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Taking Control of Parkinson's with a PD Wellness Program: A Step-by-Step Guide


A PD wellness program can be a vital tool for people living with Parkinson's disease to manage their symptoms and improve their overall well-being.

PD Wellness Exercises focus on enhancing physical function, and the benefits can be significant, from increased mobility and flexibility to a boost in mental health. However, to reap these benefits, it's essential to engage in your PD exercises and continually challenge yourself. Along with strategic planning, finding ways to make exercise and movement enjoyable is the key.

In this post, we'll provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you assess your PD wellness exercise regimen, explore new ways to advance and diversify your practice, and seek professional support:


Step 1: Get a Parkinson's Wellness Assessment

The first step to improving your PD wellness program is to get a Parkinson's Wellness Assessment. This assessment will help you assess your physical function, fitness, and well-being through a battery of standardized tests, including functional muscle strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, and endurance. The results are then compared with age-related norms, and appropriate recommendations from Parkinson's Exercise guidelines are provided. The goal of a PD assessment is to help you objectively define your baseline function and find ways to challenge and address underlying deficits.


Step 2: Choose the Right PD Exercise Classes

Once you have completed your assessment, it's time to choose the right PD exercise classes. With numerous offerings of Parkinson-specific exercise classes available, it can be challenging to find the right ones to fit into your daily routine. Here are some tips to make the right selection:

  • Check for accessibility: Ensure that the class is accessible and appropriate for your level of physical function and mobility. Find classes that blend with your schedule, whether in-person or virtual.

  • Types of class offerings: Learn about several types of classes and the focus of each class if it is balance training, high-intensity exercises, strength training, or aerobic exercises.

  • Connect with instructors and class members: Speak to instructors and class members to learn how each program will match your interests and experience with exercises.

  • Look for social opportunities: Consider the social aspect of the class and whether there are opportunities to connect with other individuals with PD, which can help increase motivation and accountability.

Step 3: Track and Challenge Your Fitness Regimen

Gradually as you start engaging in PD wellness exercises, start tracking your exercise routine along with your vitals if you are using a smartwatch/fitness tracker or Rate of Perceived Exertion using a talk test. Learn more about the talk test here. Compare your performance and engagement with the prescribed PD-specific wellness exercise routine.

As you continue engaging in PD exercise classes, find ways to diversify your exercise regimen, meaning adding different exercise programs like Taichi, Dance, Yoga, boxing and PWR moves, and more.


Step 4: Communicate with Your PD Wellness Coach and Physical Therapist about Any Changes/Decline in Your Fitness Level

It's important to communicate with your PD wellness coach and/or PT about any changes in your function or difficulty engaging in an exercise routine. Effectively communicating with your team and seeking the right referral in time for any change in function is crucial.


Exercise is medicine and it's a key component in managing PD symptoms. However, it's also essential to find ways to enjoy movement and connect with others. Remember to make your exercise routine enjoyable and continuously challenge yourself to manage PD symptoms.


In conclusion, a PD wellness exercise is an effective way to improve your quality of life and manage Parkinson's symptoms. By following these steps, you can evaluate and enhance your current program and work towards a healthier and happier life.

How BeyondRehab can help?

If you're looking for additional support in managing your Parkinson's disease and improving your overall well-being, check our Parkinson Wellness Assessment program. Our team can help you assess your baseline condition and develop a personalized exercise program to support you reach your fitness goals and manage your symptoms.

To get started, you can contact us at info@beyondrehab.health to connect with our team. You can also access our free PD Self-Assessment tool, which is designed to assess your motor and non-motor function, as well as your exercise routine. The tool provides a personalized report and recommendation from an expert neuro PT, which can be a valuable resource in developing a comprehensive PD wellness program.


Reference:

Domingos J, Dean J, Fernandes JB, Massano J and Godinho C (2022) Community Exercise: A New Tool for Personalized Parkinson’s Care or Just an Addition to Formal Care? Front. Syst. Neurosci. 16:916237. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2022.916237


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