Fitness Classes to Help you Overcome Movement Disorders
Extensive research has been done in the realm of movement disorders and show that Tai Chi and yoga, when practiced consistently, have shown improved balance, spatial awareness, reduced fall risk, improved management of stress and anxiety, as well as improved cognitive function, according to Natalie Vance, a physical therapist with Norton Healthcare.
Norton Neuroscience Institute (NNI) Program Coordinator, Heather Osborne, shares that the Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center provides exercise, education and therapeutic classes for individuals with any neurological disease, including movement disorders. Currently, these classes include Tai Chi, Yoga, and Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement. In addition, individuals with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, have tailored classes available to them including yoga, fitness, movement and mobility, creative dance, and boxing classes.
While each of these classes offer a different approach, each has an intentional focus on mobility and control. Tai Chi consists of slow, intentional movements that combine mind and body, with an emphasis on control of movement and breathing. Yoga practice works with breath and meditation, and may increase body awareness, release of muscle spasticity, and improved coordination and balance. The Feldenkrais Method uses gentle movement intended to increase your range and ease of movement, flexibility, and coordination.
Vance notes that these classes can be modified to allow accessibility for various levels of mobility and availability to a wide age range. While classes are typically held in person at various locations throughout the city, due to current COVID-19 regulations, most classes are now being offered online via Zoom daily, and at varying times. Each class lasts between 50-60 minutes per class, Yoga and dance classes meet once per week, Tai Chi and the fitness programs are offered twice per week, and boxing classes are offered three times per week.
Neurological diseases have the ability to affect an individual’s health in numerous ways. Cognitive function, emotional and psychological responses, physical pain, and movement are just a few of the ways common neurological diseases can present.
Find other movement disorder classes here.
Try Tai Chi at the YMCA or Try Tai Chi at Baptist Milestone.
By Meredith Walston
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