Droitwich ABC join other affiliated clubs in England who are using boxing fitness to counteract the effects of Parkinson's disease.
The 'BOX POSITIVE' project is proving to be a fantastic success and Charles Delve, coach at Droitwich ABC and qualified Occupational Therapist, has gathered a wealth of studies from similar projects around the world and explains why boxing activities are perfect to counter the progression of this disease.
'In general, exercise programmes that are clinically proven to be most effective integrate elements that are:
Intense (significantly raises the heart rate) - therefore neuroprotective (helps prevent the loss of dopamine), e.g. non-stop punching at the end of the rounds.
Big and powerful movements - counteracting Parkinson's symptoms of slow, small movements and stooped posture, e.g. punching up, stretching to the target and punching fast.
Rotational movements - to counteract midline/trunk rigidity, e.g. overexaggerate the hooks.
Cognitively complex - dual tasking, the ability to multi-task becomes more difficult as a result of a Parkinson's diagnosis. Exercise that challenges those cognitive processes, e.g. the clock game, sequencing - following steps of a task jab, step forward, 1,2, step back etc. With these, the participant has to use their working memory and motor functions together.
Challenge co-ordination and balance - to counteract falls, e.g. punch with the right then move right. Confidence in their movement - proactively fighting back against symptoms.
Sociable - Camaraderie helps with motivation, e.g. partner work whilst on the bag offering partner support. There is also an extended support network for the participants' partners, who can socialise and build friendships. Family members are able to observe the classes and witness progress.'
This video shows the improvement in one of the participants after only 2 months of training: