Motivational Exercise May Offer Many Benefits to Parkinson’s Patients – Including Boxing!

Even though there are many avenues of promising research in the field of Parkinson’s disease, an actual treatment that might slow the progression of the disease, much less offer a cure, is not yet within reach. This is fueling the search by many — doctors, patients, and researchers alike — for an alternative method to fend off a worsening of the debilitating symptoms.

Exercise may offer that answer. In fact, according to Tanya Simuni, MD, chief of Movement Disorders in the Department of Neurology at Northwestern University, Interest in exercise-based interventions has risen so much that “the number of publications on exercise studies has increased by a factor of 10 since 2000.”

One of the motivational exercises offered as symptom intervention is boxing. That’s right, hands up, float like a butterfly … boxing. A program called Rock Steady Boxing is sweeping the nation, with hundreds of outlets offering this fun new approach to getting appropriate exercise.

Studies show that those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, should get about 2 ½ hours of regular exercise per week, beginning at diagnosis, to slow and decline symptoms of the disease.

This finding has prompted for profit and non-profit enterprises to begin offering classes ranging from dancing to boxing and everything in between, as well as products such as custom in-home exercise equipment that promise to reduce, reverse, and delay Parkinson’s symptoms.

Put Up Your Dukes

Here at Saad Healthcare, our Rock Steady Boxing Program is seeing great success. Patients

exercising with coaches who know the ropes, can fight their way out of the corner and start to feel and function better. Boxing works by moving your body in all planes of motion while continuously changing the routine as you progress through the workout. We should note that patients do not actually fight, but rather, use all the training methods and techniques of a boxer.

Cary Cochran, LPTA is our Head Coach and Director of the Saad Healthcare Rock Steady Boxing program. Cary has over twenty two years experience as a Licensed Physical Therapist, and has been a part of the Saad Healthcare team for over twelve years. She has eleven years experience in working with Parkinson’s Disease. In addition to being certified as an RSB coach, Cary has certifications in LSVT BIG and BIG for Life, as well as a being a certified personal trainer. She also has ten years experience in kickboxing.

It is believed that exercise increases the brain-derived-neurotrophic-factor (BDNF), which promotes the survival of neurons that make dopamine — the same neurons that degenerate in Parkinson’s patients.

The Rock Steady Boxing Program at Saad Healthcare is helping PD patients from all over the Gulf Coast feel better, move better and have a better quality of life. Men and women of all ages and stages of the disease are welcome, give us a call here at Saad Healthcare to find out more.

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