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HomeExerciseParkinson's Wellness Recovery Exercises

Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery Exercises

Parkinsons Home Exercise Program

Parkinson Exercise – Parkinson Wellness Recovery (PWR!) Overview.wmv

You dont need to join a gym or purchase expensive fitness equipment to stay active with Parkinsons disease. On the contrary, there are many great exercises that you can do from the comfort of your home, regardless of which stage of the disease you are in. Take a look at some great examples in the sections below.

Dance For Pd Instructional Dvds/streaming

Cost: vol. 1 DVD $29.99, vol. 2 DVD $59.98, vol. 3 $29.99 DVD, vol. 4 $24.99 stream or download , vol. 1, 2 or 3 streaming $23.99 each, full media bundle $120 .

Each volume is a complete class with movements that draw from ballet, modern dance, tap, jazz and improvisation to create accessible, stimulating dances for all.

Volumes 1 and 3 feature seated and standing dances, and a teacher is always on screen to demonstrate both seated and standing versions. Volume 2 is designed to be done seated. Volume 4 is the first all standing class, but can be equally enjoyed from a chair.

Cost: Free

In early 2019, trained and licensed Dance for PD affiliate, Pamela Lappen, posted a series of twelve 30-minute videos on YouTube using the Dance for PD exercise model. Between March and September 2020, she posted five more exercise videos .

Cost: $39.95 for book/DVD set

This exercise program includes categories such as wake up call, walking and balance, cardiovascular, strength, facial and vocal, and night-time stretching. Suitable for any disease stage, with many levels of difficulty. Designed by certified trainer and orthopedic surgeon with PD.

Cost: $39.95 for book/DVD set

Fifteen chapters are organized by activity of daily living, including getting off the floor, getting out of a car, getting out of bed, freezing, moving about in big crowds, and getting dressed.

Cost: Free

Cost: Free

Cost: $50/month

The Power Of Parkinson Wellness Recovery For Parkinsons Disease: Moves Gym And Surge

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Joseph Addison

It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. Socrates

Introduction: After developing LSVT BIG® for her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Becky Farley went on and started/founded Parkinson Wellness Recovery® . With PWR!, Dr. Farley created some excellent Parkinsons-specific exercises, which are named PWR!Moves®. There are four basic PWR!Moves , and they are performed with large amplitude, high effort, and attention to action in multiple postures . PWR! is more than just exercising, its really a philosophy to live your life better in the presence of Parkinsons. To learn more about PWR!Moves, .

Personal Disclaimer: I have no official relationship with PWR! however, I have been certified to teach PWR!Moves. Clearly, I am a big fan of both the exercise routines and the overall philosophy of PWR! for treating people-with-Parkinsons, just like me.

PWR!Moves exercises specifically target four skills shown by research to interfere with mobility in people with Parkinsons . .

To be fair, there are many other types of Parkinsons-directed exercise programs, including: Rock Steady Boxing LSVT BIG Dance for PD LIM Yoga Tai Chi for PD .

Medical Disclaimer: Please consult with your Neurologist before beginning any new exercise routine, like PWR!Moves or any other listed here.

Attitude determines how well you do it. Lou Holtz

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Where Can I Find Support If I Have Parkinson’s Disease And Want To Exercise

You can find exercise support in your community. For example, many gyms and community centers offer seated exercise classes for people who struggle with balance. Ask your healthcare provider for ideas if you have Parkinsons disease and want to exercise.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Exercise is an important part of managing Parkinsons disease. Talk to your healthcare provider about your exercise program and choose activities you enjoy so you stay motivated to get up and move every day.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/08/2021.


Live Large With Parkinson’s At The Countryside Y

The Power of Parkinson Wellness Recovery (PWR!) for Parkinsons Disease ...

Cost: Free

These two 25-minute exercise classes are designed for people with Parkinson’s. The exercises may be done seated or standing, supported by a chair. These videos were created in March/April 2020.

