I recently completed the PWR! Moves Instructor certification through Parkinson Wellness Recovery. It is a Parkinson’s Disease specific training course for exercise professionals. There are four main PWR moves that are the building blocks for this exercise program which can be modified and/or progressed to any level to meet the needs of everyone. These moves are designed to help people with PD function better and reduce their symptoms as well as improve their strength, balance, agility, flexibility and aerobics.
This exercise program and personal training challenges participants both physically and cognitively in a fun and supportive environment. The goal is for instructors to collaborate with Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists so clients can go back and forth from rehab to community exercise or personal training.
The mission statement of Parkinson Wellness Recovery is to enhance access to and awareness of research driven exercises that improves quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease.
For people with Parkinson’s exercise really is medicine. The right dose of exercise optimizes the medications for people with Parkinson’s.
The main symptoms this exercise program targets is rigidity, bradykinesia, incoordination, and reduced self-awareness. The four main PWR! Moves are to help counteract the motor control skills that deteriorate and lead to loss of mobility and function in people with Parkinson’s. The focus is on functional whole body movements and trying to make larger and faster movements.
PWR! Moves can be done lying on your stomach, lying on your back, on all fours, sitting and standing depending on your ability and needs. There are functional benefits for all positions.
The exercises target four foundational skills that impact everyday mobility: posture, weight shifting, trunk mobility, and stepping/transitions.
Why focus on posture? To counteract stooped posture, rigidity, reduce falls and freezing and improve walking.
Why focus on weight shifting? It is necessary for any kind of moving, turning, rolling etc and it allows for better balance
Why focus on trunk mobility? It helps reduce rigidity and it is necessary for transitioning your body through space and different postures.
Why focus on Stepping and transitions? To move to different locations efficiently and effectively, to be able to react/catch your balance, and to strengthen your muscles.
The exercises are tailored towards your needs and symptoms to help you function better, be safe and manage your Parkinson’s symptoms better.
I really enjoyed taking this certification course because of all the scientific research involved in creating this exercise program and the exercises are all evidence based. These exercises also allow you to focus on the whole person and how to help them function at their best with Parkinson’s. Depending on the day they are having and symptoms they are experiencing exercises can easily be adjusted. I have already had one client notice an improvement with her tremors!
If you have questions about PWR! Moves and personal training or small group training for Parkinson’s contact A to Z Personal Wellness.