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April 2024 Newsletter

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April 1, 2024

The Ability Connection

Issue #19

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that initially causes tremor in one hand, stiffness or slowing of movement. Symptoms start so slowly that the first symptom may be a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder may also cause stiffness or slowing of movement. According to the Mayo Clinic, the cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but several factors appear to play a role, including genes and environmental triggers. Risk factors for developing Parkinson’s include: age (60+ years), heredity (family history), sex (male), exposure to toxins (ie. pesticides, etc).

Because the cause of Parkinson’s is unknown, there are no proven ways to prevent the disease. Some research has shown that regular aerobic exercise might reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Some other research has shown that people who consume caffeine get Parkinson’s disease less often than those who don’t drink it. Green tea also is related to a reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. However, it is still not known whether caffeine protects against getting Parkinson’s or is related in some other way.

Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications might significantly improve your symptoms. Exercise is an essential part of overall disease management for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Physical activity has been shown to improve many PD symptoms, from balance and mobility issues to depression, constipation and even thinking skills. Reported benefits of exercise include improvements in the following areas:

  • Gait and balance
  • Flexibility and posture
  • Motor coordination
  • Endurance
  • Working memory and decision making
  • Attention and concentration
  • Quality of sleep

Regular exercise can result in a reduction in falls, freezing of gait, depression, and anxiety.  According to the Parkinson’s Foundation Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, it is recommended that people with PD do at least 2.5 hours of exercise every week for a better quality of life. The exercise program should include aerobic exercise, strength, balance, agility training and stretching exercises.

If you would like an individualized exercise program designed to meet you where you are currently at, please contact Bio Ability and inquire about our Adaptive Exercise Program.

April 2 is World Autism Day


World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day annually on April 2, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about autistic individuals throughout the world. In a 2015 Presidential Proclamation, President Obama highlighted some of the initiatives that the US government was taking to bring rights to those with autism and to bring awareness to the disorder. He highlighted things like The Affordable Care Act, which prohibits health insurance companies from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition such as autism. He also pointed out the recent Autism CARES Act of 2014, which provides higher level training for those who are serving citizens on the autism spectrum.

According to Mayo Clinic, autism spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. It includes limited and repetitive patterns of behavior. The term “spectrum” in autism spectrum disorder refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity. About 1 in 36 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.

According to research, here are some of the benefits of exercise for people with autism:

  • Decreases stereotypical behaviors, hyperactivity, and aggression
  • Helps autistic children better engage in the environment
  • Promotes weight loss and leads to better overall health
  • Improves social interaction ability and communication ability
  • Increases focus, reduces maladaptive behaviors, and improves social skills and language development

Bio Ability has a number of options for children and adults with ASD.  Our staff is skilled in adapting to the children and meeting them where they are to allow for safe and fun participation.  We have a number of children’s classes to choose from including adaptive gymnastics, ninja and fitness.  We can work one on one or in small groups with friends or siblings. For teen and adults, we have adaptive fitness class and can also offer small groups and one on one as needed.  Please contact Bio Ability for more information or click here to register now for a class BIO Gymnastics Classes | Customer Portal | Customer Portal ( .

What’s happening?

Spring Ahead to Better Health!

Are you ready to bloom into better health this spring? Look no further! Our Spring Into a Healthier You program is designed to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.  What’s Included: A Personalized Exercise Program will be tailored to your fitness level and goals.  We will meet you where you are and guide you through safe and invigorating workouts. Additionally, you will be enrolled in 1 Class a week, either Adaptive Fitness or Functional Fitness class. Finally, individualized health coaching will provide you personalized advice, track your progress, and motivate you every step of the way to help you meet your health goals.  Contact Bio Ability for more information or to sign up.

Coming Soon:  Bio Ability presents…

We understand the unique challenges faced by our special needs community. The first ever Bio Ability presents…. is coming soon!  “Bio Ability Presents” is a series of educational topics offered to our Bio Ability Community and the community at large to empower individuals with disabilities and their families. If there are any topics you would like to learn more about please email and we will add it to our list of topics.

Our first presenter is Dr. Diana Tyler DC. DACNB and she will be presenting a very important topic, “Understand Your Child’s Brain + Neuroplasticity:  Benefits of Targeted Exercise Program for Children with Neurodevelopmental Conditions”. Stay tuned for more information.

March Class Schedule

It is always best to find current class availability online at BIO Ability Classes . Some classes may be wait list only.

MT                   4:30 pm           Adaptive Ninja

MT                   5:30 pm           Adaptive Gymnastics

MW                 5:30 pm           Adaptive Fitness (Teen/Adult)

Tu                    930 am            Adaptive Homeschool PE

Tu                    5:30 pm           Adaptive Gymnastics

W                     4:30 pm           Adaptive Gymnastics

W                     4:30 pm           Adaptive Gymnastics

W                     5:30 pm           Adaptive Ninja

TH                    11:00 am         Sensory Gymnastics Class

Sat                   1:00 pm           Adaptive Fitness (Teen/Adult)

Sat                   2:00 pm           Functional Fitness for Older Adults

Exercise of the Month: Posture Exercises for Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s often causes a stooped posture due to muscle rigidity in the legs and neck.  Here are some stretches to help improve this posture:

  • Hamstring stretch – Sit on a chair or the edge of a couch. Extend the leg you want to stretch out in front of you. Maintain a nice, tall posture with a neutral spine. Slowly lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold this position for about 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure not to let your knee bend during the stretch. If needed, use your hands to gently apply pressure above your kneecap to keep your thigh straightened.
  • Lying Hip flexor stretch- Lie on your back with both legs extended. Bend your right knee and bring it toward your chest. Hold your right knee with both hands and gently pull it toward your chest. You should feel a stretch in the front of your thigh and hip. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Hip and ab stretch- Lay on your stomach and place your elbows directly under your shoulders to lift your chest. Make sure your hips stay in contact with the bed or mat. You should feel a stretch in the front of your thigh, hip and abdominals. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Door/Chest stretch- Stand in a door way with your arms on the door frame so that your elbows are bent, palm facing and holding onto the doorway, arms are parallel to the floor. Step forward or lean forward moving your body through the doorway until you feel a stretch on the front of the chest and shoulders. Hold this for 20-25 seconds.
  • Chair stretch- Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Lift your chest and sit up as straight as possible. Curl your back and reach for the floor between your legs.  Then reach your arms up to the sky.
  • Chair Twists- Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Lift your chest and sit up as straight as possible. Reach your arms out to the side and back.  Twist so that you are trying to look behind you.  Repeat on the opposite side.  Hold each for 10 seconds and repeat both sides 10 times.


Recipe of the Month: One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Broccoli (


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, sliced, divided
  • 4 cups small broccoli florets
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (21-30 count)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, plus more to taste


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add half the garlic and cook until beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add broccoli, bell pepper and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice and adding 1 tablespoon water if the pot is too dry, until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot. Add the remaining garlic and cook until beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add shrimp and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until the shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the broccoli mixture to the pot along with lemon juice and stir to combine.

Nutrition Information 

Serving Size: 1 cup (makes 4 servings)

Calories: 214; Total fat: 11g; Carbohydrates: 6g; Protein: 25g

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