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Personal Training For Parkinson’s Disease

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Parkinson’s Disease Exercises: Brain and Body

I currently work at Westbank, a charity that helps improve the health of communities across Devon. Westbank offers personal training and activity programmes, and works closely with local GPs and health professionals who can make exercise referrals to us.

I have been given the opportunity to work with a number of people living with Parkinsons, creating safe and effective fitness programmes, tailored to their needs. Ive always been passionate about helping people of all ages and abilities and I am a strong believer that everyone can benefit from some form of exercise.

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

If You Could Give One Piece Of Advice To People Living With Parkinsons What Would It Be

Keep moving! Give 100% every day. Sometimes that might mean you march in place for two minutes and stretch to the ceiling 10 times sometimes it might mean you can practically run a marathon sometimes, its somewhere in between but no matter what, dont give up and just keep moving.

Jen Larsen is a personal trainer living in the San Fransisco Bay Area who specializes in working with people with Parkinsons. If youre interested in learning more about Jen and the work she does, you can reach her at jen.larsen@me.com.

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How Can Personal Training Benefit Someone With Pd

Exercise has been proven to have great benefits in Parkinsons Disease. It can help decrease stiffness, decrease and prevent depression, improve balance and strength, and it provides the potential to slow and prevent the progression of physical and cognitive decline through neuroplasticity. A trainer can provide you with the exercise tools such as aerobic, resistance, and skilled training that can help.

Moving For Better Balance

Parkinsons Disease Physical Therapy Interventions

Cost: Free

These two instructional videos — part I is 10 minutes and part II is 5 minutes — are taught by a Jamestown New York YMCA staff member using the “Moving for Better Balance” approach, an evidence-based fall prevention program.

Cost: Free

This 30-minute video is a personal account by Michael Weiss, a person with Parkinson’s. In it he shares stretches, breathing, and physical exercises he has compiled for himself. Exercise demonstration begins 8-minutes into the video and include toe lifts, leg swing, leg lift, knee circles, hip circles, squats, arm stretches, arm twists, shoulder stretches, chair push-ups, bicycle legs, toe touches, chopping wood, conducting, dancing, and facial exercises.

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Do You Collaborate/communicate With Any Of Their Other Healthcare Providers

When my clients request it, I will speak with anyone on their medical team. I typically see my clients between one and four times a week. I have information and insight that can be useful to the other care providers who see my clients less frequently, so I also work with some of my clients doctors to implement their fitness prescriptions. I also receive referrals from physical therapists when its time for their patients to transition from physical therapy, which ensures that the client maintains the progress they have achieved and continues to work in a way that prevents future injury.

Clinical Trials Of White Light:

Bright vs dim light

Bright light therapy is being compared to dim red-light therapy delivered twice daily. Outcome measures include an assessment of excessive daytime sleepiness and a general scale of non-motor symptoms in PD.

SunRay light boxes

This trial will also compare bright white vs. dim red light stimulation, with light to be administered via the SunRay light box. Outcome measures include assessment of sleep and fatigue.

DayVia lamp

This trial will compare bright light vs control light. The outcome measures will be United Parkinson Disease Rating Scale scores.

Within the DB RCT for Specialized Phototherapy trial, double-blinded and randomized comparing the Celeste device to a control light. PDQ 39, a measurement of quality of life, will be the primary outcome measure. Other endpoints will be UPDRS scores of motor and non-motor symptoms. This trial has not started yet.

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How Hard Should I Exercise If I Have Parkinson’s Disease

A rating of perceived exertion is a good way to measure intensity. On a scale from 0 to 10, 0 would be how you feel while sitting or lying down, while 10 would be the maximum effort you can give. Building up to an effort between 5 to 8 means you are exercising at a high intensity. A good gauge is, if you can have a conversation with someone while exercising, you should probably increase your intensity.

Parkinsons At The Perfect Workout

Parkinson’s Disease Exercises: Focused Interval Training

Many of our members have been able to improve their conditions at The Perfect Workout, including Parkinsons.

One of our members, Sandie from McGaheysville, VA has early-onset Parkinson’s. She has days where she experiences more stiffness in her joints than others. Her trainer Melissa works with her as a team to assess how her body feels on each exercise.

We’re able to adapt each workout based on her energy level or her level of feeling, stiff joints or not. And she knows that no matter what by the end of the workout, she feels much stronger and she feels that that has helped her with some of her symptoms.

To learn more about exercises role in slowing Parkinsons disease progression, enjoy this presentation from Daniel M. Corcos, PhD, professor of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences at Northwestern University. Dr. Corcos answers many of the questions about how to combat Parkinson’s disease through progressive resistance exercise and endurance exercise.

