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Parkinson’s disease: The importance of exercise

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Research has shown that increased intensity, duration and frequency of activity/exercise can significantly improve function and mobility for Parkinson’s disease patients. Specifically, high intensity, progressive aerobic activity, such as cycling, pole walking and jogging or walking on a treadmill, has been shown to prepare the brain for learning new activities and improve motor function.

“Skill acquisition exercises” are another form of exercise that are particularly beneficial to Parkinson’s disease patients. These exercises are specifically geared to help Parkinson’s patients improve their function in certain skills and/or activities that have become difficult for them because of the disease. Often, these exercises will help patients with their balance, posture, sitting-to-standing movement and bed mobility.

The team at Cone Health Neurorehabilitation Center understands the importance of exercise in managing Parkinson’s disease and improving patients’ quality of life. This is why they began offering PWR! Moves Parkinson’s Disease Exercise Class to individuals throughout the community with Parkinson’s disease. It is an eight-week, therapist-led exercise program that promotes healthy exercise habits in order to slow the effects of Parkinson's disease.

The classes are held every Wednesday from 12-1pm at Moses Cone Hospital - North Tower – Room 1N102. The cost is $80 per 8-week session. For series dates and to register, visit www.conehealth.com/classes or call (336)271-2054.

Spokesperson Background:

Amy Marriott is a physical therapist at Cone Health Neurorehabilitation Center. Certified in LSVT BIG (a protocol developed specifically to address the unique movement impairments for people with Parkinson’s disease) and Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery (PWR!) techniques, Marriott specializes in treating Parkinson’s disease patients. In March 2014, she completed Allied Team Training through the National Parkinson Foundation. Marriott earned a Master of Physical Therapy from East Carolina University in 2000.