Swift Cur­rent long-term care res­i­dents get ac­tive through box­ing work­outs

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current - BY MATTHEW LIEBEN­BERG — mlieben­[email protected]­t.com

Long-term care res­i­dents in Swift Cur­rent have been par­tic­i­pat­ing in a pi­lot pro­gram that uses box­ing ex­er­cises to im­prove their phys­i­cal and so­cial health.

The group of 10 long-term care res­i­dents at The Mead­ows de­cided to call them­selves the Golden Gloves.

They had been putting on box­ing gloves and work­ing out with the help of vol­un­teers from the lo­cal Coun­ter­punch Box­ing Academy.

Steve Krochak participat­ed in box­ing as a teenager in York­ton dur­ing the Sec­ond World War and he de­cided to sign up for this pro­gram.

“I thought it would be a neat cy­cle to say that I did a lit­tle bit of box­ing in high school and I'm do­ing more now that I'm 91 years old,” he said.

He had some re­cent health prob­lems, but he al­ways had an ac­tive life­style and un­til about 18 months ago he was still golf­ing three times a week. He there­fore en­joyed the work­outs pro­vided to par­tic­i­pants in this box­ing pro­gram.

“I don't think of it as box­ing so much as co­or­di­na­tion and fit­ness and strength and that sort of thing, be­cause I'm not go­ing to hit any­body on the nose and I hope no­body does that to me,” he said with a smile. “I see it as us­ing box­ing moves and tech­niques to just gen­eral de­vel­op­ment. … Some fit­ness for one thing, as well as co­or­di­na­tion and strength in parts of the body that I didn't have it in be­fore, mostly that.”

He also en­joyed the so­cial part of the pro­gram, which pro­vided par­tic­i­pants an op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with each other and with the vol­un­teers from the box­ing club.

“They're a great bunch of peo­ple, both sit­ting here on the re­ceiv­ing end of it and the in­struc­tors,” he said.

Jason Te­ichroeb is an­other res­i­dent who participat­ed in the pi­lot pro­gram. He en­joyed the phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity of punch­ing the bag and work­ing out with bat­tle ropes.

“I feel tired,” he laughed, but he agreed it was a good kind of tired.

Recreation ther­a­pists Camille Camp­bell and Sara Stuk­ings started the pi­lot box­ing pro­gram at The Mead­ows. Camp­bell saw a video about the pos­i­tive re­sults of a box­ing pro­gram for peo­ple with Parkin­son’s disease, but they de­cided to of­fer the pro­gram to any in­ter­ested res­i­dents of The Mead­ows.

They ap­proached Nick Hab­scheid, the head coach at Coun­ter­punch Box­ing Academy, and he was eager to be in­volved with the pro­gram.

“Nick was all for it as soon as we men­tioned the idea,” Camp­bell said. “He was very ex­cited about it and I think that shows in our pro­gram as well. He def­i­nitely brings a great as­pect to the pro­gram where we couldn't do that.”

The box­ing club pro­vided the equip­ment for the pro­gram and Hab­scheid was joined by vol­un­teers from the club for each week’s work­out ses­sion with the long-term care res­i­dents.

“It's a great ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said. “It just makes you feel like you're help­ing out the com­mu­nity so much here. … They're go­ing to im­prove their mo­bil­ity and their strength, and you just feel re­ally good when you leave here.”

Other club mem­bers equally en­joyed their in­volve­ment with the pro­gram and the op­por­tu­nity to help par­tic­i­pants to be more ac­tive.

“We got a cou­ple of younger peo­ple and it's al­ways nice see­ing younger peo­ple help­ing the older peo­ple out, and peo­ple who have had some ex­pe­ri­ence with The Mead­ows be­fore had come back,” he said. “It’s just peo­ple who want to help out and rep­re­sent the club as best as they can.”

Var­i­ous box­ing ex­er­cises were used dur­ing each work­out ses­sion, but the club had to be cre­ative to come up with ac­tiv­i­ties that were ap­pro­pri­ate for the longterm care res­i­dents.

They also had to keep in mind that most of the par­tic­i­pants have re­duced mo­bil­ity and some of the typ­i­cal box­ing ex­er­cises could there not be used.

