A new wave of specialised boxing classes is emerging around the globe to help individuals living with Parkinson disease. This disease causes the gradual degeneration of motor skills, balance, sensory function and speech. As of yet, the global medical community is yet to find a definitive cure.
However, exploratory physical therapy has discovered that boxing provides a full-body workout that is extremely beneficial to Parkinson’s Disease patients because of the rapid combinations of hand-eye coordination with footwork. This practice facilitates the re-development and strengthening of brain and body function.
This physical activity helps train the body by doing movements that using ones entire muscular structure by doing whole-body movements combined with punching and footwork in several directions. This coordinated workout provides both anaerobic and aerobic exercise as well as speed training that result in an exhilarating workout and helps increase patient’s confidence levels.
According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, there are currently more than 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s Disease. It is a syndrome that is one and half times more likely to affect men than women and greatly affects people even from a relatively young age. An estimated four percent of people with Parkinson’s Disease are diagnosed before the age of 50.
Julie Mazur runs a boxing studio for Parkinson’s sufferers in the UK, one of the many that have begun around the world. She explained to the media that, “when it comes to Parkinson’s, there are a lot of coordination issues and a lot of stiffness. With boxing, we do a lot of moves where it’s using opposite hands so that they are using both sides of the brain and moving the spine, so they are getting that mobility.”
Boxing not only helps reignite the relationship between the body and the brain, but the nature of this sport plays a massive role in helping boost patient’s self-esteem and confidence. Boxers notice an improvement in their overall body strength, motor functions but above all are able to let loose and form part of a healthy community striving to improve the overall quality of life of Parkinson’s patients.
For more information about Boxing communities that are helping Parkinson’s Disease patients we invite you to watch this CBS newscast.