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Inverness class highlights physical activity benefits for Parkinson’s

This press release was issued by Parkinson’s UK on 5th June.

Parkinson’s UK has produced a new video showcasing the power of physical activity for people with Parkinson’s.

The three-minute film focuses on weekly classes held at Inverness Leisure.

Parkinson’s UK has been working closely with High Life Highland and NHS Highland to train instructors to deliver classes that meet the needs of people with Parkinson’s. There are currently more than 90 people attending sessions at Inverness, Alness, Thurso, Aviemore and Wick.

The charity hopes the video, which has just been launched on social media and already racked up more than 5000 views, will encourage more people with Parkinson’s to discover the benefits of regular physical activity.

Andrew Grant, who lives in Inverness and features in the video, said the class helps him feel he is doing something positive to help manage his Parkinson’s.

“It also provides an opportunity to socialise with people who are going through similar experiences, which is really important,” said Andrew.

“Having an instructor who understands a little more about the condition is brilliant as you know they can provide advice and support on the best types of exercises for you.

“I really hope the video shows other people with Parkinson’s the physical and mental benefits that people gain from attending a class like this.”

The film also features Carole Jackman, Parkinson’s Specialist Physiotherapist with NHS Highland, who has been involved in training instructors at High Life Highland.

Amanda McKay, Physical Activity Delivery Manager for Parkinson’s UK, said: “We’re passionate about promoting the benefits of physical activity, which can help people live better with some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

“If anyone has ever wondered what a class for people with Parkinson’s looks like, this video contains a fantastic example from the Highland region. In addition to demonstrating some of the activities, the video captures the power physical activity has to improve the wellbeing of participants.

“We encourage anyone inspired by this video to find out what is happening in their local area, come along, get active and become part of a real community of support.”

Parkinson’s UK also hopes the video will appeal to health professionals and leisure trusts, encouraging them to develop similar offerings in other parts of Scotland. The charity is working with 20 leisure trusts across the country and has trained more than 80 exercise instructors, with training for a further 20-30 instructors planned for 2024.

Steve Walsh, Chief Executive at High Life Highland, said: “There are over 90 people attending our special Parkinson’s classes and more joining online where there are barriers that mean they can’t attend in person. Having chatted to many of them, it strikes me how important the social aspect of these classes is, alongside the physical and mental wellbeing benefits, where attendees can share their experiences with each other. At High Life Highland we are all about Making Life Better and we are delighted to be able to work with Parkinson’s UK to deliver a service which is making a big difference to people’s lives.”