One of the symptoms with Parkinson’s is called freezing! In this case the feet seem frozen/glued to the floor, it can come on suddenly/unexpectedly/unpredictably. It can be very confounding for the person with Parkinson’s and the family/friends. One way some of the class members have been able to overcome it sometimes is by concentrating on lifting the knees and practicing waist high knee lift marches. Sometimes practicing stepping sideways and regularly practicing change of directions through cones, or other obstacles.

SO, THINK KNEE HIGH FOR PRACTICE OR WHEN STUCK! HEEL HIGH WHEN STEPPING BACK! See below as a refresher. Feel free to call with questions.

Dealing with Unexpected Backward Falling

One of the symptoms as Parkinson’s progresses MAYBE (don’t expect to get it, as everyone is different) falling backwards! Even normal people have a hard time stepping back. There can be various reasons for this symptom, hypotension, weak muscles, loss of depth perception, etc. One thing to consider is strengthening the muscles in the legs and core, with MODIFIED squats, pushups, mountain climber, etc.

One of main points is to reactivate body memory by repetition of correct safe moves. In the featured picture, the group took one or two steps forward and then three to four, five steps backward, while holding onto the high railing to be fully upright and getting a normal feel for balance. When steeping back the important part of the move is to lift the heel high so the sole of the shoe doesn’t drag and stick which contributes to loss of balance. They then turned and did the other side. It needs to be repeated many times so no deliberate thinking has to happen, the body will learn to remember. In martial arts they say 10,000 repetitions.

It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO BE HYDRATED, AND TAKE MEDS ON TIME, along with doing mobility exercise up on your feet. Eyes can be used to help with balance by focusing on something at eye level, once the ground is scanned for safety. Sternum UP!

Our class is two days a week which are really not enough, the members would benefit greatly by participating in two or more sessions a week. Exercise with the medication for Parkinson’s is the most effective way to delay the progression of the disease; and helps with a better quality of life!


Vice President of Saddlebrooke Parkinson’s PWR! MovesBalance Club is Hans Von Michaelis. Reach out to Von by phone at (303) 549-4480. Annual dues are $10.

We are listed in HOA-1 under exercise and support; we have quarterly support and educational meetings on the third Thursday of the month from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in HOA-1 Art and Craft center room 3. Next to the Gift shop. All are welcome! Visit for Parkinson’s info and support.

BIG/PWR! Certified Trainer is Vera Shury. Reach out to Vera by phone at (520) 275-8755 or send an email to

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