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Our team of trainers has recently begun teaching Senior Strength & Conditioning classes at our local hospital and Advanced Exercise for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. It has proven to be one of the most rewarding experiences.

The senior strength & conditioning classes are all about getting seasoned individuals to realize they have vitality and the ability to achieve things they thought they were “too old” to do. It is our goal to change the way people think about the aging process and not to place blame on getting older but to understand it has more to do with their activity level.

Most people chalk up their inability to do what they used to do because they have gotten older. We do not agree entirely with this opinion. What we see is that when most people get older, they slow down and become less active. These are two separate elements which occur simultaneously: aging and inactivity. If aging were the primary problem then we wouldn’t have clients well into their sixties, seventies and eighties running marathons, playing competitive sports, and hiking all over the Sierras and Alps. The main culprit is the lack of regular, purposeful activity which tends to occur as people get older. There is no reason for this to occur. The thought that retirement means sitting back and relaxing has to be smashed. If you don’t use it, you lose it!

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system, movement and often includes tremors, stiffness, and slowness of movement. Speech is often affected and may become soft and slurred. The individual’s mind stays sharp while the body’s ability to move diminishes.

Although western medicine believes there is no cure for the disease, one of the recommended treatments is exercise. In the class, our “students” perform many large body movements similar to Lunge and Reach matrices. Stepping and reaching in all three dimensions while speaking loud and clear are just a few components of the program. Shadow boxing, dancing, balance training, and flexibility work are other elements we bring into the class.

The program has been such a positive experience that the hospital has asked our team to take over the other classes offered to those with Parkinson’s. Beginning January 2017, Rocky’s will be teaching almost twenty classes at Dignity Health at Dominican Rehabilitation Hospital on Frederick Street. If you know of someone in your life who could benefit from the classes, check out the PEP catalog of courses. They should be in your mailbox next month.