Take the May Movement Challenge!

By Leslie Krongold, Glass Half Full podcast

Iwas thrilled to have the opportunity to present, "A Journey with Movement & Exercise," at the recent Virtual Abilities Expo. It was well received, and a lot of people wanted to learn more about online exercise opportunities. That enthusiasm was the catalyst for the creation of the May Movement Challenge.

Take the May Movement Challenge!

Make May Your Adaptive Fitness Month

The May Movement Challenge is a month-long schedule of free online movement classes. There's quite a variety of options including tai chi, yoga, strength training, qi gong as well as a plethora of dance styles—Hip Hop, Bollywood, Hula, Tap, Rumba, Salsa and Contemporary Improv. The vast majority of the classes are accessible for seated and standing participants. It all begins on May 1st with a Kickoff Zoom/Facebook Live event at 4:00 p.m. (Pacific).

Years ago, I realized my yoga practice was helping me deal with many of the physical and emotional symptoms due to my multisystemic inherited disorder—myotonic muscular dystrophy. And when the pandemic began last year, I searched for online exercise classes. At first, I couldn't find anything suitable for me but once I discovered a few adaptive sports organizations and met a new virtual community of adults with varying abilities and disabilities, and after a few weeks I was strutting my stuff daily.

In the last few weeks, I've rallied fitness instructors I've worked with through adaptive sports organizations like BORP as well as independent yoga, Pilates, qigong, strength & balance, and dance instructors to offer a free online class. To my surprise, many of them offered to teach 2-3 classes. And many of the able-bodied instructors have approached me to learn how to make their class more accessible to the needs of the community.

So far, this is a WIN-WIN situation!

Before the May 1st Kickoff Zoom/Facebook Live stream, my podcast interview with Tina Duong, PhD—a Stanford University Research Physical Therapist—will be published. Tina answers all of my questions about exercise for people with chronic health conditions and/or disability, the role of stretching and breathing in exercise and how to choose the best goals for a movement practice.

Not only do I want the May Movement Challenge to motivate people to try different types of movement, but I also want them to learn more about their bodies, move with safety, as well as set realistic goals.

Take the May Movement Challenge!

Each Saturday through the month at 4:00 p.m. (Pacific) we'll have a Zoom/Facebook Live event featuring different guests (instructors, physical therapists, etc.) speaking about an aspect of movement and exercise.

So far, the May calendar includes 75 classes with 34 instructors. Once you register, you will receive additional instructions through email on how to sign up for individual classes. All events are free and open to people with all types of abilities. Each class will fall into one of these four accessibility groupings:

  • Seated, no lower body movement required
  • Seated with some lower body movement and modifications provided
  • Modifications for seated & standing participants
  • Full body movement without modifications

All participants are encouraged to use the hashtag #MayMovementChallenge2021 on social media to share photos of their movement practice during the month. Throughout the month, randomly drawn prizes will be awarded to registered participants.

I'm a firm believer in the merits of physical movement as well as cultivating a healthy social network. I hope that the #MayMovementChallenge2021 entices people to try new movement practices and introduces them to a new virtual community.

About the Author:

Leslie Krongold, EdD, became a support group facilitator for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in 1998 and in 2013 launched an international program of support groups for the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation. In 2016 she began producing and hosting the podcast, Glass Half Full.

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