Published on April 30th, 2021 | by Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.0
The Exercise Program that Fights Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow imprecise movement, mainly affecting middle-aged and older adults. It is associated with degeneration of the basil ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Nerve cell damage in the brain causes dopamine levels to drop and slowly damages the central nervous system leading to the symptoms of Parkinson’s. There are more than 200.000 cases per year.
Delay the Disease is an evidenced-based fitness program designed to optimize physical function and help delay the progression of symptoms associated with Parkinson’s and the exercises are designed to retrain the mind and body. Many participants report a regained ability to successfully manage the disease, improve their quality of life and take back control over their body movements. Delay the Disease fitness includes symptom-specific exercises and also address daily functional challenges such as rising from a chair, getting out of the car, moving about in big crowds, dressing and getting off the floor.
Fitness plans are adapted to all levels of the disease. Symptom-specific exercises target altered balance, bradykinesia (slowing of all movements), depression, diminished voice volume, freezing, masked facial expressions, rigidity (stiffness), stooped posture and walking/gait.
Founders David Zid and Jackie Russell are motivated by the fact that Parkinson’s disease can be managed with daily exercise, putting patients back in control. They teach an accredited, evidenced-based educational course for healthcare professionals with 10 continuing education credits to broaden understanding of Parkinson’s disease and help healthcare professionals become Parkinson’s–specific with respect to exercise and physical therapy.
Zid, the owner and president of Total Health Works, a personal training company that he started in 1999, has been a professional fitness instructor in Columbus, Ohio, since 1997. Certified through the American Council on Exercise and Absolute Performance Group as a personal trainer and functional fitness trainer, respectively. Russell credentialed with professional achievement in perioperative nursing and ACLS certified, She is presently surgical nursing supervisor for Michael McShane, M.D., at Orthopedic One, in Columbus. She is a co-author of the peer-reviewed study “Effects of a Formal Exercise Program on Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Study Using a Delayed Start Design.” published in Parkinsonism and Related Disorders.
Her support of the classes has encouraged outcome measurement and data collection from participants all over the country, proving that participation in Delay the Disease improves functional mobility and quality of life and fights depression.
In 2005, Zid and Russell collaborated to create the wellness program for people with Parkinson’s that includes community exercise classes, two books and corresponding DVDs, evidenced-based professional education, CarePartner seminars and research studies. As the co-founder and program development coordinator for OhioHealth Delay the Disease, Russel has been a featured speaker at many Parkinson’s symposia, live webinars and community events all over the country.
For more information, visit Foundation.OhioHealth.com/delay-the-disease.