Parkinson’s is a disease of the central nervous system that affects movement and according to parkinson.org, more than 10 million people are living with parkinson’s worldwide. If you are someone who has Parkinson’s, you may experience tremors, cramping and some trouble with balance. Although there is no cure for it, research shows that boxing can help symptoms.
Rock Steady Boxing in Overland Park, Kansas encourages people with Parkinson’s to join their program. The Rock Steady Boxing program is the largest of its kind, with 723 US affiliates. These exercise programs are tailored to the individual needs of each participant and Rock Steady works closely with neurologists and physical therapists to ensure the safety of each exercise.
What makes boxing beneficial to those with Parkinson’s? Each exercise from Rock Steady is designed to help and improve symptoms related to the disease. For example, doing push ups helps build arm and body strength, and jumping rope helps with footwork and making sure both feet hit the ground at the same time.
Esther Harriott, 87, started to attend Rock Steady Boxing one year ago when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. She states that when she was first started going, she used to walk in a zig zag motion and after a year of attending Rock Steady, she no longer walks that way. "I walk straighter and I can think clearer. I love coming here."
Many others share their story about how Rock Steady Boxing has helped them. You can find more about the program and the benefits of boxing, here.