Exercise is beneficial, this is something we have known and read about every day and is especially true for people with Parkinson’s disease. Exercise helps you use your brain’s Dopamine more efficiently and protects your brain from further deterioration; it is neuroprotective! Research from the National Parkinson’s Foundation found that Parkinson’s patients who exercised a minimum of 2.5 hours each week felt significantly less limited by their Parkinson’s disease symptoms. This comes out to 20 minutes per day. If you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and you’re not exercising at least 20 minutes per day, you’re not protecting your brain like you should be.
Just as different medications are designed to treat different symptoms with some being more effective than others, the same is true for exercise. Research has shown large amplitude, high intensity exercise is one of the most effective types of exercise to fight against Parkinson’s. This means that while exercise in general is important, the method of exercise is key for those living with Parkinson’s, even after they have finished with physical therapy.
We specifically want to help individuals with Parkinson’s disease regain their independence, mobility, and zest for life! We are happy to announce, we have a new way to do that! This July, we launched our first group exercise class, Action Moves for Parkinson’s Disease (AMP’D). Only available to patients who have been discharged by our physical therapist; the cost comes out-of-pocked and is not billable through insurance.
The goals of this weekly class are first to support exercise and BIG movements and second, to help maintain and improve upon the gains made while in therapy. This includes walking, balance, strength, cognitive tasks, transfers, and fine motor tasks such as buttoning and handwriting. Knowing the importance of exercise, our goal is to enhance motivation by making activities fun, providing social interaction and encouragement, and by fostering accountability so participants incorporate exercise in their daily routines. High effort and big movements are encouraged through the energetic class, which can be modified for different levels and for the safety of all participants.
While not a skilled therapy, nor billable to insurers, AMP will continue to promote best movement, general wellness and reduce overall health care costs for its participants. In our first month of this class, we have seen participants rise to new challenges, make new friendships, and continually improve their mobility. As we move forward we hope to grow this and other programs that seek to help those living with Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative or balance disorders with the ultimate goal of self-empowerment.
Join us as we AMP it up!