Stepping back: Hans Von Michaelis, Tom Berns, Judy Bodor and Carole Edwards.

One of the symptoms as Parkinson’s progresses (don’t expect to get it, as everyone is different) is falling backwards! Even normal people have a hard time stepping back. There can be various reasons for this symptom. Such as 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 climbers, etc.

One of main points is to reactivate body memory by repetition of correct, safe moves. The group (in the picture) took one or two steps forward and then three to four, even five steps backward while holding onto the high railing to be fully upright while 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 with deliberate thinking, then soon, 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 classes are held two days a week, which are really not enough! Members would benefit greatly participating in two 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!

Other Resources

Our President is Ted Birchard, who can reached by phone at (520) 825-1464. Vice President is Hans Von Michaelis. The 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. You can reach her by phone at (520) 275-8755 or send an email to

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