Purchase Info: or email

Cost: $28 for DVD or download $15/year streaming

Videos are designed for people with PD to use as an adjunct to LSVT BIG treatment delivered by an LSVT BIG certified clinician. The videos can also be used during the month of therapy and after therapy as a motivation to practice and keep moving. Volume 1 contains standard exercises while standing. Volume 2 contains exercises adapted to seated and supine positions, plus a chapter for caregivers. Available in English, German and Japanese.

Purchase Info: Ohana Pacific Rehab Services, 808-262-1118, online

Cost: $24.50 for DVD $19.50 for book $40 for DVD and book

This program focuses on exercises, flexibility, and pragmatic solutions for walking, moving, falling, and getting up off the floor. Adaptive equipment is reviewed. Demonstrators have PD. Three levels of exercise shown. Designed by a physical therapist.

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Parkinson’s Is Different For Everyonewe’ve Researched It Pioneered Pd

We know each person with Parkinson’s is experiencing the disease and its effects differently.

That means we have to incorporate everything we know in order to build a program that’s effective for all people with PD.

For more than a decade, we’ve been training PWR!Moves Certified Professionals across the United States and the world.

Now, we’re sharing this expertise with you directly, and we’re thrilled to have you join us for the PWR! Virtual Experience.

“I always feel better after an exercise class – energized and less stiff.”

-Louise W.

What Type Of Exercise Should I Do If I Have Parkinson’s Disease

Exercise is a planned, structured, repetitive activity that is intended to improve physical fitness. There is no right exercise for people with Parkinsons. Everyones regimen will differ, depending on overall health, symptoms and previous level of activity. Any exercise helps, and a variety of exercise types may provide well-rounded benefits.

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise involves activities that challenge your cardiorespiratory system such as walking, biking, running, and activities in the pool. Participating in aerobic exercise at least three days a week for 30-40 minutes may slow Parkinsons decline.

Strength training

Strength training involves using your body weight or other tools to build muscle mass and strength. Strength training two days per week, starting with low repetition and weight, may be beneficial in Parkinsons disease. A focus on extensor muscles, or muscles in the back of the body, can help with posture.

Flexibility training

Stretching two or more days per week can be beneficial to maintain range of motion and posture. Holding each stretch of major muscle groups for 30 to 60 seconds can improve muscle length.

Balance and agility training

This type of training often combines aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility training. Examples include:

  • Tai chi, yoga or Pilates.

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Neuroprotective Benefits Of Exercise

Neuroprotection is when your brain works to prevent the death of neurons, or brain cells. For people with PD, exercise is not only vital to maintaining balance, mobility and daily living activities, but it has the potential to have a neuroprotective effect.

The Parkinsons Foundation studied exercise as part of our Parkinson’s Outcomes Project study. Our Center of Excellence network believes that exercise is important to good outcomes in PD, and data supports that. Exercising enhances the sense of wellbeing, even across different disease stages and severities.

Can The Brain Change

Fitness Fridays: PWR! Moves (Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery Moves)

We know that in PD, neurons that produce the chemical transmitter dopamine are damaged and lost. There is a period of time between when the loss of neurons begins and when PD movement symptoms start to show. By the time most people are diagnosed, nearly 80 percent of their dopamine neurons are already gone.

During this period, the brain changes, compensating for the loss of dopamine neurons which occurs during the process of neurodegeneration. Scientists call this ability to change and compensate exercise-dependent neuroplasticity . This same process occurs throughout life in response to experience. As children learn motor skills, for example, their brain cells make new connections. This process continues through adulthood.

Exercise may affect the brain by driving this compensation, or plasticity. People with PD who exercise regularly can move more normally than those who do not. We believe that exercise may be contributing to neuroplasticity helping the brain maintain old connections, form new ones and restore lost ones. This may outweigh the effects of neurodegeneration.

