New Parkinson’s Exercise DVD Focuses On Functional Fitness

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Delay The Disease Functional Fitness exercise plan shows people with Parkinson’s how to conquer everyday challenges of living with the disease.

David Zid and Jackie Russell

David Zid and Jackie Russell

“I see the positive impact that David’s exercise program has on our PD patients clinically, not only in terms of their motor symptoms, but also in terms of their overall outlook on the disease." –Dr. Ariane Park, Neurologist, The Ohio State University

For most of us, being able to pass through an open doorway or walk in a crowd is something we take for granted. However, for people with Parkinson’s disease, being able to perform seemingly simple activities of daily living (ADL’s) such as these can be a daunting challenge. On their new exercise DVD, Delay The Disease– Functional Fitness for Parkinson’s, David Zid and Jackie Russell address situational movement challenges one at a time and demonstrate specific exercise sequences for overcoming them.

As partners in “Delay the Disease” (DTD), Zid and Russell are devoted to empowering people with Parkinson’s (PWP) by teaching them how to manage their disease through exercise. While their first Parkinson’s exercise DVD centered on overall strength-building and mobility improvement, Functional Fitness for Parkinson’s focuses on improving performance of ADL’s so PWP can maintain their independence and elevate their quality of life.

Zid and Russell have an encouraging, friendly, easy to follow instructional style, which makes learning and performing the exercises more enjoyable. The two-disk DVD set presents individual fitness plans for 15 different ADL’s that affect PWP, including moving in crowds, getting in and out of bed, getting out of a car and getting dressed. Before demonstrating the method for performing each fitness plan, Zid explains the reasons for doing it, gives tips on how to do it successfully and relates the expected beneficial results. Said Russell, “Because Parkinson’s affects each person differently, we developed this program so PWP can customize an exercise plan based on their specific needs.”

Zid’s mantra to PWP is “Do some form of exercise every single day.” The latest Parkinson’s research is consistently showing that exercise has the ability to not only slow the progression of the disease but perhaps even reverse it. Zid and Russell report seeing living proof of this in their classes– PWP regaining a greater degree of normalcy in their lives and enjoying the confidence of knowing that they are not defined by their disease. According to Zid, “My Parkinson’s clients are always telling me the more they do the exercises the better they feel, both physically and mentally That’s exactly what I want to hear.”

Functional Fitness for Parkinson’s is receiving accolades from neurologists and other medical professionals. Dr. Ariane Park, M.D. at The Ohio State University Department of Neurology, commented “I see the positive impact that David’s exercise program has on our PD patients clinically, not only in terms of their motor symptoms, but also in terms of their overall outlook on the disease. I highly recommend that PD patients take advantage of this resource.” Michelle Masterson, PhD and physical therapist at the University of Toledo, has this to say about the program: “Delay the Disease is based on sound exercise principles related to Parkinson’s disease, and it makes exercise fun and empowers individuals to fight back, get active and learn.”

Certified through ACE as a personal trainer and APG as a functional fitness trainer, David Zid has spent more than a decade training hundreds of clients, specifically the older adult, and teaching other personal trainers his unique exercise methods. For the past two years Zid has devoted half of his one-on-one weekly training sessions to people with Parkinson’s. As a result of his observations and experiences in this endeavor, he agrees wholeheartedly with the neurologists and Parkinson’s researchers who have begun to see exercise as “The new drug for Parkinson’s.”

In her 30 year career as a registered nurse, Jackie Russell is credentialed with professional achievement in perioperative nursing (CNOR) and ACLS certified. Instrumental in helping Zid translate his PD exercise program into a book and DVD, Russell is passionate about spreading the message of hope that daily exercise can empower people with Parkinson’s to face this disease with a proactive attitude. She is convinced that exercise can be their “trump card,” allowing them to believe “I may have Parkinson's but it does not have me.”


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Jacqueline Russell
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