In 2010 I met Liz Ogren, founder of Pedal and Roll for Parkinson’s. She was looking for someone to lead Nordic walking experiences for persons with Parkinson’s. At the time I didn’t know much about Parkinson’s or that she was about to change my life. But I do believe that our meeting was meant to be.
Why poles for Parkinson’s? Balance, posture and symmetry of movement! When it’s hard to move the poles can make it easier to take the next step. Moving stimulates the brain and with each day we are stronger and more confident. It’s a fun outdoor activity for families, couples often buy poles to enjoy the walking and talking together. You can also do it indoors when the weather is harsh or personal limitations make it safer.
Since our first winter of outdoor pole walking in Golden Valley MN, walks associated with Struthers Parkinson’s Clinic, our adventures have taken us across Minnesota, and into North Dakota and Wisconsin. We travel with Nordic walking poles and adaptive bicycles spreading the word that “Movement is Medicine”. Combining our energy and enthusiasm for keeping people off the couch we encourage everyone to get up and give it a try. Moving is good for the body, good for the brain and good for the spirit. We have been blessed to be witnesses to the difference it can make in a person’s quality of life and it always inspires us to do more.
This spring we are visiting Parkinson’s Support Groups throughout Central Minnesota. You’ll find us in St Cloud, Big Lake, Monticello, Minnetonka and Elk River. I’ll be leading weekly walks at Lake George in St Cloud, MN. Liz and Michael will be leading walks in Eden Prairie and Edina. So many opportunities to come out and give it a try and it’s all free.
If you are a member of a support group or other interested community group and would like us to come to inspire and motivate you to get up and move, give me a call or email. It would be our pleasure to come and play with you!