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Indoor cycling gives Parkinson's patients hope

Posted: 4:45 PM, Jan 26, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-26 22:16:23Z

A new study reveals pedaling a bicycle at a rapid pace can reduce Parkinson’s symptoms by 35 percent.

Right now, the South Tampa Family YMCA is offering a new program catered to those with the disease.

The Pedaling For Parkinson’s class is free for the first eight weeks to those with medical consent.

Unlike typical spinning classes, everyone is in a circle, it’s slower and instructors watch every move.

Gil Thelen was diagnosed two years ago.

At 77 years old, the former editor of the Tampa Tribune can barely type. The disease stripped him of that basic skill.

“It was harder and harder to write legibly. That occurred at the same time the tremor started in my right hand,” said Thelen.

He takes pills to improve his symptoms, but now he’s finding an even better medicine in indoor cycling.

He started going to the class a few weeks ago. In that time, he’s seen improvements.

“My walk is back to normal in terms of arm swing,” said Thelen.

It’s a journey no one expected, but the class has offered a silver lining.

Pedaling For Parkinson’s is open to patients, ages 30-75, diagnosed with Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. A medical provider consent and clearance form is required to register. For more information, call 813.839.0210 or email melissa.brockman@tampaymca.org .

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