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February Parkinson's Spotlight

Learn more about Shannon Felix

February Parkinson's Spotlight

Shannon is an ACSM Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer, Mad Dogg Certified Spinning Instructor, Group Fitness Instructor, ACE certified Personal Trainer, and is trained in the Parkinson's Wellness Recovery Program. Shannon earned her Masters in Exercise Physiology from California State University, Northridge. Shannon enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, walking her dog, and plays the piano! Shannon considers herself a fitness fanatic as she swam competitively her whole life, trained and competed in triathlons, and truly enjoys coaching others to feel that same sense of accomplishment she feels with all of her competitions. Shannon really does it all!

Shannon is a Fitness Instructor at the Southern Saratoga Y for Spinning, Neuromotor Wellness, Active Older Adult classes, and at both the Southern Saratoga Y and Glenville Y she is a Fitness Instructor for Pedaling for parkinsons. She also works as a Member Services Representative for both locations. I have personally watched her Neuromotor Wellness class and really enjoyed it! It is a super fun class and Shannon was able to create a very welcoming environment for each of the participants.

Shannon shared that over the years she has developed a "profound sense of fulfillment" with her work involving the Parkinson's population. "The classes at the Y help these individuals keep moving, stay strong, and hopefully lead more comfortable lives." Shannon said they have members with a range of neurological conditions in her classes. "Members with multiple sclerosis have told me they feel they are able to manage their symptoms better after attending our class. And have stated they enjoy coming to class since they feel a sense of belonging & involvement." Shannon said they have members in her classes that have suffered a stroke and can see their walking and upper body function improve over time.

"With our members who have Parkinson's, I have seen individuals improve their balance and mobility, as well as their gait and posture; 2 areas that we really try to focus on. I have also seen significant improvements in strength and endurance."

Socialization is a big aspect of Shannon's classes. Building a community and a group of friends leads to a more positive outlook on life.

According to the Neuromotor Training manual for new instructors the Capital District YMCA developed the Neuromotor Wellness in order to address the expressed need in our communities to expand our already existing programs to be more inclusive of populations living with neuro-motor conditions. The goal of this program is to offer exercise and wellness options to these populations by incorporating a wider variety of exercises that are proven to be beneficial as adjunct treatment for neuromotor diseases and conditions.

At SSY, the Neuromotor class is offered on Wednesdays 11-12:15

We also offer Ping Pong for Parkinson’s on Wednesdays 9:30-10:30

And Pedaling for Parkinson’s Mondays & Thursdays 11-12.

Pedaling for Parkinson’s is a research-based class. It has been shown that assisted or forced exercise has many benefits for people with PD. Our participants are able to use a mode of aerobic exercise (spinning) where their work efforts are augmented so they are able to exercise at rates faster than they could do on their own. High speed pedaling has been proven to help people with PD. It’s not a cure-all but there is compelling evidence that shows it can improve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

To participate in any of these classes, the Y does require a medical waiver from the physician. After we have the waiver, signing up is easy. Either on our website, the Daxko app, or calling the front desk.

Shannon is hoping to see pickleball and ping-pong to become more popular in the Parkinson's community. She believes hand eye coordination is extremely beneficial. 

Advice from Shannon:

Come join the Y! From my own personal experience, I can say that by staying active and being involved has brought my life so many positive benefits. The Y brings you closer to other people who share the same goals of improving their daily life activities and maintaining a positive mindset. By connecting with others, it creates a sense of community with people who experience similar challenges, strive to be the best of themselves, and continually lift each other up to reach their full potential.

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