As Parkinson's Disease becomes more prevalent, more and more resources are dedicated to researching the causes, treatments and ultimately the search for a cure. This disease has the potential to profoundly impact the lives of those who are diagnosed. It impacts strength, coordination, balance, memory, and mobility. It increases risk of falls, fractures, social isolation, and depression. Parkinson's disease can be cruel, and there is no known cure.
There is, however, hope. It comes in the form of exercise. More so than almost any other neurological condition, Parkinson's Disease responds to exercise. High intensity, moderate duration exercise has been shown to slow, stop, and in some cases even reverse the effects of Parkinson's Disease. I witness this power first hand on a weekly basis when I coach a group of Parkinson's athletes in my Rock Steady Boxing Classes in Portland, Oregon. Exercises is, in this case, the best medicine.
Over the next 15 weeks, my goal is to add walking lunges into my own workout routine twice a week in a progressive manner. Starting with one minute of walking lunges the first week, working up to 15 minutes of non-stop walking lunges in the final week. Just like Parkinson's Disease, this challenge will be progressive. It won't hurt much the first week, maybe a little bit of soreness, much like the mild tremor that is one of the early signs of the disease. By the end, this challenge is going to hurt. It is going to leave me stiff and sore for days after each workout, and likely require some community support to get me through the last few weeks. This is a tiny representation of the pain that Parkinsons' can eventually inflict. When the fear of falling, the freezing episodes, and the inability to hold a fork steady enough to feed oneself can be crushing.
Whether through donation to the cause, joining me on this #Lunge4Parkinsons challenge during your workouts, or in any other form, I invite you to participate. All proceeds from this funraising effort will go directly to the Brian Grant Foundation, a local non-profit organization deadicated to raising awareness and curating hope for the Parkinson's community in Portland, Oregon and beyond.
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