People with Parkinson’s Disease are fighting back. Literally.
Earlier this year, CBC’s The National traveled to a boxing gym in Indianapolis, Indiana where a new technique to attack Parkinson’s Disease has been developed. It’s called Rock Steady Boxing, a training program based on boxing that uses high-energy physical activity (no one actually gets hit) to help reduce symptoms.
More than 100,000 Canadians live with Parkinson’s, a neurodegenerative disease that causes tremors, slow and stiff movement and impaired balance. While drugs can ease some symptoms for a while, there is no cure.
But as The National reports, “big powerful punches, drills that emphasize balance and the need for speed quick movements are especially suited for people with Parkinson’s at any level no matter how far the disease has progressed.”
In fact, a study that tracked the physical activity of a small group of people with Parkinson’s over a two-year period showed that the boxers experienced positive effects of the training program compared to those who did other types of training.
The news story explains that “their balance was better, they could walk faster. They had more endurance. And they reported that their overall quality of life was better.”
The benefits of the workouts go beyond the physical aspect. For so many of its participants, the training program provides support and camaraderie. “Everyone is battling the same enemy.”
Rock Steady Boxing is now available in Toronto.
While the relationship between activity and health may seem like a tired axiom, we believe it bares repeating; this program further demonstrates just how important regular physical activity can be to overall well-being.