Exercising with Parkinson's


People with a Parkinson’s diagnosis are now able to participate in exercise classes at the West Side Y. In partnership with Prevea Health, “Exercising with Parkinson’s” classes offer a customized exercise approach. Classes incorporate evidence-based techniques to improve full-body mobility, such as: walking forward and backward on a treadmill, 30 minute floor exercises promoting back, hip and shoulder strength, range-of-motion activities focusing on stretching the hip flexors and trunk, and speech enhancement. The classes are led by a Prevea Health physical therapist.

  • Starts March 3, 2020
  • Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12:30 - 1:30 pm at West Side Y
  • $49/month for Y members, $89/month for general public



2020 Class Schedule

parkinsons 2020 schedule updated

Goals of Exercising with Parkinson's

Wellness is an active process of making choices and decisions to create a more balanced and fulfilling life.

  • Improve upright balance 
  • Avoid falls
  • Increase walking speed and endurance
  • Increase quality of vocalization 
  • Meet friends with the same diagnosis and share experiences
  • Have fun!

For more information about Exercise PD programs, please visit Exercise with Parkinsons Disease.


The treadmill has been used in studies to determine its effectiveness in improving walking ability in people with Parkinson Disease (PD). Most therapists have clients work at a challenging speed for 20-30 minutes at least twice a week, with minimal use of hands, and then upgrade the program. Backward walking is a skill problem in people with Parkinson’s Disease. This problem can be seen on the Functional Gait Assessment test.  Clients may walk backward on the treadmill to increase hip extensor strength, stretch the hip flexors and improve skills in the backward direction.

The program will utilize specialty T3XH treadmills. These treadmills:

  • Extended handrails with neutral-position, angled grips that ensure secure entry and exit
  • Low 0.1 mph start speed (compared to 0.5 on standard treadmill)
  • Forward and reverse direction allows users in therapeutic, rehabilitation, and active-aging settings to take part in functional movement exercises
  • Ultimate deck system for superior performance and durability
  • Simplified touch screen display mode for therapeutic, rehabilitation, and active-aging settings.
Resistance Training

Resistive Exercise is a very important component for the client to improve or maintain function. With Parkinson Disease the client is pulled forward into a flexed posture, with the head forward rather than straight above the shoulders. Ears should be in line with the shoulders. The upper back is often bent forward, referred to as a forward (kyphotic) posture. At the hips, the client is often bent forward, as if gravity is pulling the client forward. Thus, strength training needs to focus on extensors of the neck, back and hips.  Clients can exercise on power equipment, including the back extensor machine, hip extensor machine, rhomboid machine and pull downs with the arms. These all help the back side of the body.

Who can attend?

This class is specifically designed for people with PD who are still walking with or without the use of a walker or cane. The goal is to maintain and increase your function. This class was designed by a physical therapist and the elements in the class are based on current research in the Parkinson’s field.

Spouses or caretakers who accompany program participants are able to use the West Side Y facilities during the 1-hour sessions.

How to Join

Please inform all of your health care professionals about your participation before you start any exercise program.

Class size
Class participants must be approved to join the Parkinson’s Exercise class prior to registration. Class size is limited to 10.

Participants pay monthly at the Y front desk or register online. It is $49 per month for Y members and $89 per month for the general public.


Ashley Verbeten, DPT, CEAS, 920 272 3380
Deborah Young,
PTA, 920 272 3380

Prevea logo jpg

Green Bay YMCA
Kayla Faltynski, Healthy Living Director, 920 436 1224