“We're try­ing to use some things from the club, but you have to re­mem­ber that some stuff can't work with them, like a lot of the leg stuff that we do in box­ing with the foot­work,” he said. “Most of that had to be elim­i­nated, but trans­lat­ing some of the punch­ing pad drills and the bag drills. That's the first time I've ever done the knuck­les drill with re­ac­tion time and some are ac­tu­ally re­ally good at that.”

The six-week pro­gram con­cluded on April 18. The par­tic­i­pants met once a week for about an hour on a Thurs­day evening. Ten in­di­vid­u­als were in­volved for the en­tire du­ra­tion of the pi­lot pro­gram, while other res­i­dents also joined some of the work­outs.

A key goal of the pi­lot project is to eval­u­ate the phys­i­cal con­di­tion of the 10 full-time par­tic­i­pants to de­ter­mine the ben­e­fits of the pro­gram. The as­sess­ments will in­clude an eval­u­a­tion of im­prove­ments in co­or­di­na­tion, strength and sta­bil­ity, as well as so­cial im­prove­ments and their quality of life.

“Even just watch­ing the res­i­dents in the class and out­side of the class through­out the week we've seen some great im­prove­ments al­ready,” Stuk­ings said.

Camp­bell re­ferred to a par­tic­i­pant who ini­tially had dif­fi­culty to keep his bal­ance when he was throw­ing a punch.

“He would al­most fall back into his chair,” she re­called. “Now he's 10 to 15 min­utes straight with­out sit­ting down. So you can def­i­nitely see the ben­e­fits you have in that. Even the strength in their punches that they're punch­ing is amaz­ing, the amount of dif­fer­ence that we see.”

They have also no­ticed the ben­e­fits of the so­cial in­ter­ac­tion be­tween res­i­dents who came to the work­outs.

“We've had some res­i­dents who hadn't met each other be­fore and now they look for­ward to see­ing each other ev­ery Thurs­day night,” Stuk­ings men­tioned. “Nor­mally we ar­rive early be­fore the box­ing club is able to come. So there's al­ways a small dis­cus­sion and just see­ing those re­la­tion­ships be­ing formed be­tween the res­i­dents is amaz­ing.”

The eval­u­a­tion of this pi­lot pro­gram will be used to de­ter­mine the fu­ture use of such a box­ing ac­tiv­ity at The Mead­ows or at other long-term care fa­cil­i­ties in the prov­ince. Both recreation ther­a­pists ex­pressed their ap­pre­ci­a­tion to­wards Coun­ter­punch Box­ing Academy for sup­port­ing the pi­lot pro­gram.

“We just re­ally want to give a shout out to Nick and the vol­un­teers from the box­ing club,” Stuk­ings said. “We wouldn't have been able to do this with­out them and they've given up a lot of their free time and just time spent com­ing up with dif­fer­ent drills for the res­i­dents to do. We're just very thank­ful that they were will­ing to give up that time and come and spend it with our res­i­dents.”

Photo by Matthew Lieb­neberg

The Mead­ows res­i­dent Lu­cien Auger hits out at punch­ing pads held by recreation ther­a­pist Camille Camp­bell, April 11.

Above: Par­tic­i­pants in the pi­lot box­ing pro­gram at The Mead­ows in Swift Cur­rent and vol­un­teers from the Coun­ter­punch Box­ing Academy pose for a group photo, April 11.

The Mead­ows res­i­dent Jason Te­ichroeb strikes out at pool noo­dles held by Nick Hab­scheid, the head coach at Coun­ter­punch Box­ing Academy.

Steve Krochak tris work­ing those arms.

Ninety-one-year-old Steve Krochak does a punch­ing bag work­out with the help of recreation ther­a­pists Sara Stuk­ings (hold­ing the bag) and Camille Camp­bell, April 11.

The Mead­ows res­i­dent Lu­cien Auger hits a punch­ing pad held out by Derek Smout of the Coun­ter­punch Box­ing Academy.

Nick Hab­scheid, the head coach at Coun­ter­punch Box­ing Academy, demon­strates some punch­ing drills to par­tic­i­pants in the pi­lot box­ing pro­gram, April 11.

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