Exercise with a difference…

with Molly Jones - Ability Neuro Physio

MOLLY is a physiotherapist with special interest in neurology, helping people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Here she tells us about the PD WARRIOR exercise program

One significant issue I have found when working with people with PD is the de-conditioning that comes with the disease, and you may find yourself excluded from “normal” exercise models.

For example, traditional physiotherapy would comprise of a few balance and mobility exercises, but offer no fitness advice. The fitness industry of gyms and boot camps tend to exclude someone who is nervous, slow and unsteady. Often the lack of communication skills and confidence further limit your ability to gain access to exercise services. It all becomes a “bit too hard” and you tend to STOP exercising, unfortunately, making you more de-conditioned and unfit. Does this sound familiar?

This is where a ‘shift in thinking’ is needed to address the issues around exercise for people living with PD.

Let me introduce you to PD Warrior. First of all, PD Warrior is exciting and fun. It is based on leading research from Australia* and other countries, which is telling us that more intensive and challenging physical and cognitive exercise can have the potential to slow the pro-gression of symptoms, as well as improve your movement patterns and confidence.

The program is very different from what many of you have experienced before. They are dynamic “fun” exercises, which most people can achieve. It is how the exercises are applied that makes PD Warrior different. For example, you will be talking and answering questions while you exercise. You will swing your arms, and open your hands, while you are stepping and lunging. You will catch a ball, step sideways, do boxing and riding on an exercise bike, all while you are talking and answering general knowledge questions. It doesn’t matter if you get the answers wrong, it’s the “complexity” of doing a movement of your arms and legs while you are thinking about the questions, which makes this program fun and effective. It will change and improve your brain function and movement patterns.

As PD is a complex disease, you need to be assessed before starting the program. Once you have been assessed by a licensed physiotherapy instructor, the program can be offered either as an individual basis with a home programme or as a Group Exercise Circuit Class. Group circuit class is great fun – six to eight people in the room all doing a different exercise, to music and laughter!

So, DON’T give up on yourself – everyone with PD should be doing some exercise and the earlier you start the better. Don’t let de-conditioning and de-motivation define your disease. As this year comes to a close and a new one begins, do something for yourself today that your future self will thank you for. Take control and fight this disease.

Become a PD WARRIOR.

*Research available on request.

ABILITY NEURO PHYSIO is your local PD WARRIOR licenced facility for Swansea, providing all assessments, introductory sessions, and the signature 10 Week Challenge Program

Visit; www.abilityneurophysio.co.uk or call 07415 551 279 to get involved




All Articles