Exercise Prescription for Parkinson's Disease

Karen McNew McGuire's picture
By Karen McNew McGuire on July 13, 2017

We have long understood the positive benefits exercise has on a healthy population, but what about the chronically ill?

In a 12-week program, employees at Carilion Wellness worked with 12 Parkinson’s patients to test the power of exercise as medicine.  

Carilion Wellness’ Whitney Ray, wellness development director, and Patrick Dunham, clinical training manager, partnered with Karen Anderson, chronic disease director, to develop a personalized experience for the needs of each participant.

However, the program also has the feel of a group exercise class, which helped create a sense of community among the participants as they came together each week to strive for wellness.
“Coming to this place picks me up so much emotionally,” said Susan Gardner, program participant. “I love everybody that is in here; why not? It is such a positive feeling in the group and that is both from the trainers and the Parkinson’s people.”

“I love it because if I came here by myself I wouldn’t do as much,” added Myron Cole, program participant. “I feel a little competitive with everyone else.” 

For participant Doug Patterson, the program has provided a much needed boost at a very difficult time.

“It has been very helpful to my esteem because I did not want to go on for a while,” Doug said. “And now I feel much better.” 

Proof that exercise can work wonders.

For more information, please call Carilion Wellness at 540-989-5758.