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Exercise as Medicine - Janet Kearns' Approach to Conquering Parkinson's

Living with Parkinson's disease is an ongoing battle that demands courage, resilience, and an arsenal of strategies to manage its myriad of symptoms. Janet Kearns, a remarkable individual who has been navigating this challenging condition, recently shared her journey on the Parkinson's Empowerment Podcast. Her story is not just one of personal triumph, but it's also a beacon of hope for many who are searching for ways to live a fulfilling life despite their diagnosis.


When Janet was first diagnosed with Parkinson's, the news hit close to home, bringing back memories of her mother's own struggle with the same disease. Her initial reaction was one of denial, a common response to such a life-altering revelation. However, as Janet came to terms with her condition, her mindset shifted from denial to determination. This transformation was greatly aided by her involvement with Rock Steady Boxing, a fitness program specifically designed for individuals with Parkinson's.


Rock Steady Boxing provided Janet not only with an effective physical regimen to manage her symptoms but also with a supportive community that understands the unique challenges of living with Parkinson's. During the podcast, she detailed how the solidarity and encouragement she found within this community became foundational pillars in her fight against the disease. Janet's experience highlights the significant role that targeted physical therapy and exercise can play in managing Parkinson's, especially when combined with the strength drawn from being part of a group with shared experiences.


The podcast also delved into the misconceptions and invisibility that often accompany Parkinson's, particularly when prominent symptoms like tremors are absent. Janet spoke candidly about the need for advocacy and public awareness, as many people with Parkinson's must navigate a world that doesn't immediately recognize their struggles. She shared anecdotes about having to explain her condition in public spaces, like on an airplane, where patience and assistance might not be readily offered.


Janet's journey also included an exploration of the early signals of Parkinson's, such as a loss of smell, and the importance of maximizing the effectiveness of her medication. She emphasized that, despite the absence of a direct way to measure disease progression, early intervention and consistent exercise could greatly enhance quality of life. These insights serve as a powerful reminder of the need for support and observation from loved ones and healthcare professionals.


Lastly, the podcast celebrated the lighter side of Janet's life with Parkinson's. It illuminated how adopting 'fighter names' and building friendships added an element of joy to her boxing classes. Janet's story shows that living with Parkinson's isn't solely about the fight—it's also about finding moments of happiness and connection in the midst of it all.


In conclusion, Janet Kearns' narrative is a testament to the human spirit's capacity for resilience. Through her account, we're reminded of the power of community, the efficacy of exercise as a form of medicine, and the importance of facing Parkinson's with a blend of tenacity and joy. Her experience serves as an invaluable resource for those affected by Parkinson's, providing both practical advice and emotional support for navigating the complexities of the disease.

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