GZSobol’s Parkinson’s Network, (GZSPN®) was established in November, 2013. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity. Contributions are tax deductible.
The vision of Parkinson’s Network is that every person with Parkinson’s Disease has access to our science based group exercise classes to help them restore lost functions. As we continue to expand, managers in our 7 U.S. regions are in the process of starting up classes all over the country. As of now we are in several states and numerous major cities.
The mission of Parkinson’s Network is to improve quality of life in people with Parkinson’s Disease. We carry out this mission by providing exercise from highly trained instructors offering research-based approaches.
Gary Sobol, founder of Parkinson’s Network, lives in Boulder, Colorado. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in February, 2008. The disease caused Gary’s health to deteriorate to the point where he needed help with most Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s). For example, he could no longer write a check legibly, a function he has been able to restore with exercise.
Gary did considerable research and learned that exercise could dramatically improve his quality of life. In January, 2012, he designed and created a Parkinson’s boot camp class that is now called GZ Sobol’s Parkinson’s Network Foundations Class.
Improving the Quality of Life for those Living with Parkinson’s
When he began the first exercise program in January, 2012, Gary realized that exercise programs for people with Parkinson’s (PWP’s) are enhanced by camaraderie, cognition, voice and FUN!. He knew that PWP’s placed a great deal of value on being able to speak with other PWP’s and to hear stories of how they have overcome similar challenges. The Parkinson’s Network classes provide this opportunity. Research has proven that the human brain has plasticity: the ability to create new working pathways when certain areas or types of brain tissue become injured, damaged or no longer work as they should. Studies prove that consistent exercise combined with cognitive tasks such as counting backward by a given number improves brain function in PWP’s.
PWP’s tend to speak very softly and almost mumble, further alienating them from the world around them. The Parkinson’s Network classes always incorporate voice strengthening exercises to improve this vital form of communication. Laughing and cheering is part of every class!
Gary has recruited a team of professionals who share his passion for improving the quality of life of those with Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s Network classes incorporate exercises that target specific deficits like those mentioned above and more. Gary personally has taught over 1,600 classes and is training instructors to bring the classes to cities across the United States. To date, Gary has certified over 300 instructors.