Part 2 of 2

This is part 2 of a 2 part series on the research of function.

Read Part 1: Learn more about the specific guided plan on function.

Our Function Guided Plans
are available to begin today!

Let’s have FUN with Function - “Make Function Exercise”

In part 1, we talked about the building blocks for PD-specific functional skill training, which we use at PWR! every day. Function can be used to improve endurance, strength, balance, agility, and flexibility. Read ahead to learn more about the specific guided plan on function.

Functional Mobility Defined

The ability to move freely (mobility) and to perform all your activities of daily living (ADL’s) (functionality) independently and safely in complex and changing environments at home, work and in the community (functional mobility in the real world).

Building blocks for PD-specific functional skill training

In our function videos, we show how our instructors can reconstruct the building blocks of function into meaningful action sequences with functional themes.  The exercise themes were related to mobility, transitions or functionality (see figure 1 above).  In previous months, we have shown you how our instructors can also integrate the PWR!Moves into fitness programming (see the video releases for strength, agility, and balance).  But this month, you will experience real-life movements as exercise and find out how to improve your balance, strength, and agility all at the same time! 

This function-first approach is consistent with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommendations for people living with chronic diseases and disabilities15 and a recent perspective article on treating persons with PD as athletes12.  These resources suggest that the goals of exercise are different in people living with chronic health conditions.  Instead of general fitness goals focused on improving strength, balance or flexibility; there needs to be a more focused approach on improving the foundational skills that deteriorate and contribute to a loss of physical activity and fitness and functional mobility.  We couldn’t agree more!   

Join our membership today and jump into the Function Guided Plan
High and Low Intensity - because we know intensity matters to those with Parkinson's

FunctionGP3wide videos

Our goal is to make sure you’re always empowered and informed.

We offer handouts, downloads, research updates, Wellness Series talks, retreats with knowledgeable speakers, in-person and virtual wellness consultations, and in-person physical therapy visits. We are here for our PWR! Members every step of the way.

We’re excited to have you join us!

Ready to get started? Not sure what to do?

Schedule an appointment with the PWR!Gym to assess your balance control and provide you with a personalized plan.

Working 1:1 with a therapist is the most efficient and effective way to “retrain” balance, group exercise is the most effective way to “sustain” the gains from therapy! Guess what? At the PWR!Gym, we can give you access to both – intensive bouts of PD-specialized rehabilitation and group exercise training for life.

Come join us at the PWR! Virtual Experience 


Learn More about our Wellness Consultations


  1. Farley BG, Koshland GF. Training BIG to move faster: the application of the speed-amplitude relation as a rehabilitation strategy for people with Parkinson’s disease. Exp Brain Res. 2005;167(3):462-467. doi:10.1007/s00221-005-0179-7
  2. Perry SIB, Nelissen PM, Siemonsma P, Lucas C. The effect of functional-task training on activities of daily living for people with Parkinson`s disease, a systematic review with meta-analysis. Complement Ther Med. 2019;42:312-321. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2018.12.008
  3. Radder DLM, Lígia Silva de Lima A, Domingos J, et al. Physiotherapy in Parkinson’s Disease: A Meta-Analysis of Present Treatment Modalities. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2020;34(10):871-880. doi:10.1177/1545968320952799
  4. King LA, Horak FB. Delaying Mobility Disability in People With Parkinson Disease Using a Sensorimotor Agility Exercise Program. Phys Ther. 2009;89(4):384-393. doi:10.2522/ptj.20080214
  5. Farley BG, Fox CM, Ramig LO, McFarland DH. Intensive amplitude-specific therapeutic approaches for Parkinson’s disease: Toward a neuroplasticity-principled rehabilitation model. Top Geriatr Rehabil. 2008;24(2):99-114. doi:10.1097/01.TGR.0000318898.87690.0d
  6. Vojciechowski AS, Gianello T, Zotz G, Paula A, Loureiro C, Israel VL. The International Classification of Functioning , Disability and Health as Applied to Parkinson ’ s Disease : A Literature Review. 2016;(May):29-40. doi:10.4236/apd.2016.52005
  7. Ferrazzoli D, Ortelli P, Madeo G, Giladi N, Petzinger GM, Frazzitta G. Basal ganglia and beyond: The interplay between motor and cognitive aspects in Parkinson’s disease rehabilitation. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2018;90:294-308. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2018.05.007
  8. Bouça-Machado R, Maetzler W, Ferreira JJ. What is Functional Mobility Applied to Parkinson’s Disease? J Parkinsons Dis. 2018;8(1):121-130. doi:10.3233/JPD-171233
  9. Borchers EE, McIsaac TL, Bazan-Wigle JK, Elkins AJ, Bay RC, Farley BG. A physical therapy decision-making tool for stratifying persons with Parkinson’s disease into community exercise classes. Neurodegener Dis Manag. 2019;9(6):nmt-2019-0019. doi:10.2217/nmt-2019-0019
  10. Mak MK, Wong-Yu IS, Shen X, Chung CL. Long-term effects of exercise and physical therapy in people with Parkinson disease. Nat Rev Neurol. 2017;13(11):689-703. doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2017.128
  11. Sacheli MA, Neva JL, Lakhani B, et al. Exercise increases caudate dopamine release and ventral striatal activation in Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord. 2019;34(12):1891-1900. doi:10.1002/mds.27865
  12. Bouça-Machado R, Venturelli M, Tinazzi M, Schena F, Ferreira JJ. Treating Patients Like Athletes: Sports Science Applied to Parkinson’s Disease. Front Neurol. 2020;11:228. doi:10.3389/fneur.2020.00228
  13. Prodoehl J, Rafferty MR, David FJ, et al. Two-year exercise program improves physical function in Parkinson’s disease: The PRET-PD randomized clinical trial. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2015;29(2):112-122. doi:10.1177/1545968314539732
  14. Van Puymbroeck M, Walter A, Hawkins BL, et al. Functional Improvements in Parkinson’s Disease Following a Randomized Trial of Yoga. Evidence-Based Complement Altern Med. 2018;2018:1-8. doi:10.1155/2018/8516351
  15. Durstine, J L, Geoffrey E. Moore, and Patricia L. Painter (eds). ACSM’s Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities 4th Edition Print. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL, 2016.

Dr. Becky Farley About the Author

If you ask her, Dr. Becky Farley will tell you that working with her first client with Parkinson’s almost 20 years ago changed her life and her career, and since then she hasn't stopped changing lives of those living with Parkinson's, in Arizona and the rest of the world.  In 2010, she established the PWR!Gym in Tucson and has been offering people with Parkinson disease the PD-specific physical therapygroup exercise, and social engagement they need to get better and stay better. Globally, Dr. Farley supports PWR!’s mission of making cutting-edge PD-specific "exercise as medicine” available to the 10 million people living with PD worldwide, by training healthcare and fitness professionals in the PWR!Moves and the PWR!4Life model (and she’s trained over 6000 professionals since she started in 2010!). 

When she’s home in Arizona, you’ll find Becky working on PD-specific exercise at the PWR!Gym as well as leading our annual exercise intensive PWR! Retreats.  When she’s on the road, she’s either teaching our PWR!Moves workshops or giving talks at conferences, community organizations, and healthcare networks across the US and world. 

When she isn’t working, you can find her working out, walking the dog, and gardening.  To learn even more about Dr. Farley, visit our team page. 

Dr. Becky Farley

You can find Dr. Farley at:

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