The POWER of Pedaling…for Parkinson’s: A Guest Blog Post by Bill M.


Post-PFP ride selfie:  Marnie with Dave and Nina in the Cycle Studio, David D. Hunting YMCA, Grand Rapids, MI

This month I needed some help with the guest post, so I connected with one of the rock star cycling instructors at the local YMCA…Marnie Linna.  Marnie’s a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise & Cycling Instructor…and so much more!  When she’s not at the Y, spending time with family, traveling, or just enjoying the great outdoors, you’ll find Marnie working with her clients at Allegro Coaching in Eastown / Grand Rapids.  She’s also involved in the Pedaling for Parkinson’s (PFP) program at the David D. Hunting (DDH) YMCA.  If you haven’t already heard about this program…keep reading!

This program narrative from the Ann Arbor, MI YMCA website:

Research conducted at the Cleveland Clinic showed a 35% reduction in PD symptoms by the simple act of pedaling a bicycle at a rapid pace, optimally 80-90 revolutions per minute. This research inspired the launching of Pedaling for Parkinson’s™ (PFP), an indoor cycling program geared specifically towards individuals with PD.

Participants will either ride on a solo stationary bike or on a tandem bike with a volunteer “pilot” three times a week. Each exercise session consists of a warm-up, a main exercise set, and a cool-down. Rest breaks will be taken as needed. Participants will ride within their pre-determined heart rate zones and will be closely monitored by program facilitators.

More also at the PFP website:  http://www.pedalingforparkinsons.org/

When I asked Marnie about ideas for a cycling participant that might be interested in sharing a guest post, she quickly thought of Bill, a  member that has been very active in the Pedaling for Parkinson’s program.

For this month’s guest blog post…please meet Bill Moore!

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) almost eight years ago at the age of 66.

It is estimated that 1 in 100 people over 65 will have PD in their lifetime.  It is currently an incurable neurological disorder.  However, there are several things you can do to help the situation:

  • Take a high-quality multi-vitamin
  • Get plenty of fiber in your diet
  • Eliminate any toxins in your home
  • AND…most important, have a program of strenuous exercise

Neurologists will tell you that for people with PD, getting strenuous exercise is just as important as taking your medicine!  And perhaps the best exercise is to simply ride a bike…both outside and inside.  But don’t simply do it on your own…join the Y.  There is an indoor cycling program at many YMCA’s called Pedaling for Parkinson’s (PFP).  Locally, here in Grand Rapids, the program is free and included with your Y membership.

Based on the fact that 1% of seniors have PD, there must be several hundred people in Kent County with PD, and yet very few are currently taking advantage of the local PFP program.

PFP is offered at the Mary Free Bed YMCA (Cascade Township) on Mondays and Wednesdays at Noon and at the downtown GR (DDH) YMCA every Friday 11:00.  Each session is 45 minutes.

I urge you to join the PFP program three times a week or as many as you are able…it can only help!  I am confident that PFP is helping me deal with my PD.

 – Bill Moore, Grand Rapids  MI

Thanks so much Bill (and Marnie) for taking time to help with the March 2019 guest blog post!


Post-PFP ride with Steve (Marnie’s on Spring Break!):  Sharon, Bill and Dave in the Cycle Studio, David D. Hunting YMCA, Grand Rapids, MI

Bill shared a couple other things with me before class:

Aerobic Exercise Benefits Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/aerobic-exercise-benefits-patients-with-parkinsons-disease/

Changing Course:  A special presentation by Jimmy Choi

 American Ninja Warrior, PD Advocate

Date, time, venue and other event details here:  http://parkinsonswm.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Choi_1_Long-version.pdf

Grandma’s Books about Parkinson’s Disease

After class, I learned that Sharon is also a blogger…visit her blog at https://grandmaspdbooks.com/

From ABOUT US…This website catalogues various books written about Parkinson’s for young readers.  If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with PD, the books featured here may be helpful. This website was designed to teach young children why their grandparents might be exhibiting some of the more common Parkinson’s symptoms like flat affect (limited smiling) and tremors. 

Please comment if you have anything to add or share about this important and successful evidence-based program!

Have a great spring weekend…ENJOY THE RIDE!

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Find me on Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & other places on the web...or at my local YMCA in the Cycle Studio! Recently ICG® WATTRATE® POWER certified, I've been a certified Mad Dogg Athletics Spinning Instructor since October 2012. I have taught classes at Davenport University, The University Club, SNAP Fitness (Watermark CC), Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation Dept., and Greater Grand Rapids YMCAs. Be Well... Enjoy the Ride! 🚴🏻🎶😅

6 thoughts on “The POWER of Pedaling…for Parkinson’s: A Guest Blog Post by Bill M.

  1. Thank you for this post. My mom was recently diagnosed with PD, and she is 67 years old. I had no idea there was a bike program specifically for PD folks. I will have to check and see if we have that program here in our area (she lives in NC). If we don’t have it in place here, can you tell me who I can contact to see about getting it set up here? Also, as a Cycle Instructor, I’d love to get certified to do this…do I need a special certification?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve. Thank you for posting about this great program. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this class. As one of the instructors at the Mary Free Bed YMCA for this program, I see the great efforts it takes on the behalf of the riders in the class to maintain strength and endurance during their ride. I have years of experience noticing the signs of Parkinson’s and it’s side effects after watching both my grandmother and father-in-law fight to keep strength during their battles.
    Just a few things I would like to share about my experience with this group. It is super important to allow the riders to help set the pace. As much as I would like to use the 80-90 rpm format, some days it is just not going to happen! Some days 70 appears to be the most comfortable rpm. I often take the off bike approach to provide individual attention and encouragement. The side effects strike each rider differently on a daily basis. Tremors, speech, slow reactions, and limb stiffness seem to be the common that I see. I have to say that the riders in our program are very pro active and take great responsibility in enhancing their daily living with the many programs available to Parkinson’s patients in our community.
    Again thank you for sharing about this program and thank you Bill!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome Deb! Your personal connection with PD and experience working in the fitness industry are a great combination. Another way GRYMCA is helping to make lives better in West Michigan…thanks for being part of this program!

      Like

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