Exercise Classes

Vermont Exercise Classes for People with Parkinson’s

Coping with Parkinson’s disease can have its set of challenges. There is growing evidence that exercise can help keep Parkinson’s symptoms at bay. Exercise also can help you feel better mentally and emotionally. If motivation is a problem, joining a class can help you stay on track and become connected within the Parkinson’s disease community within Vermont.

Movement for Parkinson’s

All groups are facilitated by Sara McMahon, MA. She has been involved in the research, education, and performance of dance/movement for over 35 years. She currently teaches at The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Community College of Vermont, and at her studio in Richmond. She conducts individual and group classes that explore the science and kinetic expression of movement. She has extensive training in Body/Mind/Somatic therapies, Functional Anatomy, Dance for PD™, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. Sara is available for individual sessions focusing on alignment, postural stability, and effective movement functioning. In addition to her movement work, she maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Burlington, VT.

For class schedules and more information, please visit www.movementforparkinsons.com or contact Sara directly at movement.for.parkinsons@gmail.com or (802) 777-6858.

Keep Moving with Parkinson’s at Dee PT

The Dee Physical Therapy Wellness Program is excited to provide an exercise class designed specifically for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Students will be led through exercises for balance, strength and flexibility in sitting and standing positions, accompanied by music selections to help students employ skills in rhythm and coordination. Participants may bring along one guest such as a significant other, family member or caregiver to join. Class will be taught by Laurel Lakey, a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant with a BFA in Dance.

Advanced registration is requested. For questions and to register, please call Dee Physical Therapy in Shelburne at (802) 985-4440 and ask for Laurel Lakey, or email her at laurellakey@deept.com

When:  Thursday’s 1-2pm, contact Laurel for session dates

Where: Aerobics Room in the Shelburne Field House,

166 Athletic Drive, Shelburne, VT 05445

Cost:    $60.00 for 6 weeks (covers you plus one guest)

PushBack at Parkinson’s Disease

Supported by the Frederick C. Binter Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders at UVM Medical Center, PushBack is an exercise program for people with Parkinson’s disease.  It is informed by current evidence; it provides a supportive environment; it emphasizes intensity of exercise; and it is adaptable to individual levels of ability.  Most importantly, it’s FUN!  Classes are currently offered in Chittenden County, Central Vermont, and Middlebury.  For more information about PushBack, contact the Binter Center at BinterCenter@uvmhealth.org or (802) 847-7275.

Dance for People with Parkinson’s and Other Neuromotor Challenges

The class is built on principles from the Dance for PD™ teaching method which is built on a “fundamental premise: professionally-trained dancers are movement experts whose knowledge is useful to persons with PD”.  Dancers know all about stretching and strengthening muscles, and about balance and rhythm.  Most importantly, dancers know about the power of dance to concentrate mind, body, and emotion on movement; they use their thoughts, imagination, eyes, ears, and touch to control their bodies.” Class will integrate movement from modern dance, ballet, improvisation, and choreographic repertory to engage the participants’ minds and bodies and create an enjoyable social environment that emphasizes dancing for dancing’s sake.

Kate Gamble trained with David Leventhal from the Mark Morris Company in the Dance for PD™ Curriculum. She’s the founder of Open Door Integrative Wellness and has been a professional dancer and physical therapist for over 25 years.

When:  Thursday’s 5:30-6:30pm, contact Kate for session dates

Where:  Open Door Integrative Wellness, 18 North Main Street, White River Junction, VT

Cost:  Sliding scale: 0-$15.  Full payment can be paid online or at the door. We are interested in not having financial concerns be a barrier to taking the class.  If $15 is not feasible, donations will be accepted at the door.

For questions, call (904) 626-5284 or email Kate at opendoorwrj@gmail.com.


PT360 offers a wide variety of rehabilitation options for people suffering from any number of neurological issues.  In addition to Parkinson’s disease, they also treat the following: radiculopathy, carpal tunnel, Multiple Sclerosis, neuropathies and stroke, to name a few.  Treatments focus on restoring function so the patient can gain independence with activities of daily living.  Their 18x30ft therapy pool provides 4ft of 92-degree salt water for patients to address deficits.  Private treatment rooms can be utilized for appropriate manual techniques.  PT360 provides a nurturing environment for patients to rehabilitate from their neurological injury or disease. www.pt360coop.com

Aquatic Therapy

Exercise and movement in water offers a unique approach to rehabilitation. There are unseen forces in this environment that support your body and facilitate movement when it is difficult on land. It facilitates improved flexibility, strength, and stamina and is unparalleled in addressing balance issues.  Aquatic therapy is the best holistic approach to improving your function by addressing the whole body at one time and can be easily continued once you have established independence for long term fitness results.  Please contact Edie Bernhardt, PT for more information at (802) 860-4360.

Vermont Sports Medicine Center

Vermont Sports Medicine Center is staffed with doctorate level physical therapists who understand the unique challenges of those with Parkinson’s disease.  At VSMC, an individual with Parkinson’s disease will get a personalized evaluation and a specifically designed exercise program based on their specific needs and current level of function. Our exercise programs will help you maintain balance, mobility and enhance your ability to function safely for activities of daily living.  Your program can be tailored to the exercise environment that is best for you, which may be a land based exercise program or an exercise program in a therapeutic pool.

Group exercise programs for Parkinson’s patients are now offered, which also serve as a support group for people with similar concerns and needs related to consistent exercise opportunities in a safe environment with knowledgeable staff.

VSMC has four convenient locations in Rutland, Killington, Castleton and Brandon, Vermont. Please contact Maureen Gibeault, PT to register at (802) 775-1300.