HealthWatch: Parkinson’s Disease Exercise Class



Parkinson’s Disease is a brain disorder that leads to shaking (tremors) and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination.
While there is no cure– rehabilitation and exercise can reduce the symptoms and improve quality of life for patients.

Aurora BayCare Medical Center offers the Mobile and Fit Parkinson’s Exercise Class for those with Parkinson’s disease. And it’s helping patients live a healthier, fuller life.

Diana Rockhill is managing her Parkinson’s disease well, “I feel good about still being able to do what I’m able to do, I can get out and walk a mile.”

Diana was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 4 years ago. It effected her word finding, writing and more, “My primary symptom is weakness and when I get a little weaker my balance isn’t good,” explained Diana Rockhill, Parkinson’s Disease patient.

Diana saw three neurologists who all told her the same thing, “Exercise was the new medicine and that was the one thing that would make the biggest difference,” said Diana.

So she joined the Mobile and Fit Parkinson’s Class at Aurora BayCare Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center, “Mobile and Fit at Aurora BayCare are exercises that are designed for people with Parkinson’s Disease, Our trainers that run the class have been specially trained to work with people with Parkinson’s. It’s a Parkinsons wellness recovery program,” explained Ellen Linskens, Physical Therapist, Aurora BayCare Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center. 

The goal is to improve function and quality of life for patients by focusing on balance and strength, “With Parkinson’s Disease you tend to see slow movements, a stiffness, a shuffle gate, balance disorders.  So with the exercises is what we focus on is to get people moving big again. Give them some balance exercises to reduce falls,” explained Linskens.

Physical Therapist Ellen Linskens says exercise can slow the disease’s progression, “There have been studies that have been done that show the benefit of exercises that people have slowed down their progression of Parkinson’s Disease by exercising.”

If people with Parkinson’s don’t exercise, “You get very stiff, you lose your ability to move,” said Linskens.

Diana believes the class has helped slow the progression of her disease, “I don’t think I would be nearly doing as well as I am now because thats four years after being diagnosed and I’m still independent, I can take care of myself, I live alone,” said Diana.

Diana does take medication along with her exercise plan. 
The Mobile and Fit Parkinson’s Class meets three times a week and is 15 dollars a month. 

To learn more you can call AuroraBayCare at 866-938-0035 or email 

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