Mark Worsdale decided it was time to retire from his 30-year career in business when he was diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson’s disease three years ago.
“I wanted to dedicate more time to my well-being,” said Worsdale, 59. “It is important.”
Worsdale joined ParkOptimist, a group of about 100 members who meet a few times a week at St. Matthew Episcopal Church near South Miami for fitness classes like yoga, tai chi, and dance. ParkOptimist, whose umbrella organization is the National Parkinson Foundation’s South Florida chapter, also conducts a support group for Parkinson’s patients and hosts voice and music therapy classes.
Worsdale said the activities, and the friends he’s made, have made living with the disease easier.
“My only regret is not finding the group earlier, when I was diagnosed,” said Worsdale, who dedicates four to five hours a week to go to group activities, and also exercises at home. “I am doing very well, and I think it is the result of how active I keep myself.”
To date, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. But research has shown that diet and fitness play a big part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, particularly curbing depression, a byproduct of the disease.