Meet Marcia Simon:

At over 90 years old, and with Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure (greater than 140/90), high cholesterol (at 230) and minor arthritis, exercise is extremely important for Marcia to help improve health. Both her Doctor and physical therapist (recommended from Neuroscience Consultants) had made recommendations that she start an exercise program since exercise has been especially proven to reduce the symptoms and rate of onset of Parkinson’s disease. Ian has been working with Marcia since 2008 and has helped her feel inspired about doing exercises. The exercise prescription for Marcia includes modified yoga sequencing (like sun salutations) but from a safe seated position. Resistance (strength training) with tubing and light dumbbells doing such exercises as: seated/standing rows, wings, bicep curls, marching, functional squats, lateral arm raises, trunk rotations, reverse wings (works the rotator cuff & rhomboid muscles) etc. which have proved effective at maintaining strength and minimizing unwanted symptoms of Parkinson’s. Stepping exercises, marching and footwork drills help maintain leg strength, produce cardio benefit and help train the feet, legs and body for better balance. Ian especially emphasizes proper breathing during the exercises to maintain steady blood pressure and oxygenation and to help relax and focus Marcia’s attention on body awareness. Ian has had to carefully modify and adapt training protocols based on Marcia’s energy levels and medication side-effects. Marcia’s medications include: Atenolol (a Beta-blocker for reducing hypertension), Diovan (used to help lower blood pressure), Norvase (calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure), Microzide (a diuretic used to help lower blood pressure and water retention), Lexapro (used to treat anxiety and major depressive disorder), Lipitor (used to treat high cholesterol), Omeprazole (used for acid-reflux: a proton pump inhibitor and as such blocks the release of stomach acid) and aspirin. These medications have many debilitating side effects (including: nausea, headaches, dizziness, confusion, weakness, muscle pain, joint pain, unusual tiredness, swelling, weight gain, sleep problems and constipation), which can adversely affect one’s ability to perform physical exercises. When, side-effects are strong and Marcia is not feeling 100%, Ian employs very gentle mind-body movements and breathing exercises which help soothe the mind, calm the nerves and create feelings of wellbeing.

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