Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the Central Nervous System causing stiffness, uncontrollable shaking, and troubles with balance and coordination. Symptoms of PD get worse over time so it is important for individuals with the disease to participate in active lifestyles. Exercise has been shown to slow the progression of the disease as well as improve functioning in everyday activities.
Boxing is an excellent way to achieve a full-body physical and mental workout. Boxing helps improve cognitive processing, balance, and agility and also helps strengthen muscles in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. The Parkinson’s Foundation recommends boxing as a fun and empowering way for individuals with PD to exercise.
Improves Cognitive Processing
Training with an instructor can help an individual with PD improve their cognitive processing through verbal commands. During a session, the instructor will hold “focus mitts” and direct the individual’s movements to “uppercut, left hand, right hand” to stimulate the brain. These scenarios help improve reactivity and improve overall cognitive function.
Improves balance and agility
Footwork drills are an important aspect of boxing. Exercises such as jumping rope, moving sideways, and proper foot positioning are key to improving reaction times, posture, and gait. Individuals who participate in these exercises have seen an overall increase in their ability to walk, balance when standing for short and long periods of time, and better cognitive functioning.
Strengthens core for a better walking gait
Parkinson’s Disease affects balance and coordination and can lead to improper gait functioning. Strengthening the core of the body helps improve walking gait by correcting imperfections between the muscles and training both sides of the body equally. Strengthening the core and correcting gait position helps improve balance and coordination while reducing the risk of falls.
Hiring a skilled instructor is important for the fitness journey of individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Our boxing instructor at Ability Fitness, Evan, is a professional boxer that will help you build a customized plan to help you achieve your goals.With progressive challenges, it is important to hire a professional that will not only give you the support you need mentally, but will also help you achieve your goals safely.