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The Athletic Club

of Overland Park
14 Jun 2013

The Benefits of Overland Park Zumba and Dance Aerobics

April 11th is World Parkinson’s Day! Zumba and other dance aerobics are great alternative workouts for those of us who’s bodies can’t withstand constant pounding or heavy lifting. The Athletic Club of Overland Park Zumba Instructors are here of you! Call us today for more information.

Visit www.parkinson.org for more info!

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive degenerative disease. It is characterized by tremors and shaking- typically in hands, arms and/or legs. Balance is often affected. The disease is caused by the breakdown of nerve cells that produce dopamine, the neurotransmitter that assists in smooth, controlled muscle movements. As dopamine decreases the nerve cells begin to misfire and cause jerky, shaky, labored movements. The disease affects all muscle groups in the body including those of digestion, swallowing and breathing. It is unsure what causes the breakdown of the nerves but research is making strides in finding clues to how to prevent and slow the progression of this disease.

Researchers are giving exercise the top spot in how to slow the progression of Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

The movement in simple exercises such as treadmill walking or stationary biking has been shown to improve motor skills, balance and coordination, and speed/accuracy in repetitive movements in those with PD. These are seen both on a physical measurement as well as on a neurological level. It is shown that exercise can repair damaged nerve areas, rebuild new connections, and slow degeneration. It also appears that strenuous exercises are more beneficial than mild and moderate in lasting results.

Exercise in general comes in three key parts. Exercising with PD is no different. A healthy program will include a variety of exercises that incorporate 1) stretching, 2) strength training 3) Aerobic Training.

One exercise that has been shown to be particularly effective is Dance. Here are 10 reasons dance as exercise is beneficial for those with PD

1) Dance uses rhythm and movements connected to a beat- mentally stimulating
2) Dance increases flexibility and coordination
3) Dance is social and builds a sense of camaraderie
4) Dance utilizes many senses in touch, sound, and sight
5) Dance is repetitive which encourages brain cell stimulation and neurological growth and repair
6) Dance is a challenging aerobic activity
7) Dance can increase joy- helping to improve outlook and mood
8) Dance increases awareness of the body- drawing focus to movement and control
9) Dance is a free place to move without feeling limited or constrained by the side effects of PD, increasing confidence
10) Dance is something that can be practiced at most levels of progression of PD.

Zumba is a form of Dance Exercise. The Athletic Club offers several Overland Park Zumba classes throughout the week in the morning and evening times. The Athletic Club of Overland Park Zumba classes incorporate many styles of dance including Salsa, Meringue, Hip Hop, and Latin. Our Overland Park zumba instructors encourage class participants to work at their own level and keep moving! The Athletic Club is a full service club that offers a wide range of exercises that encourage health and can help people who are living with PD.

Court Sports Include: Table Tennis, Racquetball, Handball, Squash, Basketball, Badminton, and Paddle Ball.

Group Fitness Classes Include: Cycle, weight training, step, water aerobics, kickboxing, interval classes, yoga, and Zumba.

Facilities Offer: 25m lap pool, a variety of Cardio Equipment, Free weights, Circuit Machines, Indoor Track, Hot Tub, Steam Room and Sauna, Row Machine and Boxing Area, Gymnasium, Cycle Studio

Whatever exercise is preferred, specialists agree that at least half of the time spent exercising should be at an “intense” level. Increasing the perceived level of exertion by 30% for the length of a training session was shown to have a marked impact on tested motor skills. Increased time for retention of improvements was seen at this level as well.

While exercise is helpful for those who have PD, it should be mentioned again that exercise can prevent or slow the progression of chronic disease. It is a whole body approach to health.

Exercise protects your bones, muscle strength and flexibility, vital organ performance such as heart, digestion, memory, respiratory endurance, and on processes that until they are diminished or failing are taken for granted- balance, stability, and muscle control. The sooner you get started the more benefits your will gain now and in the future.

All the catch phrases are true: It’s never too late to start a good habit- Better late than never- Why not put all those aside and start NOW! Call us today for more Overland Park Zumba Class information. We’ve got it all under one roof!