Thursday, May 19, 2016

Our Sarasota Experiment - Part One

We spent the last two weeks in Sarasota, Florida getting things set up and exploring the community. We are home now but will return at the end of the month for a few weeks before coming back to The Lake Cottage for most of the summer.

We brought our bicycles down to Sarasota and have enjoyed exploring the Village Walk community where our town home is located riding along the various trails that crisscross the community. We ride to the town center to pick up our mail, visit the fitness center or go to the pool.  We have also found that by car we are pretty much just 15 minutes or less away from the grocery store, the YMCA, the mall, restaurants and (at least during the off season) the beach.

We have joined the Sarasota YMCA where they have a Pedaling for Parkinson's class twice a week along with other classes for seniors.  They are also working to get certified as PWR  (Parkinson's Wellness Recovery) instructors and we attended one of the classes last week as 'guinea pigs' as they get ready for certification in another week or so.  The program was developed by Becky Farley who also developed the LSVT BIG program.  The class was great and incorporated chair exercises along with standing exercises using exaggerated movements.  You can read more about PWR here.

We found it easy to establish a daily exercise routine in Sarasota. Along with the pedaling classes, being able to easily bike, walk, or work out at the community fitness center provides a good variety of exercises during the week.  I have become a firm believer that regular exercise is slowing the progression of my PD in addition to improving my overall health.  And after reading "What's Good for the Heart is Good for the Brain" on NPR this month, I'm hopeful that regular exercise will also improve my cardiovascular health and cognitive function along with slowing my PD progression.

You are probably beginning to notice that I write as much about the benefits of exercise as I do about signing up for the Fox Trial Finder and Fox Insight programs.  And I know some of you are saying 'I can't exercise" because I have balance issues or I am too rigid or _______ (fill in the blank).  I recently read a perfect response to "I can't" in a post by Natasha McCarthy on her blog A broken body's Journey where she said:
 "I'm always preaching about how the studies prove that exercise is the only proven way to slow the progression of PD.  If you are told there's this miracle fix that can ensure your body works the way it does (or maybe even better) and despite your degenerative disease stays where it is for a long time to come wouldn't you beg me for the secret?  Well, it's no secret, you just have to get up and move the more the better.  If you say you "can't" run anymore "try" walking.  If you say you "can't" do aerobics "try" water aerobics.  "Can't" handle impact on your feet "try" biking.  Your balance is bad and you say you "can't" because you'll fall, then try a stationary bike with a good seat, or chair yoga!" (Read the entire post here)
So in addition to clicking on the logos to the right and signing up for Fox Trial Finder and/or Fox Insight, how about checking out the free exercise video available from The Davis Phinney Foundation website.  The exercises are designed for PwPs, demonstrated by PwPs , can easily be modified for any level of fitness and they don't require a gym membership or a swimming pool!  Click on the Davis Phinney Foundation logo on the right to check it out.

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." - Confucius

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