopa can decrease the time one spends off, but can come with some serious side effects like visual hallucinations and compulsive behavior.

An intestinal gel infusion of levodopa may be beneficial for people who are in an advanced stage of Parkinson’s. An injectable drug called Apokyn may be useful for people who have a very severe degree of this wearing off effect.


In summary, being in an on state can be increased through possibly timing when you take your Parkinson’s medication that your doctor prescribed.  Make sure to take your medication regularly in the right dosage that your doctor prescribed, communicate with your doctor if you are having issues, keep track of when you are in an on or an off state, and try your best to time when you want to move with your medication so you can be in an on state when you need it.