Boxing to reduce the symptoms of chronic conditions
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.”