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Shirley Ryan Abilitylab Adaptive Sports & Fitness Center


Anyone interested in participating in a specialized exercise program or becoming a Shirley Ryan Abilitylab fitness center member must have a medical form on file completed by their physician. You can or contact the Adaptive Sports and Fitness Center directly: 541 North Fairbanks, Chicago, IL 60611 | 312-238-5001 | https://www.sralab.org/services/adaptive-fitness

What Is Parkinsons Disease

According to the American Parkinson Disease Association, Parkinsons is a chronic neurological movement disorder. It worsens over time, and there is no cure. Symptoms include tremors, muscle stiffness or rigidity, bradykinesia , and nonmotor symptoms, including digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, depression and fatique.

Quiros has in fact, suffered with many of these symptoms, but the progress of her disease has been meditated by the thing that first brought it to her attention: Exercise.

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Managing Parkinson Symptoms With Strength Training

Parkinson’s Disease can affect anyone – males and females and at any age are at risk, although it is more common in older age.

Currently, one in every 340 people in Australia lives with Parkinsons Disease which makes it more prevalent than many cancers including breast cancer, leukaemia, kidney cancer and lung cancer.

Parkinsons Disease is characterised as a progressive degenerative condition of the nervous system, affecting the physical, psychological, social, and functional status of individuals. Parkinsons disease affects between 1-2% of individuals over 65 years of age, with approximately 6 million peopled affected worldwide.

Risk factors for Parkinsons disease include age, genetics, exposure to pesticides, head injuries and stress. Prominent signs of Parkinsons disease include rigidity, resting tremor, postural instability, slowness of movements, muscle weakness, impaired balance, reduced walking speed and step length , increased number of falls, fear of falling, depression and fatigue.

Falls risk increases significantly in individuals diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, research shows that 70% of those with Parkinsons disease fall annually, and 13% fall multiple times weekly. Increased frequency of falling can cause injuries, fear of falling and contribute to inactivity and a reduced quality of life.

Exercise & Parkinson’s Disease

Falls & Balance Classes at Kieser

You can learn more and find useful articles and resources on the Parkinson’s Australia website.

What Can Someone Expect From A Personal Training Session

Parkinsonâs and Exercise

Different things will influence what your personal training session will look like, including the stage of your condition. However, the main goal of each session should be to focus on compound movements , to help strengthen your upper and lower body.

One of the major advantages of working with a personal trainer is that they are able to adjust to and accommodate your needs. For example, you can choose the best time to have your session to fit it around your medication and any side effects.

They can also easily tweak your session from week to week depending on how you are feeling, to make sure you always get the most from each workout.

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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.

What Parkinsons Symptoms Can Improve From Exercise

Research has shown that exercise can improve gait, balance, tremor, flexibility, grip strength and motor coordination. Exercise such as treadmill training and biking have all been shown to benefit, along with Tai Chi and yoga.

Studies have shown that:

  • Engaging in any level of physical activity is beneficial for movement symptoms.
  • For people with mild to moderate PD, targeted exercises can address specific symptoms. For example: aerobic exercise improves fitness, walking exercises assist in gait, and resistance training strengthens muscles.
  • One study showed that twice-a-week tango dancing classes helped people with PD improve motor symptoms, balance and walking speed.
  • Exercise may also improve cognition, depression and fatigue. Research is ongoing in these areas.
  • People who exercise vigorously, for example running or cycling, have fewer changes in their brains caused by aging.
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    Live Large With Parkinson’s At The Countryside Y

    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: www.lsvtglobal.com 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.

    Why Might Light Therapy Work For Pd

    Exercises for Parkinson’s: Balance Exercises

    Research, primarily in animal models of PD, have investigated potential mechanisms by which light therapy might deliver positive effects on symptoms.

    Here are three theories:

    • Light acts directly to reset the bodys master clock. The system of circadian rhythms controls the aspects of human physiology that cycle as a function of time of day chief of which is sleep and wakefulness. Light, sensed by the eyes, is the key regulator of this system. The suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is a brain structure that is located behind the eyes, is the bodys master clock.

    Abnormalities of the circadian system are becoming an increasingly well-established non-motor symptom of PD. External light can potentially regulate the master clock that is not working properly. Interestingly, several studies have indicated that exposure to blue light is more effective than other wavelengths at resetting the circadian rhythm clock. Therefore, if manipulation of circadian rhythm is the mechanism by the light therapy exerts its effects on PD symptoms, it is possible that blue light might be the optimal one to use. Only one small open label study investigated blue light for PD symptoms. More research is therefore necessary.

    A special thank you to Dr. Aleksander Videnovic, Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, for reviewing this post.

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    Parkinsons Disease And Strength Training: Benefits

    Exercise is vital for improving balance, mobility and overall health in persons diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease . PD is the second most common neurological disease in the world. It is characterized by a deficit in dopamine resulting from a progressive loss of neurons in areas of the brain responsible for movement and coordination.

