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One of a kind gym in Tucson is helping people with Parkinson's improve daily life

Posted at 8:17 PM, Apr 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 01:22:03-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — April is dedicated to raising awareness about Parkinson's. It's a nervous system disorder that slows down everyday movements, such as getting out of bed and walking.

A one of a kind gym in Tucson is helping people with Parkinson's Disease improve their daily life.

Three days a week, Marilyn Hart is working out at Parkinson's Wellness Recovery, or the PWR Gym, where it's all about high intensity exercise.

Hart is 66. But the PWR Gym is not your grandmother's gym.

"I do Zumba dancing, I do boxing," Hart said.

Hart was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2017. She noticed she was moving slower than she used to, but exercise has changed that for her.

"My husband will tell you, I'm more physically fit and healthier now, than I was before I had the diagnosis," Hart said "Because I'm eating better, I'm eating more, and I exercise a lot."

Some studies show exercise can help slow the progression of the disease. But at the PWR Gym, there are no easy workouts.

Physical therapist Jennifer Bazan -Wigle says it's about challenging the whole body, to speed up the areas that Parkinson's slowed down.

"And that's really what we see exercise does for people," Bazan-Wigle said. "It kind of pushes them back up to a threshold that they're able to get back to the things they loved doing."

The goal here is to get back the quality of life -- mentally and physically -- that was lost with Parkinson's.

"It's things we forgot to do and now we're learning how to do them again, and we do them better," Hart said. "And boxing, I love boxing."


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