THERE ARE 2 MAIN TYPES OF EXERCISE THAT ARE VERY IMPORTANT IN ANY PARKINSON'S SPECIFIC EXERCISE PLAN.
1. Progressive Aerobic Exercise, which is any exercise that increases your heart rate. This is important for increasing blood flow up to the brain to improve brain health. See image below for more details!
2. Skill Based Exercise, which is any exercise where you are trying to get BETTER at what you are doing. Examples are playing a sport, amplitude based training (to move bigger and faster!), balance training, functional mobility (to do daily activities easier like get in and out of bed, down onto the floor and back up)! Skill based training improves the neural connections and circuitry.
"Neurons that fire together wire together"!
See below for options for both types of classes!
Progressive Aerobic Exercise
"Vigorous exercise should be accorded a central place in our treatment of PD."
-Dr. Eric Ahlskog MD, Movement Disorders Neurologist at Mayo Clinic
Cardio Challenge Class
In our experience, aerobic exercise can have profound effects on how people feel. Improving your general fitness often leads to improved energy, improved sleep, digestion, improved metabolism of exercise and more!
Many studies have been published which demonstrate the positive effects of exercise in people with Parkinson's. These studies utilize simple equipment such as stationary bikes and treadmills to complete the high intensity, progressive, aerobic exercise. Using this type of equipment is one of the best ways to complete endurance exercise and keep your heart rate up for extended amounts of time.
This class was designed to be very similar to research studies in terms of frequency, duration and intensity of exercise. Having access to different equipment allows for optimal safety, and allows people to use new and more challenging equipment as they improve their fitness levels!
This type of exercise could be completed on your own, but there are many barriers for individuals with Parkinsons, such as knowing exactly what to do, how to do it, and how to stay motivated. Signing up for a class is one of the best ways to increase your chances of being consistent and successful.
Monday, Wednesday & Friday 8:00-9:00am
Monday & Thursday 1:00-2:00pm
There is exciting research from the Cleveland Clinic about improvements in symptoms and brain health utilizing stationary bicycles. We utilize bikes, treadmills, ellipticals and even stairclimbers in our class!
Skill Based Exercise
In the PWR! Moves classes we do exercises that focus on essential skills that are often affected by Parkinson's such as posture, flexibility, balance, strength and functional mobility.
We do exercises in many different positions such as sitting, standing, on the floor on hands and knees, our stomach and on our back.
We have PWR! Moves classes for individuals at different levels of athletic ability from some super athletes who were recently diagnosed, to the super athletes who have had Parkinsons a long time and may use assistive devices or even a wheelchair.
All the exercises can be modified to accommodate previous injuries or mobility limitations.
After completing this class people report feeling looser and invigorated!
This class is a great intro for those who are just getting started with exercise!
Mondays 9:00-10:00 & 10:15-11:15am
Thursdays 9:00-10:00 & 11:30-12:30pm
Here we are doing a PWR! Up in the all 4s position! This is a great exercise for functional strength, flexibility and balance!
The PWR! Circuit class builds on the PWR! Moves by adding adding equipment, which in some cases increases the level of difficulty of the exercise, or in some cases provides support to allow you to do more, or do the exercise better then without that support.
The class starts with a warm up of walking and agility exercises. We then have ~10 stations set up and you rotate through, completing each rotation for 90 seconds. We finish up with a cool down and stretching.
There is a good amount of variety with the exercises. Each exercise focuses more on a different skill such as balance, flexibility, strength, agility, and functional mobility. We also incorporate cognitive and fine motor challenges to target as many symptoms as possible!
Class members report getting a great workout, this is one of our most challenging classes!
Tuesdays 9:00-10:00, 10:15-11:15am & 11:30-12:30am
Here one class member uses the sanddune stepper while doing squats for a high level balance challenge! Next to him another class member is utilizing the river stones to practice turning, balance and to work on ankle flexibility and strength.
Strength: body & mind
This is our newest addition!
There are a few types of exercise we are excited to try:
Our warm up will be yoga moves, which were shown in a study to improve bone density-which is a very important important, as people with Parkinson's are at increased risk of osteoporosis.
Next we will complete strengthening exercises, with added weight. A long term study has been conducted demonstrating strengthening exercises to be effective and safe!
Stress reduction is a very important part of any Parkinson's wellness plan, therefore we want to make sure to incorporate it into our classes!!
Stress has been shown to reduce effectiveness of medication and may relate to progression of Parkinson's over time.
Meditation can be a little intimidating to get started with, but there are a number of studies now, showing the benefits for individuals with Parkinson's. There is a fascinating case study, a study looking at improvements in mood and cognition and one looking at improvements in brain activation! Practicing together helps you build confidence and experience to feel comfortable doing it more on your own!
PWR! in the park
Do you prefer to exercise outside? You are in luck!!
The PWR! Moves Class is similar to the PWR! Circuit Class, except it is outside at Mile Square Park!
We start with a walking warm up, we then complete a circuit of ~10 rotations to work on flexibility, balance, strength, posture, mobility, and fine motor dexterity!
We finish class with stretching and a cool down. Sometimes we even fit in a little meditation as seen on the right!
Cool down at the end of class, focusing on our breath :)
This is a more challenging class, which we recommend for those who are already participating in a PWR! Moves or Circuit class. The PWR! Moves & Circuit classes provide the foundation for improved movement, due to improved posture, flexibility and functional strength which allows for safe and successful participation in this more challenging class.
In this strength class we complete a warm up, a few rounds of strengthening activities using our own body weight, and in many cases adding hand weights and kettle bells. The goal of this class is to increase the weight used in these exercises to truly build strength and mass in our muscles! This means there is more rest in this class as well :)
Finally we end with conditioning (max effort!!) activities!
This class is taught by Anthony, who is a trainer here at Anytime Fitness. He has experience working with athletes and also provides personal training for individuals of all ages and athletic ability. We have collaborated in the design of this class.
In this class we get a great whole body workout! It is common to experience declines in strength and muscle size as we age (especially if you have Parkinson's), but we are doing our best to actually get stronger!
Boxing is a form of exercise which has been shown to be very beneficial for individuals with Parkinson's!
Boxing incorporates many important skills, such as agility, power, strength and big and fast movements!
It is also a great feeling to connect with a bag or catching mitt-you immediately can tell how strong you were!
Boxing is a great form of exercise for the emotional system too, it is very satisfying to work out some frustration and feel like you get some of you power back!
This class is taught in a small group format for optimal feedback and access to working with Anthony!
Anthony is a trainer here at Anytime Fitness and trains actual boxers as part of his work! He brings a lot of training experience and we collaborated in designing this class to combine his experience training boxers, with our experience designing exercise programs for individuals with Parkinson's.
Fridays 10:00-11:00 & 11:00-12:00pm
One of the best parts of class is sparring with Anthony. He takes you through different combinations which are both physically and cognitively challenging!