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Exercise & Parkinsons Research

Exercise is good for the heart and the muscles, but exercise can actually change the brain. Establishing early exercise habits is an essential part of overall disease management, which is why neurologists now recommend exercise as part of most PD treatment plans.

People with Parkinsons who engaged in at least 2.5 hours of exercise a week had a better quality of life than those who didn’t exercise at all or started exercising later.

What Kind Of Exercise Can I Do If I Have Trouble Standing Or Walking

Even with advanced Parkinsons symptoms, you can still reap the benefits of some activities. If you have trouble walking or balancing, hold a bar or rail to exercise and stretch. If standing or getting up is tough, exercise and stretch in a chair or bed. Physical exercise performed in a seated position, such as biking on a recumbent bike can allow you to exert yourself in a safe manner.

Facial exercises may help combat difficulties speaking or swallowing:

  • Chew your food longer and more vigorously.
  • Exaggerate your face and lip movements when you speak.
  • Make faces in the mirror.
  • Sing or read out loud.

Mental exercises give your brain a workout and can improve memory. For example:

  • Name as many animals as you can in 1 minute.
  • Play brain games and do puzzles.
  • Solve math problems in your head.

You can also add activity in small bits throughout your day:

  • Park further away from stores so you walk longer distances.
  • Stretch or do leg exercises while watching TV.
  • Swing your arms more when you walk, and take long strides.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

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Class Varietyfrom Boxing To Yoga We’ve Got Something For Everyone

We have an ever-growing library of classes that includes Yoga, Tai Chi, Strength Training, and more. We spice it up with dance, drumming, and cognitive challenge specialty classes, and help cool it down with stretching and meditation offerings. We’re always adding new classes, so you keep having new fun!

Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery Program

Parkinson Wellness Recovery

This is an evidence-based, client-centered treatment program that uses exercise as medicine. Using this framework, Valirs PWR!Moves, Certified Physical Therapist addresses the key deficits of clients with Parkinsons to improve balance, movement, cardiovascular stamina and strength to increase independence and reduce falls. PWR!Moves group class instructs in the building blocks of function. This class is designed to teach people how to use high effort, large-amplitude movements and complete muscle activation. The emphasis is on learning how complete whole body movements feel and how to self-monitor everyday function such as:

  • Getting In/Out of a Car or Chair

  • Walking and Turning

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Brian Grant Foundation Exercise Videos

Cost: Free

Cost: Free for 9 videos $29/month or $290/year for online streaming

The nine free classes include boxing fundamentals, HIIT , chair fit, tai chi, core, yoga, stretching/mobility. The free classes are 13 to 30 minutes. Classes are led by a physical therapist with Parkinsons specific certifications.

Paid classes incorporate PWR! Moves, cognitive dual task training, balance training, intensity training, and flexibility. For subscribers, new 20-25 minute videos are released weekly.

Cost: Free

Dance exercise class videos on YouTube. Each is fewer than 10 minutes long. Nearly 30 videos as of October 28, 2020.

Rachelle was featured at the Davis Phinney Foundation Victory Summit Albany in October, 2020. Watch an interview with Rachelle here, and Rachelle’s 25 minute Dance Beyond Parkinson’s Summit presentation here.

Cost: Free

Six seated dance exercise class videos on YouTube. Each is about one hour long. All are with the same instructor.

Cost: Free for 16 videos $50 for 100+ videos

Sixteen archived exercise classes are available for free viewing. Classes are designed to increase coordination, balance, flexibility, and strength through music and movement from a broad range of dance styles. 100+ archived classes and additional benefits are available for a $50 membership.

How To Exercise With Parkinsons

Whether you’re a first-time exerciser or a lifelong athlete, the key to working out with Parkinsons is to safely and regularly move your body in a variety of ways. Your fitness regimen should include these four main categories of exercise:

  • Aerobic activity
  • Balance, agility, and multi-task exercises

People with Parkinsons should strive to perform aerobic activity at least three times weekly and to complete exercises from the other categories two to three times each week.

