NeuroFIT – a beacon of Optimism for Individuals with Parkinson’s

After realizing a need for specialized programs to support people with neurological conditions Shelia, owner of Longevita, Heidi and Cheryl developed NeuroFIT. At Longevita Pilates & Yoga Studio, DBA Longevita Wellness Studio, we are driven by a deep commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of individuals facing the challenges of Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions. It is with heartfelt compassion and a wealth of knowledge that has made NeuroFIT such an amazing program!

NeuroFIT is more than just an exercise program; it is a sanctuary where individuals with neurological conditions, like Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis, find hope, support, and transformation. Through this program, we have witnessed the remarkable journey of our participants as they rediscover their physical and mental strength.

Physically, NeuroFIT is a lifeline. With individualized exercise routines that combine low-impact aerobic exercises, strength training, coordination, mobility, balance work, and the utilization of Pilates equipment (reformer, wall spring, and more), our participants experience remarkable improvements. The goal is to enhance their daily lives, step by step, movement by movement.

Mentally, NeuroFIT is a haven for growth and empowerment. Under the guidance of our dedicated coaches, Heidi and Cheryl, who possess not only extensive certifications but also profound empathy, participants discover a renewed sense of self and purpose. Heidi’s personal connection to Parkinson’s along with her certification as a Master Personal Trainer and Cheryl’s expertise as a Physical Therapist Assistant and as a Certified Pilates instructor allow them to make each session not just effective but also deeply understanding. 

Featured contributor on PilatesBridge

Learn about the specific Pilates and exercise principles used during the NeuroFIT class in an expert article written by Shelia Cowart for PilatesBridge: Pilates Programming for Parkinson’s and Other Neurological Conditions.

Meet Our NeuroFIT Coaches:

Heidi is the heart and soul of our NeuroFIT program, serving as its dedicated Program Director for the past five years. Her journey with us is a testament to her unwavering compassion and heartfelt commitment to the well-being of our participants.

Heidi’s list of certifications and qualifications is nothing short of impressive: she is a Master personal trainer, a Functional Aging Specialist, an HIIT Group instructor, a Certified urban poling trainer, a Black Belt in Taekwondo, and a certified Rock steady Parkinson’s boxing coach. However, it’s not just the titles that define her; it’s the genuine care and empathy she brings to every class.

What sets Heidi apart is her personal connection to Parkinson’s disease, a connection that runs deep in her heart. This connection, coupled with her vast expertise in personal training and her profound understanding of the condition, allows her to offer a compassionate and informed approach that touches the lives of our participants in the most meaningful way.

But Heidi’s compassion extends beyond Parkinson’s alone. She specializes in working with the active aging population, bringing functional exercises to the forefront. These exercises focus on the essentials of daily life—bending, lifting, and reaching—enhancing not only physical attributes but also mental well-being.

Heidi firmly believes that by incorporating these functional movements into their daily routines, older adults can maintain not just physical independence but also an overall sense of health, happiness, and fulfillment. Her passion for helping others achieve an active and joyful lifestyle is truly heartfelt and inspiring.

Heidi is the embodiment of compassion and dedication, and her presence in the NeuroFIT program is a source of hope and strength for all who have the privilege of knowing her. She is more than just a coach; she is a beacon of light in our participants’ lives, and we are truly grateful for her unwavering commitment.

Cheryl’s journey into the world of Pilates and rehabilitation is nothing short of inspiring, marked by a deep sense of compassion and heartfelt dedication. In 2012, she embarked on a transformative path when she first delved into Pilates, specifically focusing on its role in rehabilitating individuals. This pivotal moment shaped the trajectory of her career and our NeuroFIT program.

Cheryl, Pilates Instructor at Longevita Pilates & Yoga Studio in Auburn W

Cheryl’s unique approach to rehabilitation stems from her integration of Pilates principles and exercises, which provides a comprehensive and holistic method for healing. Her commitment to this approach has translated into long-term success stories and an enhanced quality of life for her clients, which underscores her compassion for their well-being.

As a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), Cheryl brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our program. Her qualifications, including being a Certified Pilates Mat instructor, a Trained Pilates reformer instructor, a Functional Aging specialist, a Certified Urban poling trainer, and a certified Rock steady Parkinson’s boxing coach, reflect her unwavering commitment to professional excellence and compassionate care.

In NeuroFIT, Cheryl plays a pivotal role in designing exercises that encompass postural strengthening, stretching, posterior chain and core strengthening, safe unilateral and bilateral lower extremity strengthening on the Pilates Reformer, balance, and individualized assessments. Her role as a licensed PTA empowers her to make necessary modifications to cater to the unique abilities and needs of each participant, embodying the true essence of compassionate care.

