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Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson's Centre

Parkinson's Blog

Parkinson's and Exercise

On Wednesday April 29th, Hillary Acosta from Neuromotion physiotherapy, came to share more information on PwR; a Parkinson's specific exercise program.  What makes PwR so unique? PwR (which stands for Parkinson’s wellness recovery), is an intensive program, which focuses on exaggerated movements designed to combat some of the physical changes that occur in the body. From stooped posture to shortened steps, this program is designed to improve not only physical changes but cognitive changes as well.

While we learnt so much about why this type of program has been shown to be helpful for those with Parkinson’s, the take home message was ANY exercise is good for individuals who have Parkinson’s.

What are some good exercises for individuals with Parkinson’s?

Our typical definition for exercise includes physical exercise. However exercise for our mind, our voice and our body are all equally important. Examples include vocal exercises, such as practicing speaking loudly. This can be further maximized by coordinating vocal exercises with physical or cognitive exercises. According to Hillary, this is because challenges with dual tasking or multitasking are one of the symptoms that are associated with Parkinson’s, especially as the disorder progresses. Incorporating exercises that focus on multitasking has been shown to be beneficial, and is part of the reason the PwR program focuses on incorporating this into their sessions.


What are some of the available exercise programs in the Victoria area?



  • YogaDopa: Yoga designed for Parkinson’s. Preliminary data suggested modest improvements in functional mobility, balance, upper- and lower-limb flexibility, and lower-limb strength. The presented evidence also showed improvements in nonphysical factors, such as mood and sleep.


  • Gentle Exercise for people with Parkinson’s and others with mild balance impairment. A sitting or standing series offered at CedarHill Recreation Centre and Saanich Silver threads. Facilitated through our agency. Contact Lindsay Beal for more information. Call 250-475-6677.


  • MOVE adapted fitness gym is a specialized gym offering adapted exercise equipment to meet varying levels of mobility. As well staff and volunteers are available to assist in changing equipment such as height or weight size to meet your needs.


  • Neuromotion Physiotherapy offers specialized exercise programming as well as PwR, an intensive exercise program developed specifically for Parkinson’s.


  • PD Exercise group (Sidney) At the Panorama Recreation Centre, every Monday and Friday. At the Yoga Centre at 9819 Fifth Ave on Wednesday. (11:30-12:30)

Posted by Sandra Graham on 2nd May 2014 12:54pm