New Virtual Fitness Program Offers Free Live Classes for All Levels

Joana Carvalho, PhD avatar

by Joana Carvalho, PhD |

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The Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF) has launched a new virtual fitness platform to promote the practice of safe physical activity among patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease.

The “Movement is Medicine” Fitness Ambassador program will enable members of HNF’s Movement is Medicine initiative to have access to weekly live classes designed to improve their muscle strength, balance, coordination, and overall fitness. All classes are adjustable, meaning that all patients can enjoy them, regardless of their starting skill or fitness level.

“We believe, now more than ever, that adaptive fitness should be fun, interactive and virtually accessible to all regardless of where they live,” Robert Moore, coordinator of the Movement is Medicine initiative, said in a press release.

All classes will be offered free of charge by one of the program’s three fitness ambassadors, who specialize in different practices such as yoga, pilates, and resistance training. Each ambassador will offer at least one class per month.

Marc Daigle, one of the fitness ambassadors, was diagnosed with CMT in 2017 and has since completed an Ironman (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run). He is currently working as a coach, trainer, and motivator, and firmly believes that fitness and exercise can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their starting level or expertise.

“Anything is possible if you keep a positive attitude, stay consistent, and surround yourself with good people. I’m here to help!” Daigle said. His next class is scheduled for Feb. 9 at 12:00 p.m. ET. Click here to join.

Ambassador Julie Stone is an adaptive fitness coach and owner of All Bodies Community, an online fitness and lifestyle community. Like Daigle, she was also diagnosed with CMT (CMT type 2A) and has been a member of the HNF for two years. Her classes are scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET, with links available here for Jan. 23, Feb. 17, and March 17.

“I was thrilled to be a part of the first Movement is Medicine Summit in 2019,” Stone said. “I am excited to have the opportunity to use my CMT-centric exercise technique with the HNF community!”

Christine Panico, the third ambassador, has been practicing yoga for more than 15 years. Today, she is passionate about teaching restorative yoga, a modality that uses props, offers pose modifications, and is well-suited for those who would like to expand their practice, regardless of physical limitations. Panico’s yoga classes are scheduled for today, Feb. 2 and 16, March 2 and 16. All start at 5 p.m. ET.

“I have been friends with Allison Moore, Founder of HNF, for over 28 years, and have been a supporter of HNF since its inception in 2001,” Panico said. “I am thrilled to be able to provide instruction to the HNF & CMT community via their Movement is Medicine initiative!”

Those wishing to participate in the Fitness Ambassador program must first become members of the HNF’s Movement is Medicine initiative. Membership is free of charge and allows members to have access to exclusive classes, content, and resources.

After joining, members select the fitness ambassador they would like to follow, and then sign up for available classes.

The new Ambassador program is part of HNF’s Movement is Medicine initiative to promote physical exercise, the adoption of a healthy diet, and other well-being practices among those with disabilities, including people with CMT.