The Madison Area YMCA launched Pedaling for Parkinson’s™and Pilates for Parkinson’s to complement Delay the Disease™ making Parkinson’s disease programming available Monday through Friday—an essential tool to managing the disease. Part of the Madison Area Y’s Paths to Wellness, the programming is free to members and is low-cost for non-members. This is made possible through donations to the Y’s Annual Fund.  

Parkinson’s disease participants have the opportunity to practice high effort and sensory awareness--two essential elements in an exercise program for people afflicted with Parkinson’s disease. Functional movement principals challenge the cognitive, motor and emotional symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease and promote brain health and repair. Participants experience improvements in quality of movement and strength which allows them to achieve their true potential, giving them the confidence to believe in themselves.   

Delay the Disease™ is a nationally accredited evidenced-based fitness program designed to optimize physical function and help delay the progression of symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. Delay the Disease™ fitness plans include symptom-specific exercises designed to retrain the mind and body, and also address daily functional challenges such as rising from a chair, getting out of a car, moving about in big crowds, dressing and getting off the floor. Certified Delay the Disease™coaches adapt to all levels of progression of Parkinson’s disease. Exercises target: altered balance, Bradykinesia, depression, diminished voice volume, freezing, masked facial expressions, rigidity, stooped posture and walking/gait. Delay the Disease™ is offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

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Pedaling for Parkinson’s™ is a form of “forced-pace exercise” on a stationary bicycle and can help improve cognitive functioning and the symptoms of the nervous system caused by Parkinson’s disease. Participants ride at a high cadence, or speed, for 45 minutes. A 10-minute warm up at their normal pace is followed by 25 minutes at 30% higher RPMs and a 10-minute cool down at their normal pace. Pedaling for Parkinson’s is taught by a certified cycling instructor and a Delay the disease coach. Participants experience improvements in overall motor functioning, less rigidity and fewer tremors. The class is at the cycling studio Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Pilates for Parkinson’sis a method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen and balance the body. With systematic practice of specific exercises coupled with focused breathing patterns, individuals can improve mobility, stability and balance. Persons with Parkinson’s disease can benefit from participating in a structured exercise program based on the Pilates method. Pilates at the Madison Area YMCA will focus on core control and postural alignment with the efficiency of breathing to carry over into daily activities. Exercises are tailored to a participant’s level of ability under the direction of a Doctor of Physical Therapy and trained in the Pilates method. Pilates for Parkinson’s is offered Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information about the Madison Area YMCA’s Parkinson’s Disease programming, contact Madison Area YMCA Health & Wellness Coordinator Chelsea Sacher at 973-822-9622 x2270 or email Csacher@madisonymca.org.