New fitness option for neurology patients providing many benefits

New fitness option for neurology patients providing many benefits

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One local fitness studio has taken its mission far beyond helping its patrons lose weight, tone up and count calories. And their efforts are greatly assisting an overlooked demographic to live their best lives.

Pilates In The Grove, with locations in Coconut Grove and South Miami, is offering a specialized fitness program for men and women of all ages who have been diagnosed with a neurological condition.

Facilitated by board-certified Doctor of Physical Therapy, Dr. Kelsey Garcia, the five-week program (which includes four classes with the opportunity for one makeup session) is designed to improve participants’ balance, strength, posture, flexibility and quality of life, as well as help decrease pain and fatigue. Each class is kept small to ensure a safe, comfortable space with personal attention.

“While research is still limited, we’ve found that anecdotally Pilates-based physical therapy interventions significantly improve functional status in people with Parkinson’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, neuropathy, or any number of neurological conditions,” Dr. Garcia said. “All of these diagnoses can and will impair one’s efficiency with movement, flexibility, strength, balance and motor control.

“The unique equipment we use allows for safe and professionally guided exercises that address these impairments and help improve each client’s functional independence, including with everyday activities like grocery shopping or going out to dinner,” she said.

Pilates In The Grove owner/founder Christa Gurka, herself an orthopedic physical therapist, says that she and her highly skilled and credentialed team of instructors have worked hard to develop programs that can help people of various fitness levels, abilities and health conditions.

And several men and women, ranging in age from 20s to 70s, already have seen the positive effects that this neurological program has made on their lives.

“This class feels very tailored to my needs, and it’s something I have not found elsewhere,” said Caitlin Healy, 29, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2017. “After just a handful of classes, I’m already feeling more confident in my daily tasks and have noticed improved strength and balance. I’m glad I found this community.”

The next “Pilates for Neurological Conditions” series is scheduled to begin on Monday, Oct. 1, 3 p.m., at the South Miami location, 5900 SW 73 St., #104. For more information, call 305-397-8308 or visit

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