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Friday, 11 November 2016 13:33

Shedding Light on a Ride

By | Sports
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Imagine having minimal facial expression, swinging your arms as you walk, or a tremor in one of your hands. These are some of the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. This progressive disorder of the nervous system affects one’s movement. Any symptoms tend to continue, and worsen over time. According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, “as many as one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease.” Research conducted at the Cleveland Clinic exhibited a 35percent reduction in symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by exercising. One effective method is pedaling a bicycle. In a separate study known as “forced exercise” conducted by Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Jay Alberts, it was determined that “forced exercise,” such as riding on a stationary bike, showed marked improvement in mobility and fine motor skills. Dr. Alberts discovered these improvements when he rode a tandem bike with a friend who suffered from Parkinson’s disease. Forced to keep up with him during the ride, Dr. Alberts found that his friend’s fine motor coordination and handwriting significantly improved. In an effort to keep this discovery operative, the Saratoga Regional YMCA has a specialty program called “Pedaling for Parkinson’s.” The program has two missions. The first mission is to improve the quality of life of Parkinson’s disease patients and their caregivers. The second mission is to educate patients, caregivers, and the general public about the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle after a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Anyone who is between the ages of thirty and seventy five years old is allowed to participate. Anyone who has been diagnosed with Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease is also encouraged to participate. Parkinson’s patients with cardiac or pulmonary disease, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, uncontrolled hypertension or stroke, dementia, or any other exercises that will make exercise dangerous may not participate. All participants must complete and provide a signed consent form, as well as a medical clearance form. This program is free for YMCA members. For more information please contact Allison St. Pierre by phone at 518-583-9622 ext 118, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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