Y adds Parkinson’s exercises

Staff report

SIDNEY — The Sidney-Shelby County YMCA has announced that it will begin a Parkinson exercise program, Jan. 3.

Erica Boerger, occupational therapy doctoral student at Huntington University, will lead two, 50-minute classes at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, for 15 weeks. This first session is open to the entire community and free to all participants and their care partners. One-on-one sessions are also available by appointment.

The YMCA Parkinson Exercise Program is a fitness program that is adapted to individuals with all levels of the disease and equally valuable to those who have been newly diagnosed, as well as those in progressed states of the disease. It is designed to empower people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) by optimizing their physical functions and helping to delay the progression of symptoms. These exercise classes are geared specifically to counteract the movement challenges experienced by people with PD.

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder that affects approximately 1 million Americans and is caused by a lack of the chemical messenger, dopamine, in the movement centers of the brain. Besides a lack of dopamine, PD can be aggravated by genetic factors, exposure to pesticides or industrial toxins and the process of aging, itself. Its three major symptoms are tremor (trembling which usually starts in one hand), rigidity in the trunk or limbs and slowness of movement. It is a progressive disorder, meaning that it typically gets worse over the years. New treatments are emerging for PD for the purpose of reducing symptoms.

Staff report