Movement, Strength & Balance for Parkinson’s FAU Medicine

The importance of balance for Parkinson’s patients hosted by the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at FAU Medicine written on 5/23/2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D., J.D., M.B.A.


Today I had an opportunity to attend the program “Movement, Strength & Balance for Parkinson’s” through the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Florida Atlantic University Medicine.


Led by Colleen Zenneth Greenhalgh this program entails fitness, moving and energy that I was impressed at throughout the entire program. See more on our interview with Colleen at


It was both heartwarming and inspiring to see individuals with Parkinson’s moving for their own strength and balance.  The group discussed any specific area they wanted to work on, but they were so happy with the course that they were excited to begin. The class goal is to move better, strengthen the muscles and do some cardio.


Tunes and music were jamming throughout the FAU halls including “You Can’t Hurry Love”, “Heard it through the grapevine” and “Hold on, I’m coming” while Parkinson’s patients were treated to sessions of various strengthening and stretching. The class also incorporates soul, rock and roll and music that made me want to jump out of my writing seat and join in with the class!


One couple was attending together as a support system for the other who had Parkinson’s. Stretches included legs, arms, and overall body movement. The use of arms, legs, and posture helps those with Parkinson’s feel better. I noticed participants smiling, laughing, and dancing for joy. Those who needed extra stability could lean on chairs and the class was for everyone who wants to gain balance. A portion of the class is free of any obstacles and other portions allow for the use of chair exercises. Stomach muscles and exercises are also used to tighten the stomach. The class lasts an hour and is free for individuals. More information to sign up can be found at


My mom would have loved this class because it was not only important to move, but also motivated me to get involved as individuals were sweating, smiling, and moving… moving…. Moving.


Additional areas worked on were jogging in place to move the blood flow in the muscles, to use of resistance bands and the full body workout manageable for all individuals.


Research shows and I have cited in prior articles that moving is a major benefit for individuals with Parkinson’s. See my interview with the Dean of FAU College of Medicine Dr. Julie Pilitsis at


I recommend this program to all individuals throughout all communities for not only movement, strength, and balance but also for caregivers and family support. The class is truly for everyone. With incredible instructors like Colleen, you will have unmatched support, love, and care.


A major reason I cover these local communities is because we truly need more awareness for Parkinson’s disease and hope for a cure. As always, I will continue to advocate until we have a cure in memory of my mother, Sharon Riff Ackerman.


A special thank you to the entire FAU Medical department for allowing me to cover these incredible programs and share them throughout the country. They are doing incredible things and through their support to the Parkinson’s community we can assist so many more individuals daily.

Sharon’s son,