Pedaling for Parkinson’s™: Now powered by the Davis Phinney Foundation
January 12, 2024
LOUISVILLE, CO / January 12, 2024 /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The Davis Phinney Foundation was one of the first organizations to recognize, promote, and fund research on the effects of exercise for the well-being of a person with Parkinson’s. Years later, multiple studies demonstrated what Davis Phinney and others knew to be true: Exercise is medicine.
Jay Alberts, PhD, had a similar observation while riding a tandem bike at the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) with Cathy Frazier, a woman with Parkinson’s. They noticed cycling improved Cathy’s symptoms. This led Dr. Alberts to study the effects of aerobic exercise—particularly cycling—on cognitive and motor function through a project funded by the Davis Phinney Foundation in 2009.
The results of that research defined a therapeutic protocol that was subsequently deployed in a few cycling studios across the country. Delivering almost immediate results, the test environments transformed to indoor stationary cycling classes that quickly became available to people living with Parkinson’s. As such, Pedaling for Parkinson’s was born.
At its height, the program has had nearly 150 locations across the country, the Pedaling for Parkinson’s program has become a trusted source of accessible exercise, community connection, and wellness for people living with Parkinson’s.
In 2023, Dr. Alberts chose the Davis Phinney Foundation as the steward of this innovative and effective program. He shared, “Parkinson’s robs people of control. This exercise [program] gives the person living with Parkinson’s a level of control again. I think that is consistent with the messages of living well that the Davis Phinney Foundation has been promoting the last 20 years.”
With Davis’s roots in cycling and the Foundation’s history as an advocate for exercise and quality of life, adopting this program is a natural next step to ensure the sustainability and broad availability of Pedaling for Parkinson’s across the country (and soon, across the globe!).
The Davis Phinney Foundation will relaunch the Pedaling for Parkinson’s program on January 23, 2024. Founder Davis Phinney shares, “For our Parkinson community, I can attest, the Pedaling for Parkinson’s classes are inspiring, fun, and effective. We laugh a lot while we sweat!” For more information, please go here.
Pedaling for Parkinson’s classes are initiated by instructors, advocates, and facilities in communities big and small and is free to license and get started. Individuals interested in learning how to get started should visit the Davis Phinney Foundation website to learn more.
Parkinson’s is the fastest-growing neurodegenerative disease in the world. Annually, nearly 90,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which is a 50% increase from the previously estimated rate of 60,000 annual diagnoses.
About the Davis Phinney Foundation
The Davis Phinney Foundation was created in 2004 by Olympic medalist and retired professional cyclist Davis Phinney to help people with Parkinson’s live well today. The Foundation’s focus is to provide programs and resources that offer inspiration, information, and tools that help people living with Parkinson’s take action to immediately improve their quality of life. Through the Every Victory Counts® manual, The Victory Summit® events, the Ambassador Leadership program, the Healthy Parkinson’s Communities™ initiative, funding of quality-of-life research, and extensive online content, the Foundation impacts hundreds of thousands of individuals each year.
About Dr. Jay Alberts
Jay L. Alberts, PhD is the Vice Chair of Innovations at the Neurological Institute, holder of the Bell Family Endowed Chair, and a staff member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Cleveland Clinic. His research focuses on understanding the effects of neurological disease (Parkinson’s) or injury (concussion) on motor and cognitive function and developing disease-specific treatments to improve performance.