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Menopause Health and Fitness Specialist

gain an understanding of
parkinson's disease

Every nine seconds a person is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. By this time, the patient has been experiencing symptoms for years. Over the past decade, numerous exercise methods have surfaced all claiming to “slow the progression of the disease.”

Research studies reveal more and more information about the epidemiology of the disease while fitness professionals are offering more personal training and/or coaching of group exercise classes specifically for those living with Parkinson’s disease.


This is an online, self-paced course delivered by Medfit.

All materials are delivered digitally – through a variety of digital mediums, including written material, video narrated slide presentations, videos of sample exercises, sample forms, and more.

Comprehension of the material will be measured via a mandatory competency assessment requiring a minimum of 80% correct responses.

Course Author: Colleen Bridges-Nash, M.Ed.

Course Length: 12.5 Hours

Course overview

The goal of this course is to bring the research, medical and fitness fields together so that fitness professionals gain a comprehensive understanding of Parkinson’s disease, and learn how to work with those who have it

During this course you will gain an understanding of the epidemiology and the effects of Parkinson’s disease on the body.

You’ll learn the treatment options and the side effects. Gain an understanding of the connection between exercise and Parkinson’s disease (includes a boxing tutorial).

Also Learn the What, Why and How to Writing an effective program design for clients with Parkinson’s disease.

And finally you’ll learn safe and effective programming through progression and regression of exercises, when necessary.

Lesson Content 1-3

Module 1: What is Parkinson’s Disease?


Module 2: Therapies Today and in the Future


Module 3: Benefits of Exercise

Lesson Content 4-5

Module 4: Boxing and Parkinson’s Disease

Module 5: Effective Exercise Program Design, Part I

Module 6: Effective Exercise Program Design, Part II


Prerequisites & renewal

The completion of this course, including the competency assessment, leads to a Certificate of Specialization. This online course delivered through Medfit Classroom is considered advanced level education, and are meant to be taken by fitness professionals who have previously acquired education and experience as a professional within the health and fitness industry. 


In order to receive the Certificate of Specialization, upon completion of this course you will be asked to provide proof of the following:

  1. Evidence of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in fitness or health related field AND/OR possess a certification from a nationally-recognized certification, NCCA or ANSI/ISO accredited program AND
  2. Evidence of professional liability insurance.

*If you do not meet the requirements for a Certificate of Specialization, you can request a Certificate of Completion.

This Certificate of Specialization is valid for a period of two years. To keep the certificate current, you must complete 10 hours of continuing education, on relevant subject matter, and formally renew the certificate prior to the date of its expiration. As with many certifications and specializations in our field, professionals should anticipate some costs to continuing education and renewal of this certificate.

about the

course author

Colleen Bridges

Colleen Bridges-Nash, M.Ed.


Colleen Bridges has worked for nearly 17 years as an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Fitness Consultant. Colleen is also an independent contractor for Nashville’s first Personal Training Centre, STEPS Fitness. Her passion for understanding the body in sickness and in health, and how it moves, as fed her interest in and enhanced her talent for working with senior adults, especially those living with a neurological disorder such as Parkinson’s Disease.

Colleen earned a BA from Ouachita Baptist University and an M. Ed from Louisiana Tech University. Having then gone on to earn multiple Certifications such as NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, Rock Steady Boxing Certification, Brain and Balance Certification, Parkinson’s Cycling Certification as well as completing an internship with Dr. Irv Rubenstein in 2005.

Colleen’s love for special populations took a unique turn in 2016, when she began teaching classes for those living with Parkinson’s disease. Almost 6 years later, Colleen has two locations, 14 classes per week, 10 assistant coaches and over 120 boxers fighting against Parkinson’s Disease.

Vanderbilt University Movement Disorder Clinic saw improvements in their patients from attending Colleen’s Boxing classes and invited her to participate in a research project studying how exercise intervention affects Parkinson’s Disease. 



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