Michigan Parkinson Foundation connects with people through virtual workouts

Foundation works to stay connected during COVID-19 pandemic

Parkinson's patients stay fit during pandemic thanks to Zoom exercise classes.

DETROIT – Exercise has shown to have many benefits for people with Parkinson’s Disease, and the Michigan Parkinson Foundation is working to stay connected during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

People with Parkinson’s Disease who engaged in at least two and a half hours of exercise per week had a better quality of life than those who didn’t exercise at all.

Many classes were shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but the Michigan Parkinson Foundation is still getting people moving.

Joe Staub, of Bloomfield Hills, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2015. He said exercise is a game changer.

“It’s almost like if I don’t take medicine or exercise, it’s like walking through sand,” Staub said. “This exercise keeps things moving, minimizes tremor and helps with balance, and I sleep much better and feel much better.”

Staub was exercising in-person with classes provided by the Michigan Parkinson Foundation. But the pandemic shut everything down.

The foundation decided to go virtual. Physical therapist Jamie Haines offered to lead Zoom workouts from her basement, using items most people would have.

Classes are five days a week, Monday through Friday at 10 a.m., and there are different instructors for different days. They use the same link every day for convenience.

Staub said it’s important to keep moving, and he’s grateful for the virtual classes. He recommends them to anyone suffering with Parkinson’s Disease.

“I’d say try it,” Staub said. “There’s nothing to lose to try it. It helps.”

The classes are free and will continue through Dec. 31, 2020.

Click here to view the virtual classes.

The Michigan Parkinson Foundation also has support groups, research and much more. Resources are available for people who don’t have access to the internet.

About the Authors:

Jamie anchors sports coverage on Local 4 News Saturdays at 6 & 11 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m., in addition to hosting Sports Final Edition.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.