Powerful things are happening in Grand Island! Ashlyn Cramer
is a physical therapist at the Grand Island Balance, Mobility, and Aquatic Therapy
Center in Grand Island, Nebraska. After several local residents expressed a
need for a Rock Steady Boxing class in Grand Island, Parkinson’s Nebraska helped
Ashlyn participate in the Rock Steady Boxing Coaches Training Camp in June of
We were lucky enough to catch up with Ashlyn and see how her
training has impacted the Grand Island Parkinson’s community. She describes the
program as an opportunity to “incorporate
strength, agility, balance, fine motor control, cognition, community and fun
into one program targeted at “Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s” and the daily
impairments people struggle with when living with this disease”. As a physical
therapist, she has enjoyed sharing this program with her patients who are ready
to be discharged to a home-based or community program.
The first class in Grand Island began in
November of 2018 with 5 boxers. Within the last three months, the class has
grown to 15 boxers. The class has boxers, or fighters as Ashlyn calls them, with varied impairments and
severities of symptoms. The trainers are sure to incorporate a lot of fun while
targeting each individual’s functional barriers to daily life. Many of the
fighters have reported “strength and stability gains along with improved
energy, increased mood/sense of support within the group, and even improved
capability for completing fine motor tasks like buttoning shirts, writing, and
managing small objects”.
Not only does Ashlyn share this program with her class, she uses it to spread awareness throughout the entire Grand Island community. She says has “attended support group meetings, shared this opportunity with local physicians/neurologists, and have even been able to spread public awareness about the disease and the benefits of this class through local news/media sources”. Check out article from NebraskaTV below.
The Rock Steady Boxing classes are led by Ashlyn and Kasady, a PT Tech, and meet at the Downtown YMCA in Grand Island, Nebraska on the following days:
& Thursday: 10:00 am- 11:00 am
& Friday: 11:00 am- 12:00 pm
Contact the Grand Island Balance, Mobility, and Aquatic Therapy Center at 308-398-2170 for questions about the class or to set up an initial evaluation for a one-time fee of $75 (which includes education on the program, initial assessment, and boxing wraps/gloves).
Once an evaluation is completed, boxers can attend class as many times a week as they’d like with a YMCA membership. Membership pricing options can be discussed with Grand Island YMCA at 308-395-9622.
Jacey Gengenbach at 2018 Functional Aging Summit
May 3, 2019
Functional aging is a concept that is based on the idea that measurements other than chronological ago can be used to measure someone’s position in the aging process. The Functional Aging Institute (FAI) is a training platform for personal trainers specializing in fitness for older adults. Each year since 2015, it hosts the Functional Aging Summit- the world’s premier fitness, training, and aging event.
Jacey Gengenbach, the instructor for
the Parkinson’s Nebraska- sponsored exercise lass called Strength and Balance, attended
the Summit in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, she was asked to be a speaker at the
Summit. Her presentation was on Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease and she shared
What Parkinson’s Disease
The benefits of
Do’s and don’ts
A training demo
One of her favorites parts of being at
the Summit is being surrounded by fitness and aging experts, learning from
others, and sharing her experiences and knowledge. “The knowledge and passion at this event is truly
amazing… The Summit literally helps you get better at everything.”
clients Jacey works with at Fitness and Beyond also benefit from the Summit because
she is bringing back the latest and greatest in exercise and wellness for
active aging adults. She says that the Summit “helps [professionals] get better
at everything.” Just like that is the goal of the Summit, Jacey’s goal is to
have her clients moving better, feeling better, and doing the things they love
as long as possible.
Additionally, Jacey has co-authored a
book with Functional Aging Institute co-founder, Dan Ritchie titled Active Aging: Functional Fitness to renew
Your Strength, Balance, and Energy for the Best Years Yet. The book
explores functional fitness and how it can “equip you to live life at full strength”.
Parkinson’s Nebraska is proud to have
Jacey as a partner and are grateful for the knowledge and expertise she
provides to the Parkinson’s community. Parkinson’s Nebraska sponsors the
Strength and Balance class at Fitness and Beyond (1032 S. 74th
Plaza, Omaha, NE). Stop by and check it out!
Nate Hall from Style Fitness and Nutrition in Omaha, Nebraska
is an inspiring example of the passion people have for helping the Parkinson’s
community. His journey with Parkinson’s began with his father’s diagnosis.
After his father began to experience symptoms, he was inspired to develop a program
that challenged patients to use their minds and control their body to help slow
the side effects of Parkinson’s.
The class has grown steadily since it began. He expects 10
people in his next class. His class provides more than physical benefits. It
provides comradery and support that you can only get from people going through
the same experience. On February 28th, WOWT did the following story
on Nate’s Maintaining Movements with Parkinson’s Disease class.
Parkinson’s Nebraska is proud to support Nate and the Maintaining Movements for Parkinson’s class. Earlier this week, Parkinson’s Nebraska approved a $563.20 grant for Nate’s class to go towards new equipment including versa tubes, sparring gloves, and an agility ladder. We look forward to partnering with Nate to help create a bigger impact in the Parkinson’s community. Below is more information on the Maintaining Movements for Parkinson’s class:
Maintaining Movements with Nate Style Fitness and Nutrition 15117 Industrial Rd. Every other Friday @ 5 p.m.– next class: 3/8/19 Cost: FREE Contact Name: Nate Hall Phone: 402-719-7853 Email: email@example.com Website: stylefitnessomaha.com
The next class will be held at Style Fitness and Nutrition on Friday, March 8th at 5:00 pm. The class is currently offered every other Friday, but Nate is working with Parkinson’s Nebraska to expand the number of classes offered. Contact Nate at 402-719-7853 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Role of Environmental Factors in Parkinson’s Development Investigated in Review Study
February 4, 2019
The hallmark presence of Lewy bodies in the pathway related to sense of smell and in the gut years before a Parkinson’s diagnosis, as well as the potential cumulative impact of different triggers, may help researchers understand the environmental factors that contribute to the development of the disease, according to a review study.
How coffee might protect against Parkinson’s
January 18, 2019
Coffee is thought to protect the brain against Parkinson’s disease. A recent study investigates which compounds might give coffee its neuroprotective powers. The findings may eventually lead to innovative new treatments.
Woman confronts Parkinson’s disease with jabs and upper-cuts
January 10, 2019
“I find it exhilarating. I love boxing, and I never thought I would love it as much as I do. By the time I leave I feel much more energized and much more limber,” said the 52-year-old, who said she sees Parkinson’s much different than she did when she was first diagnosed.
Two of Parkinson’s Nebraska board members, Michelle Faulkner and Dan Lombardo, serve on the Panel of Experts for the NET series Now What? Understanding Parkinson’s Disease. The panel discusses what Parkinson’s Disease is, the signs and symptoms, treatments, and research on the horizon.
Lincoln Resident Fights Parkinson’s with Rock Steady Boxing
September 5, 2016
Diagnosed almost two years ago, Coffey refuses to be bullied by the progressive neurological disorder. He takes medication three times a day to control his symptoms, mainly left-hand tremors and a “slap” to his walk. But that’s not the only way he is going toe-to-toe with the disease.