An update from Brain x Body Fitness Studio, by Studio Manager Tayla Haslam
I have been extremely proud of all the BBFS members who were able to maintain their regular exercise routine regardless of the hurdles thrown their way in 2020. Reflecting on the past year we have seen new staff members, new equipment, a range of Flinders University students and volunteers and a strong growth in our membership numbers.
Just over 100 members are attending the studio regularly and we are running approximately 140 sessions per week with eight specialised group classes on offer!
Meet Casandra – Member’s Story
Casandra Hewett joined BBFS in January 2020 and has immersed herself in the studio, attending at least three times per week. Casandra enjoys completing her individualised strength and balance program, dance classes and has recently joined the yoga class.
In a period of almost 12 months, Casandra has improved her sit to stand score from 1 repetition to 8 repetitions! This is a significant improvement and a measure of lower body strength which is crucial for walking long distances, getting up and down out of a chair or off the floor and mobilising in general.
Casandra also improved her 30 second bicep curl score on her right arm from 10 to 14 repetitions and 15 to 16 repetitions on her left. This is a measure of upper body strength and is important for daily tasks such as carrying shopping bags, dressing and human connection such as lifting a child or physical relationships with a partner.
Hamstring flexibility is measured from a seated position with your leg outstretched, and seeing how close you can get to reaching your toes. Give this a try at home and see if you feel a tight, pulling sensation through your hamstrings. Casandra has recently joined the yoga classes to try to improve her flexibility and mobility.
Good range of motion and flexibility through the shoulder joint is crucial to reduce risk of shoulder injuries and for daily tasks such as reaching above your head to hang up the washing or reaching for something on the top shelf. Casandra’s shoulder flexibility on her right side has improved from minus 2.5cm to positive 1cm. This shows that Casandra is now able to overlap her fingers with her arms behind her back. Casandra’s left side has improved from minus 18cm to minus 12cm, showing that she is now closer to touching her hands together.
Casandra has shown improvements in her single leg balance, particularly on her right side where she held her balance for 1.54 seconds initially and is now able to stand on her right leg for 15 seconds. Casandra’s timed up and go scores have almost halved, showing that her mobility and dynamic balance have improved. Casandra has also reduced her falls risk score using the FROP-com from 4 risks, to 3.
Each of these measures are important in clients with Parkinson’s disease and a significant portion of BBFS exercise programs focus on balance challenges and gait training which involves stepping, turning, and balancing.
When asked, Casandra says she feels stronger and more confident in her walking and feels her general fitness has improved enormously as a result of regular exercise at the studio. As demonstrated in the EQ5D3L visual tool, Casandra’s self-reported health score was 66% initially and in December she rated her health higher at 70%.
When asked why Casandra continues to attend the studio, she says she enjoys the comfortable nature of the studio, the interaction with members/staff, the guidance and Parkinson’s-specific exercise program tailored to her needs.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the studio and having the opportunity to regularly track your performance, please feel free to get in touch with Tayla or Sophie and we can give you a personal tour of the studio.
Take care and keep moving!