Beyond physical fitness and good times, Garlands health and wellness programming offers significant therapeutic value as well.
For example, regular Mindful Meditation sessions, led by the Venerable Bhante Sujatha, a Buddhist monk, are a great way to boost mood and practice selfcare, and bi-weekly Exercise for Diabetes classes followed by glucose monitoring help type 1 and type 2 diabetics track pre- and post-workout progress.
Among the newest therapeutic offerings is a movement group for Garlands members who have neurological disorders. The Brain and Body class includes a variety of physically and mentally stimulating games, resistance training, stretching, and optional movements, like light boxing, that are scientifically proven to help manage the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and familial tremor.
Inspired by Garlands member Joanne Fulkerson, a retired northwest suburban realtor who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 17 years ago, the class also features a support group element for both patients and caregivers.
“My initial personal reaction to my diagnosis was fear and despair—I didn’t tell anyone,” recalls Joanne, who eventually became more informed and increasingly comfortable after joining a fitness and support group at her local gym.
“We were able to relay our feelings, frustrations, and observations, and exchange ideas while developing a real esprit de corps among people who shared similar experiences,” says Joanne.