creating specialized indoor cycling classes at the Ymca

Local Parkinson’s health program bolstered by grant

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 4:30pm

ROCKPORT — The Parkinson’s Foundation will grant $16,503 for local Parkinson’s disease (PD) programs in Rockport at the Penobscot Bay YMCA. The community grant will support health, wellness and educational programs that address unmet needs in the PD community.   

“We are proud to announce these community grants and expand programs and resources in Parkinson’s communities across the entire nation,” said John L. Lehr, Parkinson’s Foundation president and chief executive officer, in a news release. “These grant recipients share our passion and commitment to making life better for people with Parkinson’s.”

The Parkinson’s Foundation awarded more than $1.5 million in community grants. This year’s grant cycle focused on three areas including: programs that provide a service for under-served PD communities, initiatives that reach the newly diagnosed and clinical trial education and participation that reach those under-represented in the PD community.

“The support we’re receiving from the Parkinson’s Foundation community grant will support our Y in creating specialized indoor cycling classes that serve those with PD,” said Melissa Bellew, YMCA president and CEO. “The classes will alleviate tremors and improve balance. We are thrilled that we can now provide people with Parkinson’s and their care partners this unique program that will change the way they live with PD for the better.”

In Rockport, Parkinson’s Foundation community grants will fund a simplistic, yet uniquely crafted, evidence-based cycling program. The program serves Parkinson’s survivors in their often most needed activities of daily living: balance and lessening of tremors. Instructors are highly trained cycling and group exercise instructors who learn and receive additional instruction on the operation of this class, according to Pen Bay YMCA, in the release.

Within the class, participants wear heart rate monitors and utilize step stools to get onto the bikes with instructor assistance. The class instructor teaches off the bike and instructs the group in a 10-minute warm-up, a 50-minute, high-cadence cycling class of 80-90 RPMs, and a 10-minute cool-down with light stretching. 

The class is offered continuously throughout the year the same way regular group exercise classes would run so that participants may receive maximum impact.

Both pre- and post testing will be in effect, as well as initial 30 and 60 days assessments, and quarterly reviews/checks for existing participants past those dates.

For the full list of the 2019 grant recipients visit

About the Parkinson’s Foundation 
The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything the Foundation does, it builds on the energy, experience and passion of the global Parkinson’s community, according to the Foundation, in the release. For more information, visit or call (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).

About Parkinson’s Disease 
Affecting nearly one million Americans and 10 million worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the United States. It is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression), as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety).

There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.