KIMBERLY, Wis. (WFRV) – A YMCA near you is helping those affected by Parkinson’s Disease one pedal at a time.
It’s called ‘Pedaling For Parkinson’s’ and it’s taking place at the Heart of the Valley YMCA.
Pedaling for Parkinson’s is a program offered at the YMCA of the Fox Cities that offers group cycling to eligible adults ages 30-75 with a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Attendees ride indoor cycles at 80-90 RPM, twice a week for 60 minutes a session over the course of 8 weeks, however the program can continue indefinitely if participants choose. The staff at the YMCA are trained on how to coach people with a Parkinson’s diagnosis and monitor heart rate and exercise intensity for class attendees.
“Exercise is really medicine for individuals with Parkinson’s and particularly a cycling program is great- especially if an individual has balance issues,” says Brenda Johnson, Executive Director for Heart of the Valley YMCA. “Once they get through the program, they can see an increase in coordination and balance and muscle function and a decrease in tremors and rigidity.”
Regular physical activity can improve gait, balance, coordination, flexibility, agility and energy as well as improve motor function and can even have neuro-protective properties.