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NeurologicalJun 8, 2023

Physio Milly Khan hopes exercise video with body coach Joe Wicks will help people with Parkinson's

Physiotherapist Milly Khan is winning plaudits for working with a leading fitness expert to help to raise the profile of the benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s.

In a tweet earlier this week, Milly, a highly specialist neuro-physiotherapist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ in London, announced that a video featuring Joe Wicks – often known as the Body Coach – was freely available on YouTube.

‘After months of behind the scenes work, our Parkinson’s video with Joe Wicks has been released! So excited for everyone to see this! Thank you to everyone @GSTTnhs for all the support.’ Many people, including Rob Yeldham from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, praised Milly for her initiative in response.

Photo Credit: Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
When Joe met Milly and Carol: an image from the exercise video

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Milly's trust’s gym is used by Joe to go through a challenging workout alongside Carol Webb, who has Parkinson’s, and the video is promoted on its website. Milly said: ‘We were delighted to create an exercise video with Joe Wicks designed especially for people with Parkinson’s. Physical activity is a really important component of treatment for Parkinson’s, and the condition shouldn’t be a barrier to being physically active.’

Viewers at home are invited to watch or try out a routine of 10 exercises, including a one minute ‘sit to stand’ challenge – all of which have been designed for people with Parkinson’s.

Milly, who also features in a one-to-one interview with Jo, noted: ‘It’s important that physical activity sessions contain components of aerobic fitness, strength training, balance and core control, and stretching. You don’t have to challenge these systems all in one go, spread them out throughout the week!

‘We have tried to incorporate all these components in this video and recommend you complete them at your own pace. Physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean attending exercise classes several times a week, it also includes gardening and dancing. It’s important that you challenge your symptoms and you enjoy it.'

We were delighted to create an exercise video with Joe Wicks designed especially for people with Parkinson’s. Physical activity is a really important component of treatment for Parkinson’s [Milly Khan]

Joe said: ‘I’m so passionate about making exercise accessible for all people, no matter their ability. Taking part in regular exercise has many benefits not just for your physical health, but also your mental health.

'It was great to come down to St Thomas’ Hospital to hear more about how exercise can help people with Parkinson’s manage their symptoms and to create this workout video tailored specifically for them.'

St Thomas’ Hospital holds regular exercise classes for patients with Parkinson’s in six-weekly blocks. Carol, 52, a veteran of the classes, said: ‘Since being diagnosed with Parkinson's, I've found taking part in regular exercise like yoga really helps to keep my joints flexible. If I sit still for too long, my joints can feel stiff so it's good to keep moving. I found the exercise classes with Milly really helpful and, although tiring, it has given me the confidence to start a circuit training class locally – something I would not have thought possible previously.'

Milly added that she hoped the resource would ‘make a huge difference’ to her own patients and to those around the country.

About 145,000 people in the UK Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that affects. The main symptoms include slow movement, stiffness and tremor but it can also affect people’s walking, sleep and memory. Research has shown that taking part in regular physical activity can positively impact patients’ symptoms, both physically and mentally.

The exercise video is available free online on The Body Coach YouTube channel

Twitter: @Milly_Physio 

Author: Ian A McMillan
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