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Group cycling and support helps reduce symptoms in Parkinson’s disease sufferers and improves the quality of life for patients and their caregivers. Eligible adults aged 30-75 with a Parkinson’s diagnosis ride indoor cycles at 80-90 RPM, two times per week, 60 minutes each session, over the course of at least 8 weeks (the program can continue indefinitely as participants choose). YMCA staff are trained instructors following the Pedaling for Parkinson’s protocol and will monitor heart rate and exercise intensity.

Best Practices for managing Parkinson’s disease (Pedaling for Parkinson’s is built on many of these principles):

  • Regular physical activity improves gait, balance, coordination, flexibility, agility and energy.
  • Forced-exercise is shown to improve motor function and has neuro-protective properties; examples include, but are not limited to: tandem cycling, treadmill walking.
  • Dance may target specific Parkinson’s disease-related movement problems.
  • A program should incorporate at least 60 minutes of physical activity each week.
  • Program activities should be sufficiently challenging, but not so difficult that participants cannot complete the tasks.
  • A Parkinson’s disease management program should incorporate elements of:
    • Cardiovascular activities such as treadmill walking, brisk walking, biking, dancing and boxing.
    • Strength training activities such as weight training, exercise machines, dumbbells, elastic bands, weighted vests and body weights.
    • Balance and neuro-motor training such as balance training, tai chi and other dance.