Are there local fitness programs for Parkinson’s patients?
For those fighting the progression of Parkinson’s symptoms, the gloves are off. Or, rather, they are on.
Trainers at Lexington Avenue Gym in Mount Kisco help Parkinson’s patients fight back through Rock Steady, a boxing workout developed specifically for Parkinson’s patients 10 years ago in Indiana that has since spread nationwide. With warm ups, agility training, all-over body workouts, and of course time in the ring, patients are improving motor movement, core strength, balance, flexibility, range of motion, gait, and posture—along with gaining camaraderie and confidence.
While there is no cure for the slow-progressing neurological disorder, exercise is widely recognized as one of the ways to best treat symptoms.
Approximately 30 clients participate in Rock Steady at Lexington Avenue Gym. Some were diagnosed two years ago, others 15, and all are at different stages of the disease. “Every single one has improved,” says owner Nina Preizler.
Parkinson’s patients are also seeing results working with fitness trainers at the Saw Mill Club. Besides increasing strength, balance, and rotation, Director of Fitness Billy Goda says a key element of a Parkinson’s fitness program is “making patients feel spiritually and mentally in control of their lives.”
At Northern Westchester Hospital’s Rehabilitation Center, Parkinson’s patients can participate in both movement and speech programs. A unique, twice-a-week class for caregivers and patients together allows both to recharge, exercise, and get support.
As Goda says: “The stronger the tree, the harder it is to chop down.”