The More I Move, The More I Can Move

Published On: May 28, 2024Categories: Blog, Downtown YMCA

Member Spotlight: Meet Annette

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological condition which manifests by slowness of movement and stiffness, among other symptoms.  In 2016 the YMCA of Columbia, in a collaborative effort with members of the physical therapy community, created a pilot project, offering a class designed for Parkinson’s patients. The class includes stretching, strengthening, aerobic, and balance exercises, all of which address the physical issues of Parkinson’s Disease.  The class has continued since that time and grown enough to be offered at several “Y” locations.

My name is Annette Francis, and I have participated in the Parkinson’s Wellness Class since its inception.  My husband had been a member of the YMCA for over forty years and spoke frequently of his “Y” friends.  After joining this class at the Downtown YMCA, which meets regularly on Tuesdays, and Thursdays, I began to see why going to the Y was so important to him. Not only were we exercising with excellent trainers, but the Y became a second family, a new circle of friends, a group of people who cares about you and your family.

Now I look forward to my Y time because the exercises make me feel better and I have more energy, flexibility, and stamina to do the other activities I enjoy. The class members have become another support system where we share information and check on each other. Recent research indicates that exercise is one of the best lines of defense for Parkinson’s patients.   I know that the Y classes have contributed to my overall health because I can definitely feel the difference when I miss a class.  This class, now called the “Neurodiversity Class,” is open to participants struggling with a neurological condition of any kind. And if this particular class doesn’t meet your needs, there are a number of others available with capable and caring trainers.