Wythenshawe Recreation Center offers special classes for people with Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s exercise in the gym. Photo: Amit Lennon

Submited by Kathryn Webster

A local recreation center is now offering a free membership for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Forum Leisure – which is based in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester – offers free access to gym, swimming and group lessons.

Members are also offered a personal training recipe via EXi.

If necessary, there is also a free informal care membership.

The scheme is being run in partnership with Parkinson’s UK.

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological disease in the world, currently with no cure.

It affects around 145,000 people in the UK and there are over 40 symptoms ranging from tremor and pain to anxiety.

Being physically active can play an important role in living well with Parkinson’s.

People living with the condition find a variety of activities, from walking to dancing, helpful in managing their symptoms.

Parkinson’s UK is working to support people with the condition and find a cure.

Eddie Flanagan, chief executive of Wythenshawe Forum Trust, said: “The Forum hub is an inclusive environment with activities for all ages, abilities and fitness levels.

“Being more active will help members live well with Parkinson’s, improving their physical fitness and emotional well-being.”

Those with underlying health conditions such as heart problems or respiratory problems should check with their primary care physician before starting any new activity.

Tom Ingram, corporate partnerships manager at Parkinson’s UK, said: “Being physically active is important for everyone.

“It supports both physical and mental health and, depending on what you choose, can provide social support and interaction, all of which can really help people with Parkinson’s and those providing informal care.

“Developing a habit of getting regular exercise can help a person feel more in control of living with the condition.

“The quality of life can be improved and independence and confidence can be maintained.

“We hope the Parkinson’s community can enjoy physical activity and use it to make a real difference in their lives.”

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