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Movement is Medicine

Friday January 02, 2015

Everyday takes courage to fight Parkinson’s. Adding exercise in your daily life puts you back in control, empowering you over this disease by not allowing it to define you. Getting started is the most difficult part, but a good first step is signing up for the Dance for Parkinson’s program. You can find more details here: /participate/exercise-movement/dance-for-pd/. There are classes in Seattle, Des Moines, Kirkland, Issaquah and Boise. Classes are growing, and by joining, you will understand how daily exercise restores independence, helps treat depression, and makes you smile.

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Just last week, I had the pleasure of speaking to Martha, a dedicated member who can’t imagine life without Dance for Parkinson’s.  She gave me valuable insight into what Dance is really like. Before walking into the room for the first time, Marsha admitted she was nervous with many flickering questions going through her head. “Will everyone be at a higher level of ability?” “What if I can’t follow the dance moves?” “Will it be awkward to talk to the other members?”

Martha’s worries were quickly brushed aside by the marked difference she felt when she finished the class, lifting her into a bright and happy place. It was easy to fit in because the class had a good mix of people—those who needed walkers and aids, to family, friends, and caregivers joining in on the fun. Martha reveals that the key to enjoying the class was how the trainers didn’t treat anyone as “disabled”. They give you an experience, make you laugh, steady you, challenge you, and always bring you hope. You can dance to a variation of music—from Broadway and ethnic styles—to get the blood flowing. Sure Martha was a bit sore, but she found it hard to wipe off the smile on her face. Judging from all the smiles on her fellow classmates, she knew she was not alone.

Dance for Parkinson’s is a great opportunity to join a community with people who share similar challenges. You are able to reap the benefits of exercise and meet individuals who can inspire and challenge you to do better. Come out and dance—you won’t regret it!   

Sign up for the next class in your area here!

Corrinne Parkinson
NWPF Communication & Program Intern

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