For the nearly one million people living with Parkinson’s disease, there is a constant search for ways to alleviate symptoms ranging from tremors to trouble moving and speaking. There are local offerings in Southwest Florida that can help. For example, exercise plays an important role. Those with Parkinson’s have seen their symptoms lessen when engaging in exercise like noncontact boxing, which helps improve agility, footwork, endurance, and hand-eye coordination. In fact, in a 2013 study published in The Lancet Neurology journal, researchers found that activities such as dancing and noncontact boxing can produce a neuroprotective effect.
Title Boxing Club, Naples , offers Rock Steady Parkinson’s noncontact boxing classes specifically tailored for those living with the disease.“Beyond all the studies of high-intensity exercising and boxing benefits for Parkinson’s, what I see when they leave class is their confidence, smile, and pride that they accomplished the class like the warriors they are,” says Jennifer Johnson, who co-owns Title Boxing Club of Naples with her husband Michael. “I see their spouse join them in class to support and encourage them, and for that one hour do something together they didn’t think they could do.”
Parkinson Association of Southwest Florida (pasfi.org) also offers singing and speech classes to help with other symptoms, such as difficulty speaking or swallowing. April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, so don’t miss the nonprofit’s annual Augusta on the Gulf golf tournament on April 27 at Vineyards Country Club in Naples. —Cheryl S. Grant