Biking to fight the symptoms of Parkinson's disease

Published: Feb. 6, 2018 at 2:14 AM EST
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About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease every year in the United States. and while a cure isn't available there are therapies that can help lessen the symptoms of the disease.

The Dickinson County YMCA has started a new class to help do just that.

Karen Pollock is the health & wellness director at the YMCA and she is one of the two instructors who are certified to teach the class.

"Recently they have done a lot of studies on this and found out that cycling between 80 and 90 RPMs can lessen Parkinson's symptoms by up to 35% and that's a big reason to do it."

The class was started in early January and meets twice a week for one hour. While the idea of a cycling class may sound intimidating, the instructors design the class around your abilities.

"Everybody is at their own pace. Some people might start and they have never ridden a bike before and maybe they can only go a minute. We're just trying to get them in here and get them moving so the symptoms they have can be lessened a little bit so they don't have to take so much medication."

The class was started at the request of a local Parkinson's support group. There are currently only 5 people signed up for the class but Pollock knows that many others could be helped by the class.

"So we're hoping for a little bit more. I know there are a lot of people in our community who are in need of this class so I'm hoping that if we can get the word out there that more people will join us."

The trainers for these class have been specially certified to lead them and the YMCA has also made sure to eliminate one major roadblock that may have kept people from signing up.

"The class is free. It's totally free to anybody in our community or the surrounding area. If people want to come to the class, the class is totally free to members and non-members. We wanted to make it like that so nobody could say that they couldn't afford to come. We wanted this to be available for the people who really need this."

Contact the YMCA at (906) 774-4076