A new study has found that boxing could be a helpful way for people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease (PD) to improve their quality of life.
The study was conducted by Edith Cowan University, in partnership with The Perron Institute, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and the University of Western Australia.
They had ten people with early-stage PD perform three one-hour boxing sessions per week, over 15 weeks, using a Fightmaster boxing unit that had 11 padded punching targets mounted on a stand.
The program had three distinct parts: an introduction to boxing, a high-intensity component, and a cognitively challenging segment.
Participants completed two-to-three-minute “rounds” where they had to strike the various pads in different sequences, followed by no more than two minutes of rest.
The researchers found that boxing had several benefits for the participants, such as reducing fatigue, improving sleep, and improving their scores on the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale.
Dr. Travis Cruickshank from ECU’s Centre for Precision Health explained that boxing has grown in popularity among those living with PD, even though there has been little evidence supporting its use.
The study aimed to establish whether a boxing program was feasible for people with early-stage PD.
They used heart rate monitors and scales to measure the participants’ perceived levels of exertion from both physical and cognitive aspects throughout the program.
The results showed that boxing was safe, well-tolerated, and enjoyable for people with PD.
Dr. Cruickshank highlighted that group boxing combines many aspects of therapy, such as exercise, cognitive stimulation, and socialization, into a single exercise.
This makes it more enjoyable and easier for people to stick with the program. The researchers established boxing as a feasible option to be prescribed to people living with early-stage PD.
Despite the high intensity of the workouts, the participants reported no increase in muscle soreness from the program, nor major injuries, which may be expected for people with PD.
This meant that every person completed the 15-week program with almost 97% of training sessions completed. In fact, after the study, everyone chose to buy a Fightmaster and have it installed in their home.
Dr. Cruickshank said that the next step was to trial boxing’s therapeutic effectiveness in a larger group of people living with various stages of PD.
He believed it could also be effective for other neurological conditions, such as Huntington’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and more.
The ability to adapt the training to someone’s individual state is crucial. Dr. Cruickshank hoped that boxing programs could soon be rolled out in treating PD in the not-too-distant future.
In conclusion, boxing could be a valuable way for people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease to improve their quality of life.
The study showed that boxing was safe, well-tolerated, and enjoyable for people with early-stage PD.
The program’s social benefits cannot be understated, particularly given the link between socialization and emotional well-being.
The next step is to trial boxing’s therapeutic effectiveness in a larger group of people living with various stages of PD and other neurological conditions.
If you care about Parkinson’s disease, please read studies about Vitamin E that may help prevent Parkinson’s disease, and Vitamin D could benefit people with Parkinson’s disease.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about new way to treat Parkinson’s disease, and results showing COVID-19 may be linked to Parkinson’s disease.
The study was published in PM&R.
Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.