Do you know someone who is facing the challenges of a progressive neurological condition like Parkinson’s Disease or early-onset dementia? Regular exercise with others can help!
What is NeuroFlex Fitness?
Developed by members of the Park District’s Fort Hill Fitness team and named “NeuroFlex Fitness,” the program was created for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease, combining physical movement with cognitive tasks in a group setting. Classes focus on progressive levels of strength, balance and cardio training, yoga, and yoga chi, with plans to add other courses in the future. Participants have the option of in-person classes at Fort Hill Activity Center or a virtual format for those who need to participate from home.
NeuroFlex Fitness is the only known program of its kind in our region that is designed for those with neurological conditions and is being offered in a community recreation setting rather than at a medical facility. The Park District strives to keep the cost affordable and the classes convenient and accessible. Even those who participate remotely can interact with others in the class and feel that they are part of the group. One caregiver of a participant noted that participants maintain a sense of normalcy by working out at a community fitness center, and caregivers can enjoy some time for self-care or an opportunity to connect with other caregivers.
A spouse of a participant testified to the benefits of the community spirit of the program. “There is a bonding that can be seen in those attending the classes and outside among the waiting caregivers. The caregivers are talking about helpful thoughts and ideas on how they are doing. It is a small community built on caring. I have been so taken by how this has helped my wife that I have taken the NeuroFlex brochures to the Rush Memory care center when she was in a clinical trial, her neurologist, and both of our primary care physicians to hand out at their practices.”
View the current NeuroFlex Fitness classes here. To learn more and register, contact Wellness Manager Kimberly Monti, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 630-995-8913.
What participants and caregivers are saying
From a participant: “I find (NeuroFlex Fitness) to be very interactive and fun. The time goes by quickly and it builds camaraderie among us with Parkinson’s (and other conditions). The exercises are targeted at improving my symptoms, and the results give me confidence and a positive attitude to start the day.”
From a family member: “They say that one of the best ways to lift yourself up is to lift up others, and the NeuroFlex program does exactly that: uplifting both participants and a community of caregivers. Our mom has been an active participant over the past year, and she feels that NeuroFlex makes cloudy days sunny and sunny days even more so. NeuroFlex not only flexes muscles and minds — it also opens hearts and gives everyone some extra pep in their step.”