Alan Alda, 87, Opens Up About the ‘Crazy’ Exercise That Helps with His Parkinson’s Diagnosis
"I shake a little, but I'm good," Alan Alda said of his Parkinson's diagnosis
Alan Alda isn’t letting his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis hold him back from pursuing everything life has to offer.
The veteran actor, widely known for his leading role of Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H, appeared on the Today show on Wednesday, when he gave an update to audiences about his battle with the disease — and why he feels “like a kid” at the age of 83.
“I’m good,” Alda said on the NBC morning news show. “I shake a little, but I’m good.”
To maintain an active lifestyle and help hold back the progression of Parkinson’s, the star said that he regularly exercises.
“I work out. You can hold back the progress if you do a lot of specific exercises. So I do a lot of crazy things,” he shared.
Among the physical activities that Alda enjoys is boxing, juggling, tennis, swimming, marching and bicycle riding.
A unique one that he regularly does? “I march to [John Philip] Sousa music,” he said with a smile. “A lot of Sousa music going on all the time in my house.”
In July 2018, Alda appeared on CBS This Morning, where he revealed he was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder three and a half years prior.
Since he revealed his diagnosis more than a year ago, Alda said he is feeling “good.”
“I work so hard. But I guess that’s part of it. I feel like a kid because I’m working so hard,” said the actor, who stars in the upcoming film Marriage Story.
And those who work with Alda in his office have even dubbed him “the world’s oldest millennial.”
“That’s what they call me at my office because I’m very into computers and social stuff, you know,” said Alda, who hosts his Clear+Vivid podcast. “And my podcast. I’m very happy with all that stuff.”
Speaking with PEOPLE in January, Alda shared that he is in no hurry to slow down.
“I’m busy,” said Alda, who was honored with the 2019 SAG Lifetime Achievement Award. “I do occasionally do nothing and sit around. But I believe in doing everything in moderation, including moderation. So far it’s working.”
At home in New York City with his wife of 62 years, Arlene, Alda has applied his secret to life: “Adapt, adjust, revise,” he said. “Because the only thing you can be sure of is that everything is going to change.”
In 2015, Arlene noticed Alda’s arms weren’t really moving when he walked. And he began acting out his dreams while asleep. Both were early signs of Parkinson’s. Though he admitted the prognosis was at first “scary,” Alda immediately began educating himself on the disease.
Throughout it all, Alda insisted he is most grateful to have Arlene, with whom he shares three daughters, by his side.
“We still experience a kind of puppy love,” he said. As for what might be left on his bucket list, the grandfather of eight strives to just live in the moment.
“I really have never made plans for the future,” Alda added. “My life is more of an improvisation. I just try to make the best of what’s in front of me.”
Marriage Story, an Oscar hopeful, is set to hit Netflix Dec. 6 and select theaters Nov. 6.