Kettering fitness class helping Parkinson’s patients cope with disease

Local News

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) –  A fitness class here is fighting the effects of a debilitating disease. The Kettering Recreation Complex is helping patients with Parkinson’s Disease improve strength, stability and motor skills with the Parkinson’s Circuit Class.

Thursday, several participants arrived at the rec complex for an 11:30 a.m. training session. Diane Lawrence was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease earlier this year.

“I panicked when I first got diagnosis,” Lawrence said.

Her doctor recommended exercise to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the disease and she found the Parkinson’s Circuit Class while looking for a low impact activity at the Charles I. Lathrem Senior Center.

In 2016, the Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department received a $4,500 grant from Parkinson’s Foundation Ohio to purchase equipment and and market the program. Staff said some local doctors now refer patients to the classes as an alternative to physical therapy.

Nick Suman instructs the bi-weekly class at the rec complex. He believes the physical exercise can be as helpful as a prescription in treating the disease.

“You’re not going to be off of your medication completely,” Suman said. “But this is going to drastically improve your life.”

The program uses a combination of strength, coordination and cardio exercises to help slow the disease progression, alleviate symptoms and improve overall symptoms.”

Suman explained many of his clients have gained independence from regular movement and stretching.

“You feel better, you feel like you’re younger and you can do more things later in life,” he said.

Lawrence said since she began the program, she’s gained a support system of people going through similar experiences and said she’s seen improvements.

“My tremors are better, my stability is better, I climbed a footstool for the first time in a long time,” she explained about her progress. “I have a lot more confidence than I had.”

An exercise pass at the Kettering Recreation Complex costs $110 for Kettering residents and $166 for non-residents. You can purchase a 12 visit punch card for $50 if you’re a Kettering resident or $100 for non-residents. A single drop-in class costs $5 for residents and $10 for non residents.

The classes are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Kettering Recreation Complex, located at 2900 Glengarry Drive, Kettering, OH 45420.

For questions on hours, pricing or other information, contact the Kettering Recreation Complex at 937-296-2587 or the Kettering Fitness and Wellness Center at 937-293-4348.

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