Fit and Happy with Parkinson’s
Fit and Happy with Parkinson’s, does that sound possible to you? We are starting a new course for people in the early stages of Parkinson’s, and their partners and loved ones are welcome to join.
We have two tasters coming up in Febrary: Thursday 8 February in Dulwich Parkand Friday 16 February in Brockwell Park. Do you know anyone with Parkinson’s? I would be very grateful if you could forward this to them!
Since I started teaching Nordic Walking, I have been very interested in the new science around neuro plasticity and plasticity of the brain. In our classes you will often hear me talking about ‘use it or lose it’, and when I say that, I don’t just mean muscle strength. It is becoming clearer and clearer, that if we don’t make certain movements, it will get harder and harder to do that. Not just because we become stiff and inflexible, but because our brain is designed to be as efficient as possible.
If you do everything with your right arm, then the brain cells and nerve cells that control the movement in your left arm will not get used so often. Just like a gardener prunes a rosebush, your brain will ‘prune’ the connections to your lesser used hand, in order to send more information to your dominant hand. You can avoid this by purposefully using your left hand, for instance, try brushing your teeth with your left hand.
For instance: If you always walk on flat paving, your brain will save energy and make you less able to balance on uneven ground. And If you always look at the ground when you are walking, your brain will weaken the connections with the sensory system in your feet, which could cause you to trip over when you have to look up to look at the traffic. So we try walking backwards and concentrate on feeling with our feet.
For people with Parkinson’s, the newest science of neuroplasticity can be used to slow down the progression of Parkinson’s, and in some cases even turn back some of the symtoms.
Nordic Walking can really help to maintain your quality of life. It can help you to keep doing the things you love most. It can help with balance and strength, arm swing and stride length. It can help you with simple things as turning over in bed, or cooking a meal for your loved ones. Or it can help you to have more energy to play with your grandchildren. It can help you go on adventures again, to walk and enjoy nature. To be free and more independent.
As all of you who already learned to Nordic Walk know, the movement can really challenge our coordination and ability to multi task. Inspired by a PD Warrior instructor course I did recently, I am now offering a taster session I call Nordic Neuro Magic. It combines Nordic Walking with the exercises I learned there. Please have a look if you are interested!
How to sign up for this taster session
New to Fit and Happy Outdoors? Please fill in the registration and health questionaire, which you can find here and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 24 hours before the session, mentioning in the header the date of the taster you would like to join. That will give us enough time to get back to you and discuss your needs.
Please sign up for our Meetup Group to easily RSVP and to see our full calendar.
Not on Meetup (yet)? You can also use this contact form: