April 21, 2014
Early last Thursday afternoon, Keith, Linda and Marilyn were joined by friend Dianna Daly and 20 interested people at the Rose Baker Senior Center in Gloucester, MA for a demonstration of our exercise program.
Center coordinator Lucy Sheehan graciously welcomed us, and a number of the people who came were pleased to learn that Dianna Daly is associated with our mission, as she is already a respected yoga instructor at the center.
After introducing ourselves, we presented an overview of what Parkinson’s Fitness offers as a means of empowering individuals living with Parkinson’s to maintain their healthiest, safest, and most fulfilling physical and emotional quality of life. Then, curious about the actual exercises, everyone joined in both seated and standing routines, as well as trying strength and agility movements.
After positive comments were made by many in the group to Lucy Sheehan and to us as the program ended, scheduling for a weekly program in Gloucester is being worked on. We’re excited to weave Dianna’s familiar presence and expertise into a leadership role for the classes.
We’ll keep you “posted” as plans progress!
April 5, 2014
We visited the Peabody Parkinson’s support group this week, courtesy of facilitator Rebecca Stewart, and had a great time demonstrating parts of our exercise program.
Now, we all realize that most audiences politely listen to new speakers, and the Peabody members were no exception. Their polite attention turned into enthusiastic participation as Linda led general warm-up stretching and then moved into more focused movements involving the entire upper torso and legs.
Our demonstration space was limited, so many of the exercises were done seated in chairs. But when Keith took over, we were up on our feet for boxing and trying the agility ladder. We had also added in some cognitive movements using our weighted balls.
We felt the group enjoyed trying the shortened sample program. There was certainly laughter, as well as lots of good-natured comments, shared. We believe everyone left with a healthy sense of personal accomplishment!
Thanks for being such great hosts, Peabody! Hope to have you join us when the Marblehead group goes bowling again soon!
March 31, 2014
While you’re “thinking about” whether or not you’ll start – or continue – exercising, keep the following thoughts in mind…
“Someday is nowhere to live your life.” – Rachel Macy Stafford
“Be stronger than your excuses.” – Lisa Ferrara, Manchester, NJ
March 26, 2014
Interesting reading found in the March 23, 2014 issue of the Huffington Post…
“Remember that time your exercise class had awesome music and fun gear — and left you feeling like you had a thorough workout?
Keeping this memory in mind could be the key to motivating you to exercise, a small new study suggests.
Researchers from the University of New Hampshire found that when study participants were asked to think about positive memories around exercise, they had higher levels of subsequent exercise compared with people who didn’t recall memories about exercise.
The study is published in the journal Memory and is based on data from about 150 students. For the study, the students were split up into three groups: One group was asked to think about something positive that happened that would increase exercise motivation, another group was asked to think about something negative that happened that would increase their motivation to exercise, and the third group was not asked to recall any memory. All the students were also asked to rate their future intentions to exercise.
Eight days later, the students filled out a survey saying how much they exercised the week prior. Researchers not only found that those who recalled the positive memories exercised more than those not asked to recall any memories, but those who recalled negative memories also exercised more than those not asked to recall any memories. However, the negative memory recallers exercised less than those asked to recall positive memories.
Memory isn’t the only thing you can harness to boost your exercise motivation. Other research has shown that having a workout partner and financial incentives could also help.”
March 25, 2014
The following words were shared by our Marblehead Parkinson’s support group leader, who read them recently in her March issue of Guideposts magazine and felt that they were appropriate for posting here. The statement was submitted to Guideposts by another reader, Jim Koski, of Saginaw, Michigan.
“Failure is never a person, it’s only an event. And the person who sets a goal, makes a plan, takes action, evaluates results, adjusts their plan, learns from their mistakes and continues toward their goal, never fails.”
WOW! Jim could become a good motivational speaker!
March 23, 2014
In a January 2014 Science Daily article, the University of Alabama at Birmingham summarized recent study results, stating: “Researchers say that high-intensity strength training produced significant improvements in quality of life, mood and motor function in older patients with Parkinson’s disease.”
We’re sharing the article in its entirety for you. Please visit the following site to learn more.
March 19, 2014
Nine bowlers and three “cheerleaders” had a wonderful time together at the Metro Bowl lanes on Foster Street in Peabody this morning!
It was our first field trip together as friends that didn’t involve attending a medical seminar or some other kind of informational event. Why did we choose bowling? It was a unanimous decision made during one of our weekly Parkinson’s exercise sessions. We were focusing on balance and stability, when someone mentioned that what we were doing was similar to bowling. That’s all it took and today’s plan was put into motion!
The Metro Bowl owners and employees were really friendly, helpful people, right down to giving permission for our members to use their canes while bowling, if balance was a concern. Those highly polished alleys are slippery, so our fun activity also provided a combination of balance, exercise and concentration. All the laughter and cheering one another on was good for exercising the facial muscles, as well as voice projection, too!
We’ll “spare” you any other puns, except to say that this idea was a lucky “strike”!
March 14, 2014
Ongoing Parkinson’s studies at Boston University Medical Center include examining the effects of vision on perception, cognition and gait. Vision is closely associated with balance, which of course is one of the major Parkinson’s challenges. For more information about the study and, hopefully, to interest you or someone you know to participate, visit the APDA web site at http://www.bumc.bu.edu/parkinsonsdisease/files/2011/05/PCG-Flyer.pdf
March 10, 2014
We had a great speaker at the Marblehead Parkinson’s support group meeting this week!
Cathi Thomas, a registered nurse and coordinator of the APDA Mass Chapter Information and Referral Center at Boston University Medical Center, spoke about Parkinson’s sleep disorders. Cathi and Dr. Joseph Friedman, highly respected for his work with Parkinson’s and author of Making the Connection Between Brain & Behavior (2nd edition, 2013), presented valuable information at the World Parkinson’s Congress in Montreal, Canada, in October, 2013 that our own Keith and Linda Hall attended. But what do sleep disorders and exercise have to do with one another?
At the support meeting in Marblehead, Cathi reviewed two case studies and treatment approaches from the Montreal presentation. Interestingly, from our perspective, at the top of the recommended sleep hygiene list was “exercise during the day”, as well as “exercise regularly and with specificity”.
If you’re experiencing trouble with sleep, please remember to explore the idea of some type of regular exercise as part of a treatment approach.
Welcome to our Parkinson’s Fitness web site and blog! Visit us often to keep up to date on how we want to help you challenge yourself to increase your endurance, strength, coordination and mobility through goal-oriented, ability-customized exercise programs. A Parkinson’s diagnosis demands an awareness that maintained mobility equals both medications AND movement. We can help provide the movement here in our local North Shore area. We understand why consistent exercise is necessary…we live with Parkinson’s, too!