Parkinson’s PWR! Moves 4 Balance Club

High knees (photo by Vera Shury)

Vera Shury, HCH Coach

Save the date of March 16 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. for a presentation by physical therapist Michaela Gaither.

Controlled imbalance is a set of drills and skills designed to improve balance, agility, mobility, and power, which can help you purposefully improve your functional movement—because a working balance system is required for simple things like walking down the street or path, dancing, and performing a squat.

This is a progressive order of challenges that are recommended to be done at the beginning of a workout—before your muscles get fatigued. So start with standing on legs, and then movement of arms is added. The basic guidelines are:

*Keep your chin and shoulders level.

*Keep your head level with eyes straight ahead.

*Have a long and strong spine.

*Aim for controlled instability.

*Move shoulders and hips together.

*Practice daily; practice makes permanent. Be sure to breathe, keep posture, hydrate, and measure exertion.

*Keep a chair or a safe place near a counter if you try any of these.

Following are four moves of 43 variations:

1. Start with a walk in place, add a high knee lift.

Guide: Add a shift from side to side by sliding hips and shoulders to that direction.

Progression: Lift knee higher and add arm extension to the front.

Regression: Heel lifts.

2. Fast feet.

Guide: Move the feet as fast as feels comfortable.

Regression: Heel lifts.

3. Traveling alternating knee lift around a chair.

Guide: Turn your toes to help with the turns around the chair.

4. Tap toe front, side, back, center; repeat four times each side; add hands on hips.

Guide: Draw a semicircle with the toe 180 degrees, then circle 360 degrees.

Progression: Sweep toes front, side, back, center.

These moves have been challenging and fun, and we have seen improvement.

We are listed in SaddleBrooke One under Exercise and Support. We have quarterly support and educational meetings on the third Thursday of the month from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the SaddleBrooke One Arts & Craft Center, Room 3, next to the Gift Shop. All are welcome! Go to for Parkinson’s info and support.

Vera Shury, HCH coach, can be reached at 520-275-8755 or [email protected].