‘It drives us’: Cary boxing studio helping residents with Parkinson’s disease stay active

The owners of a Cary boxing studio are helping their clients punch back against Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder with no cure. In addition to depression and other emotional changes, some of the physical symptoms of the disease include:

  • Tremor in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
  • Muscle stiffness, where muscle remains contracted for a long time
  • Slowness of movement
  • Impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls

However, AKtivate Fitness, located near the Ten-Ten Road and Kildaire Farm Road intersection in Cary, is trying to help those with the disease stay active.

Owners Adrian King and Meagan Jacobs are certified trainers for Rock Steady Boxing, a national brand born in Indianapolis that trains coaches “to improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s disease through a non-contact, boxing-based fitness curriculum.”

“Exercise, movement, [and] mobility; that’s the number one thing they have to have,” Jacobs said. “You’ve got to get up. You’ve got to get up and go.”

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), some of the ways people with Parkinson’s can ease their physical symptoms is by:

  • Exercises to strengthen muscles and improve balance, flexibility, and coordination.
  • Yoga and tai chi to increase stretching and flexibility.
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapies, which may help with gait and voice disorders, tremors and rigidity, and decline in mental functions.

69-year-old Liz Gordon is one of the 29,000 people in North Carolina living with Parkinson’s disease. For her, the classes help her with her symptoms.

“I can do push-ups, she said. “It’s just made me a lot stronger.”

Greg Geheb’s daughter, who lives in Indianapolis, told him about the fitness program.

“She said, ‘Dad, you should come and try this. It’s getting rave results,’” Geheb said. “So I did.”

Geheb said the results for him and others in the class help drive him and others to continue attending.

“It drives us. It’s like a medicine to us,” said Geheb.

77-year-old Lynn Nelson said she experiences tremors and shaking, but the classes help her manage the symptoms.

“I need to sweat, so I make a point of coming in five days a week. We’re just trying to do the best we can,” Nelson said. “They are all fighting for the best quality of life possible with the support, spirit and feeling of being part of a community.”

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This was shown first on: https://www.wral.com/story/parkinsons-boxing-cary-fitness/21383563/

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