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Exercise can have a positive impact on people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their quality of life.  Research supporting the use of exercise in treating people with PD has been gaining momentum over the last 10-20 years, specifically, the positive effect exercise can have on the condition itself, as well as the quality of life of those who live with PD. The Body Refinery offers tailored exercise options for people with Parkinson’s through our PD Warrior classes our individualised session.


What You Should Do

But what exercise should you do? What works best? What exercise is safe to do?
Research shows that those with Parkinson’s disease should look to include in some form the following:

  • Aerobic Exercise
  • Flexibility 
  • Strength or Resistance Based Exercise

It’s important to note that everyone has different symptoms and different movements or activities that they find difficult due to Parkinson’s disease. So what types of exercise are best for you may not be the best for another person, though a key theme for everyone is that it is important to stay active and exercise regularly.

PD Warrior - Parkinson's disease The Body Refinery

What is PD Warrior?

The Body Refinery offers a program called PD Warrior that is specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s. Started in 2011 by Specialist Neurological Physiotherapist, Melissa McConaghy, it is based on the concepts of Neuroprotection, Neuroplasticity and Neurorestoration and their relation to Parkinson’s disease. These concepts have been broken down into the 7 core principles of PD Warrior, which have been used to create a fun, motivating and effective program aimed at helping to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease:

  1. Fun
  2. Specificity 
  3. High Effort
  4. Frequency 
  5. Powerful
  6. Complex
  7. Meaningful 

PD Warrior is an evidence-based, highly specialised Parkinson’s disease-focused program that works to identify the specific needs and symptoms of a person, then focus on improvement through high effort exercise. PD Warrior takes the latest research, showing that significant benefits can be achieved with high effort exercise, and incorporates it in an easily accessible program that includes elements of behaviour change, social interaction and helps provide a support network for those with Parkinson’s disease.


How We Can Help

In addition to Pilates and Fitness focused classes, The Body Refinery offer’s PD Warrior in two forms: a group session where participants motivate and drive each other to be the best they can be; and individual sessions where a more personalised approach can be taken to work towards specific goals. The group setting is a great way to meet other people with Parkinson’s disease, create a strong support network and social connections, with many participants meeting for coffee after their class. Individual sessions, on the other hand, allow for a more tailored approach to be provided, where specific exercises can be prescribed to assist with symptoms or to help with day to day tasks that you might find difficult.

PD Warrior classes at The Body Refinery are becoming more and more popular as people discover the benefits of the program, and we hope that you will too!  If you are interested in finding out more about PD Warrior and its benefits please contact us on 3358 3915 or


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written by Exercise Physiologist Thomas Uhlmann