Box­ing to re­duce the symp­toms of chronic con­di­tions

Manawatu Guardian - - JOURNEY OF LIFE -

A New Zealand box­ing-fit­ness ex­pert is urg­ing Ki­wis with chronic neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions such as Parkin­son’s to lead more phys­i­cally ac­tive lives and start box­ing.

Box­ing fit­ness trainer Lisa Gom­bin­sky Roach says many peo­ple with Parkin­sons are di­ag­nosed in their 40s and 50s and con­di­tions like mul­ti­ple mul­ti­ple sclero­sis are most likely to be di­ag­nosed in the 30s.

She is plead­ing for peo­ple with health is­sues to ex­er­cise more.

Lisa set up Coun­ter­punch Parkin­sons sev­eral years ago in Auck­land along with for­mer New Zealand box­ing cham­pion Shane Cameron and now has ac­cred­ited 60 coaches all around New Zealand and two in­ter­na­tion­ally.

She said some years ago peo­ple di­ag­nosed with chronic neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions were treated as in­valids and told to con­sider a wheel­chair.

“Thank­fully, this is no longer the case. Ro­bust re­search sup­ports the ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise for peo­ple with vir­tu­ally ev­ery di­ag­no­sis.

“I tell any­one who has a dis­ease such as Parkin­sons not to let an old per­son move into their body. The ad­vice to slow down and be care­ful and avoid fa­tigue is no longer con­sid­ered best prac­tice and will of­ten do more harm than good.”

Those who at­tend the classes hit box­ing bags and fo­cus pads and do ex­er­cise that im­proves bal­ance and works on fall pre­ven­tion.

“Ex­er­cise pro­motes brain health and is neu­ro­pro­tec­tive, pro­motes re­pair where pos­si­ble and pro­motes neu­ro­plas­tic­ity. Be­ing seden­tary pro­motes brain de­cline.

“Box­ing is fun and en­gag­ing and al­lows us to ad­dress the mo­tor is­sues of con­di­tions like Parkin­sons such as bal­ance, stiff­ness, slow­ness, tremor and strength. We give peo­ple a way to re­lease frus­tra­tions of the dis­ease. We give them hope, make them feel pos­i­tive and feel bet­ter in­stead of leav­ing them to de­spair as they sit back and ac­cept that they are get­ting worse.

“Parkin­sons doesn’t kill peo­ple, but it can iso­late them, frus­trate them, cause ap­a­thy, de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety. There is con­sid­er­able lit­er­a­ture that sup­ports ex­er­cise for lit­er­ally all neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions which sug­gests that be­ing seden­tary adds sec­ondary com­pli­ca­tions.”

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