Parkinson's patients turn to boxing

null It is not your typical boxing class.

"Once you see that glove go on, you're just free, and you just pound away," said boxer, Bonnie Cohen.

Certified personal trainer Craig Marks developed the intense program to help his late father fight the disease.

"He was able to get up and walk around again. He was able to take care of himself," said Marks.

Three days a week, the gym is filled with Parkinson's patients.

"The goal is constant motion. We don't want to give anybody time to rest if we don't have to," said Marks.

Bonnie Cohen was diagnosed at age 30.

"It's given me more balance and a lot more strength," said Cohen.

Abe Taback, diagnosed 16 years ago, feels like a new man.

"I notice my balance is a little bit better. I'm walking better," said Taback.

Studies show exercise can protect brain neurons from ongoing damage caused by Parkinson's disease. It also improves balance and coordination. Elaine Simon says she's regained her energy.

"You know how Rocky climbed those steps and went to the top? That's the way I feel," said Simon.

The class focuses on boxing, but includes a host of challenging exercises.

"Our goal is to see if we can try to keep it under control or see if we can slow the progression by doing these different exercises," said Marks.

Another benefit for these boxers is that they know that they are not alone.

"Everybody wants you to be here," said Simon.

They are all knocking out Parkinson's one punch at a time.


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