In total, the Parkinsons Foundation suggests performing 150 minutes of moderate tovigorous exercise weekly.

To help you achieve this goal, try these helpful tips:

  • Invest in a treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike. This will make it convenient to perform aerobic exercise from your home, regardless of the weather.
  • Obtain a set of light hand weights from a local exercise shop or thrift store. These can be used for a wide variety of strength training exercises.
  • Follow along with one of the many online exercise classes on YouTube that are tailored to people with Parkinsons disease. The Parkinsons Foundation and the Davis Phinney Foundation offer many great online exercise videos.
  • Connect with a workout buddy by finding a local Parkinsons support group associated with the American Parkinson Disease Association

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More Than 6000 Pwr Trainers And Virtual Classes Make The Program Accessible Around The United States

In addition to individual and group exercise options, PWR also offers rehabilitation services and interventions that address other aspects of wellness, such as nutrition and stress management.

Part of our vision statement is that we want everyone with Parkinsons to have access to this type of cutting-edge and integrated care thats what were trying to do as an organization, says Farley.

Toward that goal, the organization offers PWR training to physical therapists, as well as other fitness and exercise professionals, about how to target specific exercises to address individual PD symptoms, which can be customized for each persons needs and skill level.

We make the exercise and rehabilitation Parkinsons-specific, based upon the clients motor, cognitive, and emotional symptoms. It is comprehensive we want to address all of those pieces, because all of those things contribute to their functional decline and motor deterioration, says Farley.

So far, more than 6,000 therapists and exercise specialists around the United States have completed PWR training. The organizations website offers a searchable directory by ZIP code to help people locate the closest PWR-trained professional.

Theres also a that offers people with Parkinsons an opportunity to try out classes virtually and learn about the program, she says.

Functional Skill Training Can Help People With Pd Navigate Life


PWR also emphasizes what it calls functional skill training, which not only helps people with PD perform specific tasks and movements but also can improve quality of life. If you cant go out and walk with your dog, engage in your favorite sports, and do the hobbies you enjoy, then those are the things you need to practice. We call it functional skill training, and we make it more like life, says Farley.

The program doesnt just focus on one specific movement or set of protocols, says Farley. You can achieve this in 100 different ways its really about challenging people both physically and cognitively. And the more closely the exercise relates to moving in everyday life, hopefully, the more applicable and helpful it will be out in the world, she says.

These exercises, which often focus on mobility and balance, have been shown to improve cognition, she says. Cognition is the ability to move in complex environments, and thats what is hard with Parkinsons. Its one thing to get up at home and walk to the living room, but its another to walk across a crowded gym or a shopping center: Thats a cognitive challenge, says Farley.

Functional training not only helps people with PD improve their ability to solve problems and negotiate complex environments in some cases, they also experience improvements in mood and sleep, notes Farley.

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Benefits Of Exercise For People With Parkinsons Disease

Exercise has been shown to have several significant benefits for people with Parkinsons disease. These helpful effects seem to stem from two specific neurological changes that occur when you work out:

  • The release of a chemical called dopamine: This positively impacts your movement, mood, and sensation of pain.
  • Growth and change in the cortical striatum:This is an area of the brain that controls your voluntary movements.

These two exercise-related changes can result in many concrete advantages for people with Parkinsons, including:

  • Improved balance
  • Reduced sleep disruptions

Pwr Can Inspire Hope And Help People With Pd Feel Better Emotionally

When people with Parkinsons disease experience individualized goal setting, rehabilitation, and exercise programing, it often changes their disease trajectory, says Farley.

Of course, there are concrete physical improvements: They start to walk better and balance better and do things again that they had stopped doing, but to me the most important thing is that they actually feel better emotionally it changes how they live with Parkinsons, she says.

The program can help people realize that they still have control over some aspects of their lives, and that can inspire hope, says Farley. Quality of life, hope, resilience those things can come back when the individual realizes that the diagnosis doesnt mean that they cant enjoy life.

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