Cyrstal Kafka (center) and friends at the Dr. Becky Farley PWR! talk in Redwood City, California.

May 2, 2014 | by Chrystal Kafka | Imagine this. Chrystal Kafka, pilates instructor and a member of the Parkinson’s Women Support was at the Dr. Farley workshops taking notes, photographing and getting instructed all at the same time. Who says PWP can’t multi-task! The results are some photos on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/parkinsonswomen and some very cool notes. Thanks to Chrystal, we present the Dr. Farley PWR! Takeaways! (albeit only a portion of them!) DB

“…more than other people, PWPs MUST keep their bodies and our brains strong…”

Explanation: Our systems are under constant stress overload while operating under the strain of PD. It means we’re running at capacity and don’t even know it. So much is normally hidden from view until ‘Added Stress’ tips the balance, sometimes revealing the truth with presentation of added or unpredictable symptoms.

“Any kind of exercise is good. The right kind of exercise that you also love and in the right amounts is better.”

Explanation: There have been studies to show what types of movement and activity can have better neurological impact than even Sinemet often reducing the amount of meds needed or delaying med increases. Study after study supports this.  And exercise addresses the non-motor symptoms that the dopa meds can’t, such as depression, anxiety, constipation, sleep disorders…)

“Meds must be optimized for the best quality of movement before exercise.”

Explanation: Meds can be reduced over time as symptoms abate. But operating below optimal will reduce the effects of exercise.”

Get a PD Fitness coach”

Explanation: Dr Farley said we should think of ourselves as athletes.  No one with PD should be without a coach.  And certainly no one who is dopamine depleted, eg feeling apathy, depression, not wanting to move, or go outside, etc., should try to do this alone.  We need someone who will get us started, design a plan, and periodically re-evaluate.  Call to check in occasionally to keep us on task.

For a list of PWR! therapists and instructors in your area: www.pwr4life.org

To order Dr. Farley’s book, PWR!Moves™ – A PWR! Guide to a Parkinson-specific Exercise Program with Animated DVD!: http://www.pwr4life.org/product/pwr-moves-book/

Other blogs about PWR!

• PWR! “Exercise as Medicine” a Win for Bay Area People with PD:

• Drs. Farley and McLean Spark Exercise Revolution with PWR! Exercise as Medicine: http://parkinsonswomen.com/2014/04/27/drs-farley-and-mclean-spark-exercise-revolution-with-pwr-exercise-as-medicine/

•Goal Accomplished: Bring PWR to Bay Area PD Patients

• PRW! In the Forefront for PD Exercise

• Five Days at PRW! Gym Tucson

• Trailblazers Test the PWR! Retreat

• Walking is a Miracle

About Parkinson’s Women Support
The  mission of Parkinson’s Women Support is to offer moral support, encouragement and camaraderie for women who are either Parkinson’s Disease patients or caregivers. Check out our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/parkinsonswomen

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