Wednesday, November 1st, 2017...1:44 pm

Heidi Weinberg: Delaying the disease

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Personal trainer Heidi Weinberg discusses her training in a program designed to help clients with Parkinson’s disease

by MAX SPARBER
Community News Editor

According to Parkinsons.org, a website about the disease, studies suggest an unhappy fact about Minnesota:  our state has the third-highest rate of Parkinson’s in the United States.

The Delay the Disease program offers exercises designed to improve agility and multitasking. (Photo: Courtesy of Heidi Weiberg)

The disease is a degenerative disorder, in which cell death in a region of the midbrain causes a drop in dopamine, a chemical released by nerve cells in the brain to send signals to other nerve cells. As the disease progresses, it causes shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and problems with walking.

While there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, there is evidence that exercise can be beneficial to sufferers. To that end, Ohio-based fitness instructor David Zid and registered nurse Jackie Russell developed a program called Delay the Disease, designing exercises around correcting disease-specific physical challenges.

There is currently only one certified Delay the Disease instructor in Minensota, Heidi Weinberg, a personal trainer/health coach and Cleveland native who has worked at the Ridgedale YMCA for five years, among other venues around the Twin Cities.

In an interview with American Jewish World, Weinberg described having a client with Parkinson’s, “a man in his low 70s.” She had not had experience with the disease before, and so Weinberg set out to research the disease. “I just started looking up everything I could about it,” she said, “and then putting the things I learned into our session.”

Quickly, she started to see improvements. “His symptoms started to turn around,” she said. “It was amazing to me. A few months later he was able to walk backwards without feeling he was going to fall.”

Weinberg found out about the Delay the Disease program thanks to a friend from Cleveland. A friend of hers was on the news, part of a story detailing a class for people with Parkinson’s, and forwarded her a clip of the broadcast.

“I called the place where he had the class and asked: ‘Where do you get trained?’” Weinberg said. They told her about Delay the Disease.

“My daughter goes to Ohio State,” Weinberg says. “It worked out great! I flew out there and combined my classes with visits with my daughter.” Weinberg got certified as a Delay the Disease coach and began offering it in Minnesota.

One of her clients, Bob, who has been training with her for two years on a once-per-week basis, provided her with this testimonial: “On Friday, July 21, 2017, I went to see my doctor at the Mayo Clinic Department of Neurology for my annual Parkinson’s physical examination. She went through the normal physical tests and she said that she did not see any difference between the results from my 2016 exam and the results of the 2017 exam.

“She felt that working with personal trainer Heidi seems to have had a positive effect on the progression of the disease.”

Since becoming certified, Weinberg has returned to Ohio for additional education. “Last year I spent two days with David Zid and Jackie Russell. This was on my own time,” she explained. “I had the opportunity to ask them questions directly as well as observe five of their classes. Finally, I attended/observed a one-on-one personal training session with David Zid.”

Weinberg has also started her own personal training business called Live2Thrive. She can be reached at 612-360-7479.

1 Comment

  • This sounds like a wonderful program, Heidi.
    I’d like to know more about the training to work with clients here in Cleveland who have Parkinsons.

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