Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery classes coming to Green Valley

Cindy Mayhle

In the past many people receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) have been relegated to few options to help control the symptoms of their disease; the two most common are medications and DBS (deep brain stimulation). If they were lucky, their doctor would tell them they should incorporate an exercise program into their weekly routine.

Just within the past 10 years research studies have identified that a Parkinson’s specific exercise program is extremely important to counteract the inactivity, motor deterioration and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The training of large amplitude functional movement, the practice of high effort and intensity and sensory awareness are essential components of this exercise program to help slow the disease progression.

The PWR! (Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery) nonprofit was founded in September 2010 by Dr. Becky Farley to translate cutting edge research on exercise and brain change into real world health care programs for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Their mission was to develop and implement a cutting edge Parkinson specific neuroplasticity-principled fitness program that promised to improve symptoms, restore functions and increase longevity and quality of life. They developed and opened the PWR! Gym in Tucson and have provided community enrichment and education for people with PD to empower them to use their full potential. In addition, they are providing training and certification for healthcare and fitness professionals to become PD-certified exercise specialists. These specialists will utilize the research-based principles in both rehab and fitness settings.

Their PWR!4Life™ model is a comprehensive approach that integrates the latest research on PD and rehabilitation, exercise and wellness and is always being updated. It is a proactive program that allows you to optimize your brain change (neuroplasticity), brain repair and increase your desire to fully participate in everyday life.

Karen Baker, personal trainer and fitness instructor, is a certified PWR! Exercise Specialist and will be starting a PWR!Moves class at the fitness center in Quail Creek. PD clients will no longer have to travel to Tucson to participate in the PWR!4Life™ program. Interested people with Parkinson’s should contact Karen Baker for more information at [email protected]