Exercise can help with many health conditions

2 minutes read
Posted 13 June, 2024
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Deni Zawalski (right) and Nat Jakobs (left) programme instructors

by Deni Zawalski 


Many health conditions can be managed, improved or prevented with exercise. From osteoarthritis, to cancer, to high blood pressure, in each article we will discuss how and why exercise can help and point you in the right direction of where to get started. First up, we will be talking about Parkinson’s Disease and the unique approach with exercises that create changes in the brain!

Exercise for Parkinson’s Disease

There is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease, but you can slow down the progression and improve quality of life with a specific exercise programme. The key is engaging in ‘neuro-active’ exercise, which stimulates the brain to create new pathways and strengthen neural connections.

The beauty of PD Warrior, a targeted exercise programme for Parkinsons Disease, is individuality. With such a wide array of symptoms and severity with the disease, PD Warrior tailors to each participant and their ability, symptoms and goals.

PD Warrior is more than just about the exercises; it’s about giving our members a safe space and a supportive community. We love to have fun in group classes, using engaging exercises and recognising achievements in others. Members are encouraged to practice their own personalised programme at home as well as adapting what they learn from group sessions into how they move in their everyday lives. Those who are committed will see improvements in their mental health, quality of life and symptoms, resulting in a fulfilling, enriched life.

‘Since my diagnosis I have tried to maintain an active exercise regime. This is challenging, especially when your body tells you not to move as far or as fast as I am trying to make it go.  In this, the PD Warrior classes tailored to my special needs have really helped.  The exercises are designed to reteach my body what “normal” is.  Not only that, but I am exercising in an environment where I don’t need to be embarrassed as the people around me have the same problems.  It feels safe and nurturing. I have an instructor who totally understands my condition and my capability.’ – Karen Wood

‘I cannot recommend the 10 week PD warrior program run by Deni and her team at the Queenstown Events Centre highly enough. The facilitators are passionate, committed and caring. They seamlessly tailor the exercises for the different capabilities of participants while at the same time providing encouragement and motivation for all.  I thoroughly enjoy our weekly classes, and the impact lingers!  The exercises typically involve some form of exaggerated movement reinforcing balance and coordination. Many times each day I find myself reflecting on the activity I am currently engaged in and trying to apply the lessons learned in class.’ – Greg Whittred

PD Warrior runs every Monday from 2.30-3.30pm at the Queenstown Events Centre. To join the group classes, participants must first have an individual consultation with Deni to go through their health history, goals and assessments. To find out more or to sign up please contact deni.zawalski@qldc.govt.nz


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