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 Prevea Health physical therapy experts.

  • 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
  • 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.


Treadmills have been proven to improve the walking ability of people with Parkinson’s 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; gradually they increase the intensity.  Backward walking is also an issue for people with PD, as seen on the Functional Gait Assessment test. Clients may walk backward on the treadmill to increase hip extensor strength, stretch hip flexors, and improve skills in the backward direction.

The program will utilize specialty T3XH treadmills, which feature:

  • 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 an important component for people with PD to improve or maintain function.  PD causes people to be pulled forward into a flexed posture, with the head forward in front of the shoulders instead of straight above them. The upper back and hips are often bent forward, which is referred to as a forward (kyphotic) posture.  Therefore, strength training focuses on extensors of the neck, back, and hips.  People with PD can exercise on power equipment, including the back extensor machine, hip extensor machine, rhomboid machine, and arm pull downs.  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.  This class was designed by a physical therapist and elements in the class are based upon 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 health care professionals before starting any exercise program.  Class participants must be registered before joining Exercising with Parkinson’s; the 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.


Green Bay YMCA
Eric Gorder
, Senior Healthy Living Director, 920 436 3667

Ashley Verbeten, DPT, CEAS
Deborah Young, PTA

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