As part of the group's efforts to embrace new media, the Michael J. Fox Foundation yesterday hosted its first ever Google Hangout — with Fox himself answering select questions from hundreds submitted. 

The 51-year-old actor will return to television this fall in a yet-untitled semi-autobiographical comedy series on NBC, his first full-time acting gig since leaving the successful series "Spin City" in 2000. 

"I'm really excited about it," he said during the hangout. "What happened was that I devoted the last decade to working with the foundation and I was really tired after 'Spin City' and not familiar with the medication in a way that I am now — and I just burnt myself out. But over time, I did other shows and just realized that's what I do, and I just tried to put out a message of live for today and reach for your goals, don't be intimated by a diagnosis — and I realized that I needed to live by my own words and I wanted to act again. So I put it out there and I said I can do this — but the only thing I can't do is play someone who doesn't have Parkinson's."

Fox says that once he approached his return to acting from that angle, everything else just fell into place. 

"I think it's really audacious to do a show about a guy living with a diagnosis of Parkinson's and not making a big deal of it. Not playing soft music underneath it, and slow-motion, and 'oh, it's so tragic' — but just a guy who is a dad with three kids living in New York and trying to get back to his old craft; and I think it's good. I'm really excited about it."

When asked whether he's found relief from his symptoms from exercise, Fox agreed that it was helping, in particular a new regimen with Pilates. 

"I didn't exercise as much as I would have liked to or I would recommend others do for awhile, but then I got a big dog — and I mean a really big dog — and we'd go to the park for about an hour every weekend day and during the week," he said. "And he keeps me moving. And I do yoga in the summer and I golf and I just started Pilates, which I've found really helpful. A lot of times when I just want to ease the tension of symptoms, I react asymmetrically, I push against things with my feet and my hands — and that really steadies me. That's the essence of Pilates, that kind of pressure. So that's been really helpful to me."

Check out the full Google Hangout interview with Fox below.

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Michael J. Fox talks new show, exercise in Google Hangout
The actor who is battling Parkinson's disease says his return to television is meant to show others that you should never be intimidated by a diagnosis.