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Fitness Class Benefits Those with Parkinson's Disease

When Lynn Hubert of Albany was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease four years ago, she began to attend a rehabilitative exercise program in Portland designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s. Hubert loved the class but was exhausted and anxious from the twice-weekly drives. She realized what the area needed was its own class for people with Parkinson’s disease, so she started investigating how to make it happen.

With help from the Brian Grant Foundation, SamFit in Albany now has two trained teachers who lead Power Forward, a program for people with Parkinson’s disease that focuses on the physical aspect of therapy but also incorporates cognitive exercises.

“People with Parkinson’s tend to do things tiny, including speaking, handwriting, and standing slouched over,” said Hubert. “In class we work on opening things back up. We yell and do lunges and shoot baskets. And when someone makes a basket, we all cheer because we know how hard it is.”

Joann Markham, a health fitness specialist at SamFit and one of the trained teachers, reports that every aspect of the class is designed to help in some way to improve the quality of life and slow the progression of the disease for participants.

“At SamFit our goal is wellness, and we’re here to help people improve their lifestyle no matter where they are at with their health,” said Markham.

Interested in joining Power Forward? Call Joann Markham at 541-812-3317 for more information.