Rock Steady Boxing for people with Parkinson's disease

Published: Apr. 25, 2016 at 6:04 PM EDT
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The month of April is dedicated to Parkinson's awareness and one Knoxville boxing club offers a class designed to target muscles and reaction of those suffering with the disease.

The Rock Steady Boxing method was developed to directly combat the primary symptoms of Parkinson's with work focused on ability, speed, balance, and posture.

TITLE Boxing Club offers classes every Monday and Thursday at 2:00p.m. for a program that combines regular exercise such as stretching, plyometrics, and body weight with non-contract boxing drills for an intense workout that helps people fighting Parkinson's counteract the symptoms of the disease. Some participants have been fighting Parkinson's for less than a month, others were diagnosed for more than a decade.

Zach Guza has a passion for people dealing with Parkinson's after watching his father suffer with the disease.

"Most people have never boxed so having to relearn something makes your mind really grow and do new stuff new ways," Guza says, "boxing is a great way to do that, it's fun, intense, you get to hit stuff, you have fun with it."

One boxing participant, Alan Zimmerman was diagnosed in June 2014 and says this class is unique because it specializes on people like him.

"Second, the exercise is the only thing none to be neuro-protective," Zimmerman says, "in other words, it helps the brain."

"Boxing really helps to regain...and develop new pathways to learn," Guza says, "and essentially relearn that through boxing."

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