By Cristi McKee | Photo: Sweat Therapy Fitness
On Saturday, September 14, 2019, Sweat Therapy Fitness will host a free speaking event to spread awareness about mental health issues associated with Parkinson’s Disease and highlight ways to live a happier and healthier life with PD. The event comes as part of Sweat Therapy’s biannual speaker series, which is a community outreach arm of their Rock Steady Boxing program. Rock Steady Boxing at Sweat Therapy Fitness is a non-contact boxing-based fitness curriculum designed to help those with PD fight back by slowing the progression of the disease and improving quality of life.
Over 700 individuals in the Tallahassee area have Parkinson’s Disease, and The Parkinson’s Foundation estimates that at least half of those diagnosed with the disease experience some form of depression. The event called “Staying Positive With Parkinson’s” “helps to “combat the depression, anxiety and apathy” that are often side effects of the disease. “In today’s society, mental health is being brought to the forefront of the conversation and strides are being taken to lessen the stigma associated with depression. This isn’t timely just for those with PD, but for us all,” says Bibeau.
The seminar will take place at Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church from 9:30 a.m. to noon with an optional complimentary lunch to follow.
The day includes:
• Presentation and Q&A by neuropsychologist Dawn Bowers Ph.D; who currently sees patients and conducts research at the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab in the University of Florida’s Fixel Institute of Neurological Diseases
• Presentation and Q&A by Terry Ward, Ph.D., ATP, CAPS, RET; who specializes in accessible housing and independent living technology
• Panel discussion featuring Tallahassee residents living with PD
• Opportunity to network with Rock Steady Boxing Head Coach and Sweat Therapy Fitness Owner/ Founder Kim Bibeau
• Vendor tables featuring resources for those with Parkinson’s Disease
• Opportunity to socialize with others in the Parkinson’s community
• Optional complimentary lunch
The Sweat Therapy team hopes that Staying Positive with Parkinson’s can be the catalyst for someone to start fighting back against their disease. The team says, “someone out there is going to use this event as a way to get out of the house for the first time in a long time, to meet some people dealing with the same struggles as them, make a connection, and jump-start a happier and healthier life moving forward. We would be honored if we could help make this happen.”
Sweat Therapy has been working with those with PD since 2009. “We started with cycling,” says Bibeau. “After research was released that linked cycling to improvements in Parkinson’s symptoms, we knew we had to put our RealRyder indoor cycling bikes to use for the Tallahassee Parkinson’s community.”
In 2016, the Parkinson’s program expanded and added “Rock Steady Boxing,” which was developed by Rock Steady Boxing, Inc. The “Rock Steady Method” was adapted from training used by professional boxers, and emphasizes gross motor movements, balance, core strength, and rhythm to slow the progression of Parkinson’s symptoms and improve the ability to perform activities of daily living.
Bibeau explains, “before and after their workouts and during rest periods, the Rock Steady Boxers chat about their symptoms, medications, the general ups-and-downs of life, and how they cope. It’s through these conversations that we’ve been able to identify topics of interest for upcoming speaker series events.”
To RSVP to Staying Positive with Parkinson’s, please email RSVP@sweattherapyfitness.com.