Parkinson’s patients find relief in pedaling

  • By Ashley Stewart Herald Writer
  • Monday, April 1, 2013 4:22pm
  • Life

The Mill Creek YMCA has a program that could help people with Parkinson’s disease lessen their symptoms.

Pedaling for Parkinson’s is a 12-week class that employs fast pedaling and high cadence on stationary bikes to improve motor function in Parkinson’s sufferers.

“Ideally, this is another way for Parkinson’s patients to have some support,” said Cindy Mascari, director of Mill Creek YMCA Health and Wellbeing.

“It’s a support group concept for both the patients and their caregivers.”

In a 2009 study, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that people with Parkinson’s disease who pedaled at a fast speed, optimally 80 to 90 revolutions per minute, for at least 40 minutes, three days a week showed a 35 percent improvement in motor function.

Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that causes tremors, slow movement, stiffness and impaired coordination. The chronic and progressive disorder occurs when the brain cells that produce the chemical dopamine — responsible for regulating movement — stop working effectively.

The program aims to work people up to a fast pedaling speed to reduce these symptoms and improve movement.

“We’re just looking for other ways to reach people who benefit from exercise,” Mascari said.

“I really was impressed with what I saw in the study, and to the think the Y could make an impact within that population just seemed the perfect fit for us.”

Registration is now open for the free, 12-week program, which runs Monday to June 28.

During one-hour classes three days a week, patients can ride one of 16 stationary bikes and gradually work up to the desired 80 to 90 rpm speed that has been shown to improve motor function.

Caregivers are welcome to ride alongside patients, and there is a tandem bike for people with Parkinson’s who need some extra help.

To register, Parkinson’s patients need to submit medical clearance and consent forms, available at the Y’s front desk or online at tinyurl.com/PedalingforParkinsons.

Parkinson’s patients must be 30 to 75 years old to join, without another medical condition that could respond poorly to exercise, including cardiac or pulmonary disease, uncontrolled hypertension or stroke, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or dementia.

Registration is open throughout the program, but people are encouraged to join before it begins Monday.

For more information, contact Cindy Mascari at 425-357-3024 or email cmascari@ymca-snoco.org.

Ashley Stewart: 425-339-4947; astewart@heraldnet.com.

Pedaling for Parkinson’s

9 to 10 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, April 8 to June 28 at Mill Creek Family YMCA cycling studio, 13723 Puget Park Drive.

Daylong conference

The fourth annual Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation’s Wellness and Parkinson’s Conference, “Moving Towards Wellness: Tools for an Improved Quality of Life for the Parkinson’s Community.”

When: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 4 at the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center, Comcast Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave., Everett.

Presentations from movement disorder specialists and neuropsychologists.

Registration: $15, includes lunch.. Call 877-980-7500, email ruth@nwpf.org or visit www.nwpf.org.

More in Life

How to make the most of your small garden space

Containers, smart design and savvy plant choices are the key to a small garden with big impact.

Native Plant Appreciation Week is about more than smelling roses

Events set for April 22-28 celebrate the importance of Washington’s indigenous flora.

Tiffany’s many creations fetch top dollar on antique market

His lamps and more are highly prized today, but they fell out of favor shortly after his death.

‘Kodachrome’ reminds that Ed Harris can make standard roles transcendent

The famed actor’s usual excellence makes this pro-forma road trip drama worth watching.

Great Plant Pick: Buxus sempervirens, common boxwood

It’s an elegant shrub that has been used in gardens for centuries.

At Large Brewing declares an ‘IPA crisis’ in Everett

The brewery is selling too much IPA — so much that it can’t keep enough of the popular beer on tap.

Scholastic medal winner is 15 and making college-level art

Clare Kaiyala is one of 10 national Scholastic Art Writing Awards winners from Snohomish County.

Home and garden events around Snohomish County

Lantern festival: Adopt A Stream Foundation’s Swamp Lantern Festival is 10 a.m.… Continue reading

From appetizers to dessert: FIVE full of gastronomic surprises

The restaurant slash bistro in Edmonds earns its singular name with its star-studded menu.

Most Read