Parkinson’s Training for Fitness, Health and Wellness Professionals

Parkinson’s Training for Fitness, Health and Wellness Professionals

Online training program specifically designed to teach fitness professionals how to best meet the unique needs of PD patients


The importance of exercise and physical activity for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been well documented. Exercise produces many benefits including increased physical functioning (motor performance, strength, endurance), improved gait and balance, cardiovascular fitness, and overall better quality of life.  As such, great strides are being made to make exercise a part of the standard treatment of PD.

This on-line training program has been developed to assist fitness and health and wellness professionals so they may safely and effectively work with people with PD to develop exercise regimens that will support treatment of their symptoms and substantially improve their quality of life. It will also teach professionals about the signs and symptoms of PD and the important ways in which exercise can improve those symptoms, as well as how to describe common PD symptoms and clearly explain the benefits of exercise to those with PD.

To develop the APDA Parkinson’s Disease Training for Fitness Professionals, APDA convened a panel of PD and exercise experts that included neurologists, movement disorder specialists, and physical therapists, under the leadership of Terry Ellis, PT, PhD, NCS, Boston University, and Lee Dibble, PT, PhD, ATC, University of Utah, to develop a gold standard of exercise recommendations specifically for people with PD.  Dr. Tami Deangelis from Boston University Sargent College of Rehabilitation and Dr. Merrill Landers, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, University of Las Vegas are the primary authors of the program.

APDA has partnered with the Office of Continuing Professional Education (OCPE) at Rutgers University in New Jersey to create this user-friendly program (APDA and Rutgers OCPE previously partnered on an online course for First Responders).

The APDA Parkinson’s Disease Training for Fitness Professionals is a 1-2 hour course with instructional videos. All of those who complete the training course will receive a certificate of completion.


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