I started the exercise program Rock Steady Boxing about four months ago. If you’re like me, you’ve dragged your feet and refused to go for any number of reasons or excuses. Maybe there isn’t a class near you. Or, you feel too tired to go and don’t think you’ll have enough energy to do what’s required. Perhaps money or time is an issue — classes might conflict with prior commitments or your schedule might be too full.
Do me a favor and consider it.
I was reluctant to go, mostly because I am an introvert. (Yes, I really am.) I have to push myself to get myself out there. And so I did. I pushed myself to check it out months ago and am still going.
In a Parkinson’s Facebook group I belong to, someone asked what decision others had made in their lives since diagnosis that had made the most positive difference in their health. I was actually surprised that so many answers mentioned exercise. I don’t know why I was surprised, as it seems logical to me now. Before my boxing classes, however, I may have given a different answer, such as increasing my chocolate intake.
We are meant to be active.
According to Dr. Raffaella Adami from the Università degli Studi di Milano in Italy, we are meant to run, to crouch when sitting down, and to use our leg muscles to lift things.
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Cutting back on exercise makes it difficult for the body to produce new nerve cells — some of the very building blocks that allow us to handle stress and adapt to challenge in our lives.
When I joined my boxing class, I was surprised at how many different exercises they had us do. I figured it was specifically tailored to boxing. But if you think about it, boxing involves the entire body.
The first half of class is spent doing:
- Jumping jacks
- Leg raises
- Jumping rope
- Balance beam
- Ladder steps
- Box steps
- Different activities using punching bags, jelly bags, double-end bags, and speed bags.
Then, we practice punches with our coaches. At the end, we usually close out our session with a game or competition, which is my favorite part.
Many people in the Facebook group agreed that their decision to join Rock Steady Boxing had proven to be beneficial. The two most popular exercise contenders after boxing were walking and yoga. I don’t really think it matters significantly which form of exercise you choose as long as you are diligently doing something.
You may think that you’re not doing too badly.
Start an exercise routine. You will soon discover that you may have thought you felt good, but now you feel even better.
Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.