Course Description: This course will provide participants with the background and unique skills to teach individuals with Parkinson disease using 1) a 1-hour group exercise class format (PWR! MOVES), and 2) a 1-hour small group circuit class format (PWR! CIRCUIT). Both of these group formats can be adapted for those individuals with minimal to moderate levels of disease severity. Participants will gain knowledge about the mission and vision of the Parkinson Wellness Recovery (PWR!) project and the rationale for exercise programs for people with PD that adhere to Exercise4BrainChange™ principles of training. 4-5 An overview of Parkinson Disease will summarize how sensorimotor/cognitive/emotional symptoms impact mobility, balance, flexibility, and function. Participants will then be introduced to a novel framework called Exercise4BrainChange™ for teaching a series of targeted movement exercises (PWR! MOVES) that are PD-specific and delivered in a manner designed to optimize learning and plasticity.1-3 For example, participants will learn to 1) prepare people with PD to move with 2) maximal activation, safety, and success and then 3) teach them to focus their attention internally on the sensory feedback associated with those better/bigger movements. Motivation is the driving force of the Exercise4BrainChange™ framework. Instructors will learn to use the group structure and their feedback and instructional methods to empower and educate class participants about their true potential. They will also be invited to join the Parkinson Exercise Revolution, to become a PWR! exercise expert, and to help develop greater access to community resources for “neurofitness for life.” The goal for individuals with PD is that they not only improve their performance in the class, but that they learn to recognize when they need to self-correct their slow/small movements for better movement, posture and balance in everyday life. Emphasis will be on promoting an environment for learning that embraces an atmosphere of empowerment, motivation, social enrichment, and FUNction!
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2. Farley BG, Fox CM, Ramig LO, McFarland, D. Intensive amplitude-specific therapeutic approaches for Parkinson disease: Toward a neuroplasticity-principled rehabilitation model. Top Geriatr Rehabil 2008;24(2):99-114.
3. Hirsch MA, Farley BG. Exercise and Neuroplasticity in Persons Living with Parkinson’s Disease. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2009;45:215-229.
4. Kleim, JA, Jones TA. Principles of experience-dependent neural plasticity: implications for rehabilitation after brain damage. J Speech Lang Hear Res 2008;51(1):S225-S239.
5. Petzinger GM, Fisher BE, Van Leeuwen JE, Vukovic M, Akopian G, Meshul CK, Holschneider DP, Nacca A, Walsh JP, Jakowec MW. Enhancing neuroplasticity in the basal ganglia. The role of exercise in Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord 2010;26(Suppl 1):S141-S145.