Tag Archives: Stages of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Cycling – How do we “know” who is right for our classes?

Image credit: http://www.parkinsonsresource.org/uncategorized/five-stages-of-parkinsons/
Image credit: http://www.parkinsonsresource.org/uncategorized/five-stages-of-parkinsons/

We want to help everyone? Right? Can we? Should we?

I wish I could give you a checklist that you could follow for everyone of the participants who will want to take your cycling classes. It really is not that easy. This is a unique type of class, that is individualized and personalized for each of the individuals. That is what makes the Parkinson’s Cycling Coach training is so important.

In our cycling coach training, we talk about the different stages of Parkinson’s disease. Just to remind you, there are 5 stages. At a quick glance, it would easy to point to Stage 1 and 2 as being the perfect participant. But, from my experience I have found Stages 1-3 to fluctuate. They ebb and flow between each other.

After being categorized by a neurologist into one of the 5 stages we must remember that people with Parkinson’s have good and bad days. Don’t we all? The abilities of each day depend on how their medications are working that day. Did they sleep well, did they eat well, are they well hydrated? Are they stressed by other factors? Are they exercising consistently?

So what does make a good participant? Let’s let go of the Stages of Parkinson’s disease for a moment. Your participants will have mild to moderate symptoms of this disease. This means that movements of daily lives can be challenging but the disease is somewhat to well controlled through medication. Sometimes only one side of the body is affected but occasionally both sides of the body are involved. Regular exercise seems to help most of these individuals.

Now, let’s confuse the matter. Please do not dismiss someone with a walking aid. This stage is categorized as Stage 4. My experience as a coach has shown that some of these individuals who begin this cycling protocol have progressed so much that they no longer need that walking aid to come to class. You can and will make a significant difference in the lives of these individuals.

Remember, as coaches we need to be focused on the goal as well as the participant. We want these individuals to reap the benefits of the program with the correct cadence and heart rate parameters. But isn’t the social aspect important too? The blend of all of these factors is the perfect scenario for success. It can and does happen frequently.

We’re growing our army of Parkinson’s Cycling Coaches – if you would like to join us please review our qualifications.

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