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Steven Reichert Fitness therapeutic exercise for Parkinson's Disease

Therapeutic Exercise for Parkinson’s Disease
Online via Zoom and FaceTime.

Safe, Convenient, Worldwide.

 

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Thank you for your interest in learning how you or your loved one can benefit from a Parkinson’s Disease exercise program.

I have developed a unique, comprehensive program to manage the symptoms of PD. Clients who do exercises on my plan either stop, slow, or even reverse the progression of symptoms when tested by their neurologist.

My goal is to restore functionality and range of motion for clients so they can avoid falling and return to enjoyable daily activities. I implement enjoyable and engaging exercises which improve adherence to my program, and also serve as a mood enhancer.

Medications and exercise work together to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. While medications address dopamine levels, neurological-based exercises give clients an additional opportunity to improve their quality of life by targeting impaired motor skills.

Exercises which target the impaired movements for Parkinson’s patients stimulate the brain to form new neurological pathways around its damaged areas. The brain and body adapt to find new ways of moving. And with encouragement and feedback, clients are more mindful of controlling their movements. This concept is known as neuroplasticity, and you can read more about it in this medical paper published by the NIH.

These are the ten goals of my exercise plan for Parkinson’s Disease:

1. Perform Expressive “Big” Movements

Parkinson’s clients are given therapy exercises by neurologists which involve moving the body in broad ways to release tightness. These are called “Big” exercises. I take this approach one step further, asking clients to get creative and make their own movements. Or I have clients act out an emotion by expressing it with full-body gestures, similar to modern dance. I want clients to enjoy feeling liberated with expressive movements in a large range of motion.

2. Improve Posture

For those with stooped posture, I teach clients to be mindful of holding a more upright torso and head. I use a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises for muscles required to achieve correct posture.

3. Increase Flexibility in Muscles and Joints

I use a variety of passive and active stretching techniques, while encouraging clients to relax, breathe, and let go of tight muscles. Yoga poses are also helpful in giving clients control over their movements and discovering mental calmness while stretching.

4. Increase Speed of Movement

For clients who are showing symptoms of slowed movement, I do drills like throwing and catching balls to improve hand-eye coordination, depth perception, and reflexes. Advanced clients are able to play catch with two balls in the air simultaneously, similar to juggling.

5. Improve Balance and Avoid Falls

I implement many exercises to improve balance, some using balls and props. This nurtures better awareness by activating mind-body adjustments to prevent falling. I also teach clients to be mindful of the space around them, including tripping hazards.

6. Improve Gait

I work with clients to improve their gait which may have shortened to a shuffle or become uneven. I encourage clients to take longer strides and swing their arms naturally. I may use obstacles on the floor to encourage clients to lift their legs to avoid tripping.

7. Stimulate the Brain with New Challenges

Each session, I introduce new movements that the client has never done before. I like giving clients a mind-body puzzle to solve. I also utilize complex exercises with multiple parts, and ask them to execute the movements in proper sequence and rhythm.

8. Improve Fine Motor Skills

I work with clients on strengthening and coordinating movements of the hands and fingers. The goal is to stretch tight hand and forearm muscles that have become rigid from holding the wrist and fingers in a flexed position. Some of these exercises prepare clients for their evaluations with neurologists. Hand and finger coordination tests are used as a barometer of the progression of the disease.

9. Perform Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise which strengthens the heart, lungs, and circulatory system is as important for PD clients as anyone else. It’s beneficial to elevate the heartrate with activities like walking, biking, hiking, stair climbing. These exercises are especially good at lifting spirits.

10. Increase Strength with Weight Training

Parkinson’s clients benefit from strength training, especially exercises aimed at muscles that have become weak and tight. We use dumbbells, tubes, and body-weight resistance to strengthen the muscles. With added strength and muscle mass, daily functional movements become easier.

I find that clients who begin exercising soon after they are diagnosed with Parkinson’s benefit greatly. But I believe clients at any stage of the disease can manage their symptoms with a combination of exercise and medication.

I invite you to contact me to discuss your needs with Parkinson’s therapy exercise.

Email steven@stevenreichert.com
Call or text 202-232-1773

 

How Online Exercise Sessions Can Work for You

Sessions are 100% virtual using online video via Zoom, FaceTime, or WhatsApp. This enables us to work safely from a space that's convenient for you, anywhere in the world. I'll engage with you as I would in person: demonstrating exercises, monitoring your form, and providing feedback and encouragement.

I can help you setup your space with simple equipment like dumbbells, a mat, and a stretching strap. You don't need any large, expensive equipment. You simply need a computer, tablet, or phone. I use earphones and a microphone so we can hear each other perfectly.

My goal for PD clients is to restore functionality and range of motion so they can avoid falling and return to enjoyable daily activities.

Steven Reichert personal fitness trainer
Steven Reichert personal fitness trainer

About Steven Reichert

This year, I'm celebrating 20 years as a fitness professional. I provide personal fitness training, weight-loss coaching, and yoga instruction for people of all ages. Because exercising and eating well provides powerful rewards, it's my passion to share these benefits with clients.

My practice includes a special focus on therapeutic exercise for those with Parkinson’s Disease, and I'm experienced at accommodating a wide range of health conditions and ages.

Based in Washington, D.C., I engage with clients through online video platforms that are safe and convenient. To learn about my other fitness services, please click here.

As an athlete, I've competed in triathlons, running, tennis, racquetball, and wallyball. I spend my free time relaxing and hiking at my cabin in West Virginia. I've had a vegan diet for many years and enjoy cooking healthy meals for friends.

Professional Certifications and Education:

Certified Personal Fitness Trainer
Athletics and Fitness Association of America

Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist
The Spencer Institute

Certified Sport Yoga Instructor
The Spencer Institute

Sports Injury Specialist
The Spencer Institute

CPR, AED, First Aid, and Lifeguard Certifications
American Heart Association

B.A., Fine Art
Guilford College

Let’s Get Started!

Reach out to discuss your needs. I'm happy to hear from you. Please call or text me at 202-232-1773, or email me at steven@stevenreichert.com

 

Schedule a Free Consultation
Purchase Sessions