Boxing trainers help punch out Parkinson's Disease

Boxing trainers help punch out Parkinson's Disease

(KAIT/NBC) - Tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease every year in the US.

Numerous studies show rigorous exercise is one of the best ways to slow the progress of Parkinson's.

Non-contact boxing is hitting back at a disease that affects roughly half a million Americans.

Two to three times a week, Parkinson's patients go through a draining 90-minute boxing workout.

Rock Steady Boxing's Marylene Rosakuhlman says it forces different parts of the brain to work together at the same time.

The end result is short-term improvements in their symptoms that can last up to 24 hours.

"When they leave, it's night and day," Rosakuhlman said. "Their steps are bigger. They're standing taller. They have this big smile on their face. Some people forget their cane or walker sometimes."

Rosakuhlman claims the sport is now used by more than 30,000 Parkinson's patients.

Actor Alan Alda recently opened up about his diagnosis--click here for his story.

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