The last thing people think of when they hear “boxing” is that it is good for the brain. In fact, most people think it’s a brutal sport, and it can be. What if I told you an 89 year old man, with Parkinson’s disease, a pace maker, legally blind and a diabetic increased his reaction time with non contact boxing. Also, his pacemaker went from working 99% to 97%. All from boxing.
Our core is essential in maintaining good balance. Compromised balance is the leading cause of falls in older adults. Boxing is a great way to work the core without doing a single sit up! Punching the focus mitts and boxing bag is a form of resistance training. Resistance training can strengthen bones and prevent the progression of osteoporosis.
The most important thing a boxing workout can do for the aging population is improve their cardiovascular fitness. Kan Ding, a Researcher and an assistant professor of neurology and neurotherapeutics from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, "supports the hypothesis that improving people's fitness may improve their brain health and slow down the aging process."
Boxing is not just for those who want to get in the ring or get six pack abs. Boxing can be used to help older adults maintain brain function, improve reaction time, and improve their all-around health. So do not ever underestimate the older gentlemen at the gym, he may throw a right hook you never saw coming!
For more information on boxing for Parkinson’s patients or older adults please contact: