5 Parkinson’s exercise classes for keeping fit in lockdown

Health & Fitness

Author: Sophie BatesPublished: 7 May 2020

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From boxing to ballet, we roundup five of the best online exercise classes that are helping the global Parkinson’s community stay active at home during the coronavirus crisis  

1.Invertigo’s Dancing Through Parkinson’s

The US-based Invertigo Dance Theatre, has taken its weekly ‘Dancing Through Parkinson’s’ classes online, having had to suspend in-person classes because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Professional dance teachers will be streaming sessions on Zoom every Thursday starting May 7, which participants can join live or watch later.

K. Bradford, Invertigo’s community engagement manager said: “Our dance classes invite people with Parkinson’s and those with limited mobility into movement as a source of joy, strength, and discovery.

“Our participants tell us they find healing and a sense of belonging in the Dancing Through Parkinson’s community, and that the classes foster greater wellbeing in what can be an isolating time.”

2. EPDA ExerciseCast

The European Parkinson’s Disease Association (EPDA) recently launched ExerciseCast, an online exercise programme aiming to keep people with Parkinson’s active while in lockdown. 

Created by Josefa Domingos, physiotherapist and EPDA board member, and John Dean, a speech and language pathologist – the classes combine voice, movement and cognition tasks.

In an interview with Parkinson’s Life, Josefa said: “Our patients’ needs have changed, so our services have to change too. Because we are stuck at home until further notice, it’s more important than ever to find new, engaging ways to stay active.”

3. Daily Dose PD

Daily Dose PD has plenty of exercise options – from high intensity training to yoga classes – that are designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s. 

Nate Coomer, physical therapist and founder of Daily Dose PD, said: “The Daily Dose is our way of bringing exercise to anyone with Parkinson’s, anywhere. It’s an online training platform where we, as physical therapists and trainers in our clinic in Seattle, US, record and live stream videos of exercise routines for people to work out with at home.”

Signing up for a full membership or 30-day free trial also gives members access to a wider range of workouts and live sessions that are posted weekly. 

4. Brian Grant Foundation

The Brian Grant Foundation offers a variety of Parkinson’s exercise videos including pilates, tai chi, and boxing. Each activity has been shown to help with symptoms of the condition and is based on research from the Oregon Health and Science University, US.  

The foundation was founded in 2010 by former NBA player Brian Grant, following his Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2008. The site also offers training for fitness professionals for delivering exercise classes for people with Parkinson’s. 

5. Scottish Ballet Dance for Parkinson’s

Scottish Ballet has been sharing daily livestream fitness videos on their Facebook page – including Dance for Parkinson’s.

The classes aim to maintain the physical and mental wellbeing of people with Parkinson’s – working on improving balance, movement and offering a sense of routine. 

Catherine Cassidy, director of engagement at Scottish Ballet, said: “During these unprecedented times, we feel it is vital to be continuing our engagement work to connect with communities, and help support people’s physical and mental wellbeing.”

To find out more about Parkinson’s and exercise please visit the EPDA website.

Read more:

EPDA ExerciseCast: How to stay active during the coronavirus crisis

6 tips to stay active while living with Parkinson’s

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