Cheryl’s presence in our NeuroFIT family is a source of comfort, reassurance, and hope. Her profound dedication to the well-being of our participants, rooted in her professional expertise and heartfelt compassion, enriches the lives of everyone she touches. We are incredibly fortunate to have Cheryl as an integral part of our program, and her genuine care is the cornerstone of our commitment to making a positive impact.

Jennifer holds a very special place in our hearts as one of our newest coaches, and we are thrilled to share her journey with you. She brings a remarkable depth of compassion, warmth, and a heartwarming spirit that has quickly endeared her to our NeuroFIT family.

Jennifer’s journey with us began as a volunteer, generously offering her time and assistance to support our participants. What we soon discovered was not just her incredible dedication but also her immense potential to make a profound impact. It was only natural that we invited her to join the NeuroFIT team, and she has been a radiant light ever since.

With a rich tapestry of certifications, including being a certified personal trainer and a STOTT PILATES Trained Instructor, Jennifer’s qualifications are impressive. However, what truly sets her apart is the boundless energy she brings to every session, the infectious enthusiasm that fills the room, and the unwavering positivity that radiates from her.

From the moment you meet Jennifer, it’s impossible not to be captivated by her warmth and the genuine care she extends to each participant. Her approach is rooted in compassion, and her teaching style is a testament to her sincere dedication to the well-being of our NeuroFIT community.

Jennifer has quickly become a cherished member of our team, and her presence has touched the hearts of everyone she encounters. Her journey is a beautiful example of how passion, kindness, and a heart full of empathy can make a world of difference in the lives of those we serve.

We are truly fortunate to have Jennifer on board, and we can’t wait for you to experience the warmth and compassion she brings to the NeuroFIT family.

About the NeuroFIT Program

Once a future participant has heard about Neurofit, they are invited to observe a class.  Next the new participants will schedule an assessment, with Cheryl, comprising of strength, balance, cognition, and endurance demonstrating their ability and allowing objective results and findings to individualize their experience.  This set of tests allows the coaches to come up with the appropriate class to match the participants’ abilities and the number of times per week they should attend class.

NeuroFIT is held 5 days a week with each class offering unique challenges for everyone, using different equipment.  This can include BOSU, obstacle course, Pilates reformer, weights, and many other things.  Along with physical challenges, we add cognitive exercises and utilizing their voices.

All the exercise classes that are designed for NeuroFIT address common issues associated with Parkinson’s disease.  Some of these issues include, but are not limited to, balance, gait, soft voices, strength, and endurance.  Classes also build confidence, camaraderie, community, and friendship in a safe environment.

But NeuroFIT is not just about exercises; it’s about building a supportive community. Our participants become more than just attendees; they become a part of a family that understands their journey intimately. Through support groups, social events, and community outreach, they find camaraderie, friendship, and hope.

NeuroFIT has a support group which is run by two of the participants spouses who are volunteers.  It is held on the first Friday of every month and has had several neurological doctors, medical representatives and various other speakers pertaining to Parkinson’s present their information.  The peer-to-peer group is a safe environment for the participants to discuss any issues they may be experiencing.  The NeuroFIT group also looks forward to the Annual summer barbecue and holiday party.  

NeuroFIT is a beacon of optimism, a place where individuals with Parkinson’s can take control of their lives, rebuild their confidence, and embrace a brighter future. Our involvement in fund raising events like the APDA Optimism walk and the Northwest Parkinson walk amplifies our commitment to the larger Parkinson’s community. These help NeuroFIT connect to the Parkinson’s community on a larger scale resulting in doctors recommending our program to their patients.

Our mission at Longevita Pilates & Yoga Studio, through NeuroFIT, is to reach out and touch as many lives as we can. We believe in the power of knowledge, compassion, and understanding to make a meaningful difference. Together, we are not just building physical strength; we are cultivating resilience, courage, and a sense of belonging.

We believe in the power of sensorimotor integration training, working diligently to help you train all three of your essential balance systems. Our dedicated team is here to guide you through various techniques, including Pilates reformer, Pilates Spring Wall, non-contact boxing, and agility training. We encourage you to embrace the practice of balancing on uneven surfaces, compliant surfaces, and altering visual conditions to enhance the integration of these systems. Your journey to improved balance and quality of life begins with a simple step: contacting Longevita at 253-249-7456 or email us at [email protected]. We are here to provide you with more details, answer your questions, and discuss how our program can help you regain confidence in your balance and well-being. Don’t hesitate to reach out and start your transformative journey towards a healthier, more balanced life. We look forward to hearing from you and embarking on this empowering journey together. Your better tomorrow begins today.

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