    Recently, literature has demonstrated that participating in strength training regularly can improve symptoms, make dopamine use more efficient and possibly even slow the progression of PD! In this article, we will look at why strength training has benefits specific to PD, and discuss ways to make it safe and fun.

    Why Exercise?

    Exercise is amazing because it changes the way our brain functions. Studies have shown that in people who regularly exercise, brain cells use dopamine more efficiently. This occurs because areas of the brain responsible for receiving dopamine signals the substantia nigra and basal ganglia, are modified. Exercise also increases the number of D2 receptors in the brain, meaning dopamine has more places to go. Additionally, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh were able to demonstrate that in animal models, exercise increased the amount of a neurotrophic factor called GDNF, which helps protect dopamine neurons from damage.

    Choose Strength Training

    Where to Start

    Tips for Exercising Safely

  • Make sure you hydrate! Drink water before, after and during your exercise to feel better and stay safe.
  • Parkinson’s On The Move

    Cost: Free

    Thirty-one archived workouts for those with Parkinson’s. Videos are sortable by level of difficulty, area of the body to focus on, and preferred position . Other pages on this website offer free recipes and articles about nutrition and PD.

    Also available is the Parkinson’s On The Move Exercise Library. This collection of 58 short videos each focus on stretching or strengthening a specific part of the body.

    Cost: Free

    Suzanne Chen leads 43-minutes of stretch and strengthening exercises for those with Parkinson’s. Equipment to follow along include an elastic band, light weights , a 8-9 inch soft ball , and a stable chair with no arms.

    Cost: Free

    Eight YouTube exercise videos for those with Parkinson’s, including four focused on neuromuscular integration, two total body conditioning and one seated strength. Most videos are about 30 to 45 minutes.

    Cost: Free

    Similar to Rock Steady Boxing in the US, this Australian app is available from Google play or the App Store is designed for early stage Parkinson’s disease. It includes 10 PD Warrior core exercises for free with upgrades and additional bundles available via in app purchases to customize your workout. Each exercise is demonstrated by a physiotherapist.

    Cost: Free

    Recordings of nearly 30 exercise classes that include a warm up, low/medium/high intensity exercises, boxing, dance, and cool down. There are also recordings of choir for PD classes and communications classes.

    Cost: Free

    Cost: Free

    Cost: $25.95

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    Parkinsons Training For Fitness Health And Wellness Professionals

    Online training program specifically designed to teach fitness professionals how to best meet the unique needs of PD patients

    The importance of exercise and physical activity for people diagnosed with Parkinsons disease has been well documented. Exercise produces many benefits including increased physical functioning , improved gait and balance, cardiovascular fitness, and overall better quality of life. As such, great strides are being made to make exercise a part of the standard treatment of PD.

    This on-line training program has been developed to assist fitness and health and wellness professionals so they may safely and effectively work with people with PD to develop exercise regimens that will support treatment of their symptoms and substantially improve their quality of life. It will also teach professionals about the signs and symptoms of PD and the important ways in which exercise can improve those symptoms, as well as how to describe common PD symptoms and clearly explain the benefits of exercise to those with PD.

    APDA has partnered with the Oice of Continuing Professional Education at Rutgers University in New Jersey to create this user-friendly program .

    The APDA Parkinsons Disease Training for Fitness Professionals is a 1-2 hour course with instructional videos. All of those who complete the training course will receive a certificate of completion.

    So Thats The Theory What About The Reality

    Personal Training

    At EMS Fitness weve been working with two elderly ladies with Parkinsons disease. Although if you met them you wouldnt know it. Neither is the type to take a challenge lying down and they have become some of the hardest working members of the gym.

    This is coming straight from the heart of me, Kieron . Ive been writing for EMS Fitness for four years now and in 2019 I became seriously involved in the HIIT classes and bootcamps where I met Anastasia.

    She is a force of nature. Often she would put many of us to shame with her dedication and although she wasnt throwing around the big lumps of iron like some of us she never let down the rep count and kept on slogging away.

    Anastasia´s Story:

    I was diagnosed in January 2009 by Dr Trevor Pickersgill Consultant Neurologist. Diagnosis: Unclear/possible Parkinsons Disease.I didnt start medication for another year. I continued to use the GYM six days a week. I have always exercised most of my life and taken part in games or and competitions. Squash was /is a very fast game. It takes a lot of concentration during the game. Of course, all the training leading up to games.Parkinsons is a progressive disease and no cure, but exercise is a way of slowing down the disease. The endorphin rush after any exercise is a medicine worth the effort put into the physical activity.Of course, having personal trainer who actually understands PD is very important.

    Jenny´s Story:

    I would have never guessed.

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