Parkinson’s Training

Specialized training for people who have Parkinson’s

People who have Parkinson’s can greatly benefit from being on a regular exercise program to reduce and manage their symptoms and live a higher quality of life  which Jonathan has extensive doing.  Over the years he has worked with people who have Parkinson’s ranging from 47 – 91 years old and from mild to advanced symptoms.  He has helped people:  walk and move better, increase their flexibility and balance, decrease their rigidity, reduce their tremors, improve their overall body strength as well as improving their cardiovascular system.

He designs a program for the person and teaches them how to do it if appropriate and/or teaches the people who take care of them.


What is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s disease (PD, also known as idiopathic or primary parkinsonism, hypokinetic rigid syndrome (HRS), or paralysis agitans) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of themidbrain; the cause of this cell death is unknown. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these include shaking, rigidity,slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, thinking and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease, whereas depression is the most common psychiatric symptom. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep and emotional problems. Parkinson’s disease is more common in older people, with most cases occurring after the age of 50.

The main motor symptoms are collectively called parkinsonism, or a “parkinsonian syndrome”. Parkinson’s disease is often defined as a parkinsonian syndrome that isidiopathic (having no known cause), although some atypical cases have a genetic origin. Many risks and protective factors have been investigated: the clearest evidence is for an increased risk of PD in people exposed to certain pesticides and a reduced risk in tobacco smokers. The pathology of the disease is characterized by the accumulation of a protein called alpha-synuclein into inclusions called Lewy bodies in neurons, and from insufficient formation and activity of dopamine produced in certain neurons within parts of the midbrain. Lewy bodies are the pathological hallmark of the idiopathic disorder, and the distribution of the Lewy bodies throughout the Parkinsonian brain varies from one individual to another. The anatomical distribution of the Lewy bodies is often directly related to the expression and degree of the clinical symptoms of each individual. Diagnosis of typical cases is mainly based on symptoms, with tests such as neuroimaging being used for confirmation.


Exercise effects at managing and reducing symptoms of Parkinson’s

People who have Parkinson’s respond very well to exercise and can help manage and reduce many of the symptoms through increasing the dopamine efficiency in the body. Most people with Parkinson’s are on medication to help manage and reduce their Parkinson’s symptoms. Through working with a number of people with Parkinson’s over the years I have personally found that the medication helps tremendously, however when a person incorporates regular exercise their bodies functions much better. One of my clients doctor said exercise is one of the best things one can do who has Parkinson’s.
Jonathan has a number of clients who have Parkinson’s ranging from 47 to 91 and from beginning stages to advanced. Jonathan has developed specific exercise programs tailor made to the individual to help them: move better, have better balance, reduce their rigidity, improve their balance and flexibility, increase their stamina and reduce their body fat.

Jonathan has helped train the family and caregivers to work with the person having Parkinson’s in order for them to get regular exercise to help manage and reduce their symptoms.

Through researching people who have Parkinson’s it has been found that they function better through higher intensity training versus moderate intensity, like walking at a moderate pace. Here are a few of the higher intensity programs:

a circuit training program incorporating intervals of walking and seated, standing or lying down exercises.
interval training on a cardiovascular piece of equipment like a bike, treadmill, or stairmaster where the speed or intensity is changed.
interval training of running with jogging or even sprinting.
interval training of altered walking speeds; walking fast to walking at a moderate pace.
Exercise helps greatly to increase the dopamine efficiency in the body and can help lessen the amount of medication needed if one is on any. Exercise helps the body function more effectively.

Rigidity is a very prevalent symptom of people who have Parkinson’s ranging from them feeling an overall feeling of stiffness to where there body stiffens in different positions. Many people feel stuck and they don’t know what to do. The person winds up staying molded in positions which they don’t necessarily have to. I have a client whose arm gets very stiff and rigid. When I attempt to stretch the bicep by extending the arm I feel a lot of resistance from the muscle and the muscle feels like it has formed into a ball. I stretched the arm out through a combination of active (holding for one or two seconds) and static stretching (holding for 20-30 seconds). I have experienced the muscle eventually loosens. I had a client I trained whose upper back rounded a lot and he would get very stiff in that position. When I attempted to stretch his chest out it he would feel some pain and discomfort. After stretching it out about 5 to 10 times through active and static stretching the muscle would loosen up, his feeling of pain would diminish and he would sit up better.

Another common effect from Parkinson’s is where one leans to one side. I had a client who would be sitting in the chair and be leaning to one side. I was able to stretch him the opposite way and his body straightened out.

Jonathan Rose wants as many people as possible to reap the amazing benefits of exercising regularly and eating healthy.  He provides people with exercise programs that are specifically designed for them to set them up for success to get on a well rounded exercise program helping them:  get stronger, more flexible, reduce weight and body fat if needed, improve posture, improve balance, mobility and agility, as well as stamina.  

Since 1992 he has been training children, adults and seniors to help them get in their best shape.  He specializes in working with seniors and people with Parkinson’s. He is very concerned about older people getting regular exercise so they have the strength, mobility and balance to live their lives and to decrease their vulnerability to falling.  He also trains caregivers and family members to help incorporate exercise in the people they are taking care of.  He develops programs for people who have Parkinson’s to manage and reduce their symptoms and teaches the caregivers and family members to help manage as well.  He teaches them exercises and stretches to do.  

Jonathan has a degree in Exercise Science and is a NASM Master Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Senior Specialist, Weight Loss Specialist, and Behavior Change Specialist.  He is also a Corrective Exercise Specialist in The Biomechanics Method as well as has two certifications by Gary Gray, Certification in Applied Functional Science and 3D Maps.

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