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Walking football is helping Glasgow women with Parkinson’s to take up physical activity

A WOMAN with Parkinson’s was inspired to do more physical activity after attending walking football sessions.

Karen McBride was diagnosed with the disease two years ago and decided to try Parkinson’s walking football after a friend encouraged her to attend the sessions organized by Glasgow Life.

Karen, whose current symptoms are right hand and leg tremors, said she was surprised by how much she enjoyed classes at Toryglen Regional Football Center and has since tried table tennis and yoga.

Glasgow Times: Karen McBrideKaren McBride

The 51-year-old said: “If someone had told me two years ago that I do all these activities, I would have laughed at them.

“I really hadn’t exercised much or anything like that in years, and I was quite surprised at how much I really enjoyed it.

“After I went to running soccer, I started thinking – what else can I do?

“There were people on this course who were also taking a new Parkinson’s table tennis course and I thought I’d give it a try and it was great.

“I also tried a local seated yoga class.

“I love everything and never thought I’d say I do it all.”

Glasgow Times: Parkinson's Walking FootballParkinson’s Walking Football

She added: “I love meeting people.

“I look forward to my classes and I like having them as my time.

“I would tell anyone thinking of taking a class or starting an activity to just go for it.

“Try for two weeks.

“Participating in an activity is great fun and you get to know other people with Parkinson’s.

“Everyone’s journey is different, so there’s no point in comparing yourself to humans.”

Glasgow Times: Parkinson's Walking FootballParkinson’s Walking Football

Matt Ramsay, Football Participation Officer at Glasgow Life, said: “Over the past six months we have seen many people with Parkinson’s enjoy and experience the many benefits of participating in walking football, not just physically but mentally and socially.

“Our testing and studies have shown that walking football has a major impact on people coping with their condition, but most importantly, those who participate each week play with a smile on their faces.”

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Amanda McKay, Parkinson’s Active Project Manager, added: “It was great to see Karen enjoying our Walking Football sessions in partnership with Glasgow Life along with so many other participants.

“Walking football is just one of many physical activities that people with Parkinson’s can participate in and is a great way to make new friends, manage symptoms, and most importantly, have fun.”

Parkinson’s Walking Football sessions are held every Thursday from 11:00am to 12:00pm at the Toryglen Regional Football Center.

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