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November 1, 2023

The Ability Connection

Issue #14

November is COPD Awareness Month

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a term used to describe chronic lung diseases including emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. In the United States, COPD affects more than 15 million adults. More than half of those diagnosed are women. COPD is a major cause of disability, and it is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Symptoms of COPD can be different for each person, but common symptoms are:

  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Frequent coughing (with and without mucus)
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Unusual tiredness

COPD is (currently) an incurable disease, but with the right diagnosis and treatment, there are many things you can do to breathe better and enjoy life and live for many years. Being active will help you feel better, move better and sleep better. You may also need oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, or medicines to treat complications.

The good news is that COPD can be prevented by not smoking. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. However, a rare genetic condition can also cause the disease.

Experts now say that any physical activity, even a few minutes at a time, counts toward better health. Regular exercise will improve your stamina and strength and help you with daily and recreational activities. You will also strengthen your bones and muscles, increase your self-confidence, and breathe easier with less effort. It is important to stay physically active to keep feeling these benefits. Although there is no cure, there are treatments and lifestyle changes that can help you feel better, stay more active, and slow the progress of the disease.

Bio Ability can help with our Adaptive Fitness program.  If you want to be more active but don’t feel comfortable going it alone, contact us and we will be happy to help you reap all the benefits of physical activity safely.

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. The aim of this campaign is to get people talking about epilepsy and raise awareness of a condition that affects thousands of people across the world.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the world. If you have epilepsy, surges of electrical activity in your brain can cause recurring seizures.  There are many types of seizures.  The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) presented a revised operational classification of seizure types to recognize that some seizure types can have either a focal or generalized onset, to allow classification when the onset is unobserved, to include some missing seizure types, and to adopt more transparent names.

The term focal is used instead of partial to be more accurate when talking about where seizures begin. When the beginning of a seizure is not known, it’s now called an unknown onset seizure. A seizure could also be called an unknown onset if it’s not witnessed or seen by anyone, for example when seizures happen at night or in a person who lives alone.

Focal seizures can start in one area or group of cells in one side of the brain.

  • Focal Onset Aware Seizures: When a person is awake and aware during a seizure, it’s called a focal aware seizure. This used to be called a simple partial seizure.
  • Focal Onset Impaired Awareness: When a person is confused or their awareness is affected in some way during a focal seizure, it’s called a focal impaired awareness seizure. This used to be called a complex partial seizure.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, being active and exercising, in recreational activities or sports can improve mental, emotional and physical health. It’s important for everyone and should be encouraged for people with epilepsy. Sometimes people don’t exercise or play sports for fear that it could worsen seizures or lead to injuries. Yet, consider the following…

  • Very rarely, exercise is a trigger for seizure activity. For the vast majority of people with epilepsy, the benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks.
  • Recent research is showing that exercise and being physically fit may lessen risks of seizures! Stay tuned as more research is done in this area!
  • Common sense dictates that certain activities may need special accommodations or should be avoided.
  • Most sports are safe for people with epilepsy to do, even if seizures aren’t fully controlled. However, the greater and more severe a person’s seizures, the greater the need for that person to limit or modify athletic activities.
  • Using some simple safety precautions can help people stay active.

What’s happening?

Open Gym

Thank you to all who joined us at our Open Gym.  Fun was had by all.  We look forward to offering these regularly in the new year.  Keep an eye on social media for future events or contact us to see if or when the next one is planned.

Holiday Schedule

We will be closed for Thanksgiving from Nov 22-26.

We will be closed for Christmas and New Years from Dec 22-26 and Dec 30 through Jan 1

Watch for our next Caregivers Night Out and Open Gym.

November Class Schedule

TTH      9-11 am           Caregivers Assistance Class

TTH      11:00 am         Adaptive Sensory Class

MTW   4:30 pm           Adaptive Ninja

MW     5:30 pm           Adaptive Fitness

Tu        5:30 pm           Adaptive Gymnastics

Sat       10:00 am         Senior Functional Fitness (No class Nov 11)

Sat       11:00 am         Senior Fall Prevention (No class Nov 11)

Exercise of the Month:  Exercises to Manage Stress


In honor of International Stress Awareness Week on Nov 7-11, here are some stretching exercises you can do to help alleviate some common muscle tension caused by stress.

Shoulder Shrug– Standing straight, shrug shoulders up and down.  Do this about 10 times.

Shoulder rolls– Standing or sitting, roll your shoulders forward 10 times and back 10 times.

Scapular Retraction– Standing straight with your arms at your sides, pinch shoulder blades together in the back.  Do this 10 times.

Neck Rotations– Start by facing forward.  Turn head slowly to look over one shoulder and hold for 10 seconds.  Then return to facing forward.  Now slowly turn to look over the other shoulder and hold for 10 seconds.  Repeat 5-10 times.

Neck tilt– Start by facing forward.  Slowly tilt your head towards one shoulder.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Return to facing forward.  Slowly tilt your head towards the other shoulder.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Repeat 5-10 times.

Neck Extension– Start facing forward.  Slowly bend head forward.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Return to facing forward.  Repeat 5-10 times.

Neck Flexion – Start facing forward.  Slowly bend head backward.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Return to facing forward.  Repeat 5-10 times.

Neck tilt Arm Pull stretch– Start facing forward and place your right arm behind your back. Grab your right hand behind you with your left.  While tilting your head to the left, pull the right arm down until you feel a stretch.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Repeat on the left side.  Complete 5 on each side.


Recipe of the Month:  Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon Recipe | Tyler Florence | Food Network


  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubesHoney Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling potatoes after cooked
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle the oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper over the potatoes. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes in oven or until tender.
  3. Take sweet potatoes out of the oven and transfer them to a serving platter. Drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil.

Nutrition Information

Makes 4 servings

Calories 304; Carbs 41g; Sat Fat 2g; Protein 2g; Sodium 216mg; Fiber 5g.

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