Has your doctor ever said, “Take two walks and call me in the morning?”
Maybe they should.
Exercise is absolutely essential for people with Parkinson’s. Moving your body increases dopamine, improves motor symptoms and balance and even your working memory and decision making. Nothing in a pill bottle packs a punch like that!
Physical exercise also:
- Slows the progression of Parkinson’s
- Decreases the pain associated with Parkinson`s
- Prolongs independent mobility (gait, balance, strength)
- Improves sleep and mood
- Improves non-motor symptoms (depression, apathy, fatigue, constipation)
Now that we’ve established how important exercise is to manage your Parkinson’s symptoms, you’re ready to choose an exercise and reap all the benefits, right?
But did you know there are fitness professionals specially trained to help people with Parkinson’s find the best exercise for you and help you get the most out of your movements?
It’s true. Thankfully, Parkinson’s Pointe employs fitness professionals with the experience and training to answer your questions, guide you through the movements, and keep you motivated to move for many years to come.
Below is a recent Q&A with Meredith Roberts Lo, founder of Parkinson’s Pointe and a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Q: What kind of specialized experience do you have?
A: I have been a practicing Doctor of Physical Therapy since 2005 with a speciality in neurorehabilitation and Parkinson’s specific movement.
My certifications and training includes Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery (PWR!, Parkinson’s Foundation Team Training, Clinical Instructor through the American Physical Therapy Association, and the Activator Course for Rehab Professionals.
Q: What kind of specialized training do Parkinson’s Pointe fitness professionals have?
A: All of our instructors have their discipline specific certification and
– Annual completion of “Build Your Parkinson’s Success Box for community fitness professionals” with me
– Each has completed mentorship programs with me and within their discipline
– All have taught at Parkinson’s Pointe for the past 3-8 years
Questions to Ask a Personal Trainer or Fitness Professional
As discussed above, specialized experience and training are important. A personal trainer with an interest in helping people with Parkinson’s understands whether different movements are accessible depending on your mobility, balance and current medical treatments.
If you’re interviewing a personal trainer or fitness professional, the following questions will be insightful:
- What led you to become a personal trainer?
- How familiar are you with Parkinson’s?
- Have you taken a continuing education course on working with people with Parkinson’s?
- How do you motivate people?
- How can you tell if your client is responding well to the chosen exercise?
- Have you worked one-on-one or taught group classes to people with Parkinson’s?
- Do you do a physical assessment before we begin working together?
- Do you periodically assess my progress?
Sometimes the only way to know if you will work well with an instructor will be to sign up for one of their classes. For example, you may not see yourself doing a spin class, but if you find the instructor to be engaging, welcoming or motivating, that will be all the more reason to strap into the bike. If you haven’t participated in group classes before, you may find camaraderie and motivation from other class attendees too!
Parkinson’s Pointe offers the following classes, in person, online or hybrid.
- Spin for Parkinson’s
- Fit Boxing
- Yoga for All
- Tai Chi
- Dance for Parkinson’s
All classes are 30-60 minutes in length and offered Monday through Friday.
All in person classes are held at 8150 S University Blvd, Suite 120, Centennial, CO 80122.
Find out more about Parkinson’s Pointe’s team of fitness professionals. Please familiarize yourself with the class descriptions and instructor bios and schedule your in person or virtual orientation today!
Classes on demand on youtube. Subscribe to stay updated on all class videos.