Dallas Hot Yoga, Pilates, Barre & Fitness

Dallas Hot Yoga, Pilates, Barre & Fitness

Amy Kelley Amy Kelley April 28, 2017

Parkinson's Awareness Month

General, Life, Yoga Teacher Training 0 Comment
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SunstoneFIT prides itself on hiring the best people who work incredibly hard to help their students live their very best life. A big part of what we do is getting to know our community of teachers and students. We do this in part through our studio events like donation-based classes and our charitable giving. We LOVE the opportunity talk about our shared interests and to shine light around areas which you had no previous awareness.
As part of April being Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we would like to introduce you to Barb Mack, who you will find at our Preston Forest Village studio. In her time away from SunstoneFIT, she works with the Dallas Area Parkinsonism Society

teaching patients how to live with Parkinson’s Disease through exercise, cognitive learning and socialization. Barb has a master’s in nursing (her first career was as an oncology nurse), yet the knowledge she uses to teach classes at DAPS stems from her education at Sunstone Teacher Training, where she was also a longtime faculty member. 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable neurodegenerative disorder which causes tremors and rigidity of the limbs, slowness of movement and impaired balance and coordination. “Movement is the medicine” We need to specifically mention that unlike many other degenerative diseases we know that for Parkinson’s, exercise not only helps to manage symptoms, but also to slow disease progression. (further details here)

Exercise is a key factor in the fight against PD. We spoke with the Executive Director, Mike Miles, about the program and about our Barb.
Tell us how exercise helps with PD?
When someone is diagnosed with PD, their doctors will quickly encourage them to get involved with an exercise program. One specialist in Dallas, Dr. Stewart says “Now that you have PD, you need to plan on exercising 8 out of 7 days a week.”

At DAPS, we work with patients on exercise programs, speech and socialization. Studies show that these three things are key to keeping up their quality of life. For instance, building core strength helps with balance, etc. 

Tell us more about your organization
DAPS has 12 to 13 locations in DFW area with over 30 different programs for exercise and speech, caregiver support and discussion groups.
What does someone like Barb do?
I can’t say enough wonderful things about Barb. Barb helps with exercises and also incorporates speech into the exercises classes. For instance, requiring the students to count off reps and use volume. The tendency toward dementia and Alzheimer’s is high, so we work also on cognitive skills. Barb is great at having the students count off reps in unique ways,  like saying numbers in Spanish forwards and backwards or the old baseball idiot of “Who’s on first?” and more.
If anyone is interested in volunteering, what can they do? 
We have many different volunteer opportunities available, beginning in the office with clerical, mailings and data entry. As a small organization, volunteers are crucial to keep our organization running at the highest level. Currently we are looking for volunteers with specific knowledge on computer programming and marketing. At each location, we need a facilitator who greets class members, keeps attendance, etc.We are always looking for facilitators and assistance with our meetings and classes.
What is the one thing you think people should know about DAPS?
We like to say that we are one of Dallas’s best kept secrets, although we are working hard to move forward. We currently have over 300 members. Our offering of exercise and speech classes and socialization opportunities really does make a difference in the lives of people with PD. Best of all, most classes are free.
How would someone get involved with the program, either as a patient or volunteer? 
Please check out our website at

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