MJFF Spotlights Online Fitness, Wellness Programs Tailored to Patients

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by Mary Chapman |

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The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) has a growing cache of community exercises, fitness activities, and mental strengthening skills that Parkinson’s (PD) patients can use any time and any place in response to the need for online programming due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The organization wishes to call attention to some of these group efforts it has compiled, all offering virtual and online exercise opportunities.

“For many people with Parkinson’s, maintaining a regiment of exercise and social interaction is key to managing symptoms,” the MJFF states on a webpage about the resources. “However, disruptions to daily routines this past year have forced all of us to adapt. Back in March 2020, many Parkinson’s programs and support groups transitioned to virtual platforms like Zoom.”

Here are resources in the Northeast:

  • 110 Fitness, Rockland, Maine — Through live classes and pre-recorded videos, this new wellness app for Parkinson’s patients offers boxing, yoga, meditation, vocal work, guest speakers, and PWR! Moves — a Parkinson’s-specific skill training program to maintain or restore skills.
  • Parkinson’s Wellness Project, Pomona, New York — With this project, participants can join a dance or boxing class live through Zoom. Afterward, they can check out the “Chef’s Corner” for healthful recipes.
  • Shakers Anonymous, Greenwich, Connecticut — This group has a myriad of Parkinson’s resources, including Zumba, tai chi, balance, and other exercise videos.

Resources in the Midwest:

  • InMotion, Beachwood, Ohio — The community center provides complimentary services to Parkinson’s patients and others with movement disorders, including its Arts & Music program, and virtual dancing, spinning, boxing, tai chi, and yoga classes.
  • Parkinson Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, Bellevue, Pennsylvania — Free courses offered that emphasize flexibility, aerobics, and strengthening.

Offerings in the West:

Resources in the South:

  • 413 Fitness, Austin, Texas — This program employs a non-contact boxing approach for individuals with movement disorders, and has low, moderate, and high-intensity workouts that can be done remotely. Those interested may want to check out a class before signing up.

Resources elsewhere:

  • Dance for PD, locations worldwide. It’s important to this program to keep people with Parkinson’s dancing and singing, either in person at studios or at home.

Patients may also use the MJFF’s Find an Event page to learn about scheduled activities and ways to continue moving. Exercise is important for people with Parkinson’s because it helps maintain balance, mobility, and the ability to perform daily routines.