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Exercise Resources by Parkinson Society BC

Exercise is important to the self-management of Parkinson's disease, but for many British Columbians, it can be difficult to find Parkinson's-specific exercise programs in your area. Parkinson Society British Columbia has hosted a number of online exercise classes that you can follow along with from the comfort of your own home. These classes have been designed at varying intensity levels with adaptations for differing physical abilities. Click through the sections below to read more about these programs, and view recordings.

For details on our upcoming online exercise classes, please visit our event listings page

10 Day Exercise Challenge

Over the course of this challenge, neuro physiotherapist, Shelly Yu, will guide you through a different 5-minute exercise for each day, which you can perform in the comfort of your own home, and on your own time. This challenge is perfect for those facing various difficulties with exercise, including time constraints, lack of motivation, or simply not knowing where to start.

Try these exercises as many times as you like, and repeat them throughout the day as desired! These exercises will emphasize coordination of the arms and legs, as well as balance, strength, and power. Seated adaptation instructions are provided for every exercise. For your safety, proper and supportive footwear is recommended when engaging in any of these activities.


Video Recordings 

View full details on our 10 Day Exercise challenge here.

Hand & Dexterity Series

Join physiotherapist, Shelly Yu, for an exercise series focused on hand and dexterity challenges associated with Parkinson's disease.

Exercises in this series will target upper extremity movement, hand dexterity, grip strength, hand-finger coordination, and overall arm function. As this is a hand and dexterity class, all exercises will be done in a seated position — ideally in a chair without armrests.

Equipment needed for this exercise series includes:

  • A small tea or kitchen towel
  • A small cushion/pillow
  • A small elastic band or hair tie

We welcome all individuals with Parkinson's to this webinar as well as their spouses and/or carepartners, as they may benefit from learning more about the disease to assist in supporting their loved one. Download the handout.


Video Recordings 

Move with Shelly (Seated)

Join Parkinson Society British Columbia's own Education and Support Services Coordinator, and neuro physiotherapist, Shelly Yu, for a fun and energetic online Parkinson's exercise class, designed to challenge your strength, balance, and mobility to improve your overall daily function and quality of life.

This seated class is suitable for those who prefer a slower-paced class. All exercises will be completed in a sitting position. No equipment is needed, other than a chair to sit in.


Video Recordings 

Move with Shelly (Standing)

Join Parkinson Society British Columbia's own Education and Support Services Coordinator, and neuro physiotherapist, Shelly Yu, for a fun and energetic online Parkinson's exercise class, designed to challenge your strength, balance, and mobility to improve your overall daily function and quality of life.

This class will consist of standing exercises, with some dual-tasking challenges. Adaptations will be provided for those who require a walker, cane, or other support. No equipment needed.


Video Recordings 

Rock Steady Boxing with Allie Saks

During this 3-part webinar series on the Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) program, Occupational Therapist and RSB certified coach, Allie Saks, will walk you through the benefits of boxing for Parkinson's, and lead a live RSB class, demonstrating basic boxing moves. Classes will feature stretching, cardio, shadow boxing, strength exercises, core work, and a cool-down stretch. Each session will challenge participants with progressively higher-paced boxing moves. No experience is required to participate.

Rock Steady Boxing was founded in 2006 in Indianapolis by Scott Newman, whose own Parkinson’s symptoms improved through non-contact boxing. Boxing has also been shown to delay disease progression and enhance quality of life.


Video Recordings 

Pilates with Shelly (Seated/Modified)

Join neuro physiotherapist and trained Pilates instructor, Shelly Yu, for four sessions of Pilates! Pilates is a great low-impact form of exercise, which can help improve mobility, posture, and balance, and reduce fall risk.

This series is offered at two levels. Please follow along with the level that best suits your physical ability. Level 1 is an adapted class focused on sitting and lying positions, while Level 2 features standing and lying exercises.

Level 1 of this series explores gentle but challenging movements in both sitting and lying positions. Level 1 is an adapted class, and does not include any standing.

The class will start sitting at the edge of the bed, followed by lying on the bed. Ideally, participants should be able to lie on their back and side. No previous experience is required.

