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Listing: Fitness and Exercising with Parkinson's Disease


Media Type

Online Resource

Reviewed Date

May 23, 2023

Shirley Ryan Abilitylab Adaptive Sports & Fitness Center - Parkinson’s Disease Specific Exercise Programs


Anyone interested in participating in a specialized exercise program or becoming a Shirley Ryan Abilitylab fitness center member must have a medical form on file completed by their physician. You can download the medical form online or contact the Adaptive Sports and Fitness Center directly: 541 North Fairbanks, Chicago, IL 60611 | 312-238-5001 |

Functional Fitness Program: One-on-one exercise programs that pairs an exercise physiologist with individuals who need specialized instruction, building on skills learned in physical therapy. The program is designed to help increase activity, continue to improve physical ability, and enhance their personal fitness goals while working one-on-one with an exercise physiologist who specializes in Parkinson’s disease symptom specific exercise prescription. An in-depth assessment will also be conducted at the beginning of their program. Classes currently offered at: Downtown Adaptive Sports & Fitness Center, virtual live classes are available

Nordic Walking: The goal of this class is to engage participants in active Nordic Walking using Nordic Walking poles. Participants learn how to safely walk through agility courses, and obstacles. The class also includes various gait, endurance and strengthening exercises using Nordic poles. Recommended for anyone who wants to improve balance, stability, and agility while walking. Classes currently offered - Thursday at 9 am at 808 N Lake Shore Park Drive

Proactive Parkinson’s DiseaseThe goal of this class is to learn about symptoms and take proactive approaches to reduce or prevent them from worsening for as long as possible. Parkinson’s disease has ways of sneaking up on your body, however there are symptoms of Parkinson’s that you can catch early and work on them, some examples are rigidity (stiffness), bradykinesia (slowness of movement), and incoordination. Early detection of  symptoms, and proactive approaches such as high-intensity training, progressive resistance training, and practicing symptom specific exercises are important to stay ahead of the game! Learn body awareness to recognize how your movement and activities change over time, and self-correct smaller, slower and less coordinated movements.

Experience how it feels to increase your exertion, produce bigger and better movement, and exercise intensely while performing task–specific movements. Train your body and brain in a fun, motivating and supportive environment. This is a high-intensity class suitable for individuals in early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Adaptive Pilates: Adaptive Pilates taught by a certified Pilates instructor, this class will help improve your core stability and provide improved core strength, trunk mobility, stability, and posture. This class is designed for individuals who are able to transfer from standing to floor with minimal assistance (can use chair). Moves are adapted for participants of different abilities.

Seated Dance: A dance class with easy to follow choreography and high-intensity cardiovascular exercise. Dances mimic interval training to maximize calorie burn and keep you moving. Great for all Fitness Ability levels. The goal of our new dance cardio class is to help improve coordination, memory, range of motion, and cardiovascular endurance. Please note that most dances are taught standing and can be performed either seated or standing.

Adaptive Seated Yoga: In this 45-minute class, participants explore yoga postures and breathing exercises that will increase flexibility and postural alignment. This class is designed for participants with a variety of needs and can be adapted for participants’ individual health conditions, mobility, and current fitness level. The entire class may be comfortably practiced in a chair. This class is led at a rate that allows those who may need extra time or assistance in transitioning in and out of the poses.

View all Adaptive Fitness Classes

Additional Area Exercise Programs


GO! Tango P.D.
Adapted Argentine Tango class designed for people with Parkinson's Disease.
Classes at Almagro Tango Studio - Mondays from 6-7 pm
4809 N. Ravenswood Ave Suite 117
Chicago, IL 60640

Northwestern Parkinson’s Programming
Lake Forest Health & Fitness Center offers a range of FREE Parkinson's Programming to adults with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers.
1200 North Westmoreland Road, Lake Forest, Illinois 60045 | (847) 535-7000

  • Rock Steady Boxing
  • Dance for Parkinson’s
  • Functional Fitness
  • Parkinson’s Support Group
  • Pedal for Parkinson’s
  • Pilates for Parkinson’s
  • Strength & Balance
  • Stride & Strength
  • TRX for Parkinson’s
  • Yoga for Parkinson’s

Edward-Elmhurst Health Classes
Adaptive Parkinson’s Yoga, Thursdays
Parkinson’s Cycle, Thursday
Knockout Parkinson’s Monday, Wednesday
Water Parkinson’s – Naperville

The Neurobalance Center, NFP 
1529 South Grove Ave.
Barrington, IL. 60010

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Listing: Parkinson's Disease Resources

This content is for informational purposes only and may not be comprehensive. Information contained does not imply an endorsement from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, and does not replace the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. See here for further details.

© Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)
Henry B. Betts LIFE Center – (312) 238-5433 –

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