LEARNING OBJECTIVE: • To provide the health fitness professional with the current evidence, considerations, and guidelines for providing exercise counseling for people with mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s disease.
People with mild to moderate Parkinson’s Disease (PD) can benefit from exercise. This article provides an overview of the pathophysiology and treatment of PD, discusses some of the motor and non-motor signs and symptoms associated with PD, and reviews the scientific evidence about how exercise can be helpful in addressing these issues.
Paul M. Gallo, M.A., ATC, CES, CSCS, is a doctoral student in the Program in Movement Sciences and Education (Applied Physiology) in the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Teacher’s College, Columbia University in New York City and the director of Exercise Science at Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, CT. He holds an M.A. in Exercise Physiology and a B.S. in Athletic Training. Paul is ACSM Clinical Exercise SpecialistSM certified, ACSM Health Fitness SpecialistSM certified, and an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. His research focus is exercise in Parkinson’s disease.
Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., FACSM, FAHA, RCEP, is an associate professor of Movement Sciences and Education and the coordinator of the Graduate Program in Applied Physiology in the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. She is a clinical exercise physiologist with a research focus in the role of exercise in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases, including Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Garber is ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist® certified, ACSM Certified Preventive and Rehabilitative Exercise Program Director certified, and ACSM Health Fitness SpecialistSM certified.