JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro gym is hoping to give those with Parkinson’s disease a fighting chance.
St. Bernards Health and Wellness is offering an unusual program called Rock-Steady Boxing.
People who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease can face symptoms including muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech.
Treatments can help relieve symptoms, but there is no cure.
The disease affects nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine.
A workout class that’s designed to help those who have trouble using their muscles is a first for Northeast Arkansas.
The functional fitness program focuses on intense forced exercise through non-contact boxing.
It’s aimed to slow down the progression of Parkinson’s as well as to help them improve their everyday quality of life.
The program was founded in 2006. Keyston Beamon, who teaches the class, wants to help patients believe in themselves again.
“A lot of them are hopeless at this point, so just being able to give them a resource to fight back and to make their life purposeful again and just touch their lives is just the biggest thing for me,” said Beamon.
Boxers when they train work on their agility, coordination, balance, and their footwork, all of which can be a struggle for people with Parkinson’s disease.
The boxing program will allow Beamon to re-focus and re-enhance patients' skills.
“It’s that forced exercise that they need to get that muscle memory back down,” said Beamon.
Paul Pickens, director for St. Bernards Health and Wellness, is excited about what the program will do for patients.
“The goal is to just improve the quality of life for people who are going through this condition, to let them know that they can fight,” Pickens said. “Knowing all the people that we’re going to be able to help is just so exciting."
Rock Steady Boxing will work together with students from the NYIT Osteopathic school on the A-State campus to help facilitate classes.
The classes will begin on Jan. 1.
For non-members classes will cost $20, members will pay $10.