Fighting Parkinson’s head on

By H&W on 8th Mar 2019

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement in the body; there is no cure for this disease. Currently, about one million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s Disease. Michael Fish, owner of Practical Fitness Nashville, outlines how boxing can be helpful to those suffering with this disease…

General symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease include:
· Tremors or shaking, in a limb, often hands or fingers.
· Slowed movement making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. It may be difficult to get out of a chair and you may drag your feet as you try to walk.
· Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness which can be painful and limit your range of motion.
· Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems.
· Loss of automatic movements. You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
· Speech changes. You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone.

Luckily, research suggests exercise helps slow the progression of Parkinson’s Disease and in the last decade, it has been proven that boxing workouts have been found to be one of the most beneficial kinds of exercise to help combat this disease. Not only do these boxing workouts slow the process of the disease, but they actually help improve several areas affected by Parkinson’s.

Boxing workouts are not just beneficial but are also extremely fun. One of the greatest advantages is to the mind. Among those that engage in these boxing workouts, many say that they feel as though they get to let out anger and aggression often caused by the disease itself.  Boxing workouts improve agility, balance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and power throughout the entire body. They also improve hand-eye coordination and cardiovascular fitness.

Boxing workouts improve agility, balance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and power throughout the entire body. They also improve hand-eye coordination and cardiovascular fitness.

Footwork used in boxing has tremendous effects on balance and on one’s gait. It aids in walking and decreases the chance of falling while also improving performance of daily activities. Shadowboxing, by throwing punches in the air, whacking away at a heavybag or handpads and timing the speedbag are all amazing in how they assist in countering this Parkinson’s opponent. Amazingly, quite often when participants are punching, there are no tremors in the hands.

The Cleveland Clinic, the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research and others, have stated how intense exercise like boxing helps protect the brain and research has shown that after 12 weeks of intense boxing, people with Parkinson’s improve their gait, balance, and quality of life.

Michael A. Fish is the owner of Practical Fitness Nashville. Practical Fitness is the premier personal training system for Older Adults with specializations in pre and post-rehab exercise programs and neurological disorders. Michael has been serving the Nashville community for over 20 years and is a former boxer. He works individually at clients’ homes for maximum benefit and convenience. For more information, contact him at www.practicalfitnessnashville.com or 615-491-0682.

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