Equipment needed for the class includes:

  • A Bed (a couch/sofa is acceptable, although your movements may be restricted)
  • Pillows
  • A long towel or scarf
  • A loved one to help with transferring from sitting to lying, if needed

Video Recordings 

Pilates with Shelly (Standing)

Join neuro physiotherapist and trained Pilates instructor, Shelly Yu, for four sessions of Pilates! Pilates is a great low-impact form of exercise, which can help improve mobility, posture, and balance, and reduce fall risk.

This series is offered at two levels. Please follow along with the level that best suits your physical ability. Level 1 is an adapted class focused on sitting and lying positions, while Level 2 features standing and lying exercises.

Level 2 of this series explores both static and dynamic stability exercises in both standing and lying positions. These exercises require participants to be able to stand independently (with or without a gait aid), get on/off the floor, and be able to lie on their back, side and front.

No equipment is needed for the class, other than a mat to lie on. If no mat is available, participants can lie on carpet, or use towels to cushion their bodies against the floor.


Video Recordings 

Exercising with Poles

Join Mandy Shintani, Occupational Therapist and founder of Urban Poling, for some dynamic seated and standing exercises with poles! Nordic walking poles aren’t just for walking. Using these specialized poles for seated and standing exercise promotes an upright posture, support on both sides of your body, ledge for core strengthening and makes exercising more fun!

Please note that walking poles will be required for this exercise series. If you do not have walking poles and would like to purchase them, visit Urban Poling. Walking poles are also available at many local retailers.


Video Recordings 

Stretch and Strengthen - Low Impact Exercise

Stretch & Strengthen is a low-impact exercise series for people who prefer a slow-paced class. Exercises will start in a sitting position, and progress to standing, although there is an option to remain seated for the entire duration of the class.

Participants can expect to focus on ranges of movement, in a strength-controlled manner, of the trunk, upper limbs, and lower limbs.

No equipment is needed for the class. The exercise series will be led by PSBC's own Shelly Yu, physiotherapist.


Video Recordings 

Balance Exercise Class

Join Parkinson Society BC's own neuro physiotherapist, Shelly Yu, for 4 sessions of balance exercise classes! This class will target the mechanisms that control our balance, stability, rigidity, and improve our ability to react to unexpected disturbances.

The class will start in sitting then move to standing. No equipment is needed other than a chair to sit in.

We welcome all individuals with Parkinson's to this webinar series, as well as their spouses and/or carepartners, as they may benefit from learning more about the disease to assist in supporting their loved one.

Please note that due to the nature of a virtual balance class, participants may need to have a loved one nearby to ensure safety.


Video Recordings 

Thawing Out: Exercises for Freezing

Freezing of gait can be one of the most frustrating motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. It often leads to falls and injuries which can reduce mobility and quality of life. Some of the best strategies for managing and reducing freezing episodes are to train the feet to walk slower, improve weight-shifting, and step in more symmetrical patterns. Cues and cognitive strategies can also help to direct attention to walking.

Join us in this online exercise series, as Parkinson Society BC's own neuro physiotherapist, Shelly Yu, leads us through 4 sessions of targeted exercises to improve motor patterns. The class will start in a sitting position, and move to standing. Please note that there will not be an option to remain seated the entire class, due to the nature of exercises targeting the feet and walking.

Participants may wish to have a loved one nearby to ensure their safety. Proper footwear is recommended.

Equipment required for this class includes two chairs to hold on to, and a physical target on the floor (eg. a taped line, a tissue box to step over, or two agility dots).


Video Recordings 

 

Please note: Participation in these series will be done at your own risk within your home. Please ensure you have the space needed to follow the exercises and that there are no obstacles or barriers in your way.

Parkinson Society BC (PSBC) will not be held liable for accidents or incidents that may occur in your home. By participating in these recorded exercise webinars, you are recognizing that risk of illness and/or injury may be inherent in any movement or exercise class and are participating with the express agreement of, and understanding that Parkinson Society BC and its directors, officers, employees, partners, and agents are hereby released from any and all claims, costs, liabilities, expenses, or judgments associated with these programs.