GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- Squaring up to take the punch out of Parkinson's, balance mobility and aquatic therapy has partnered with the Grand Island YMCA to host Rock Steady boxing classes, a special course that is designed to assist those with Parkinson's.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska actually has the highest incidence rate of Parkinson's per-capita in America, and Grand Island Balance & Mobility recognized a need in the community for specialty Parkinson's workouts. They were aware of the Rock Steady boxing program and approached the YMCA about possibly hosting one.
"The Grand Island YMCA is centered around community involvement, really our purpose is to serve the community with quality programs and there really isn't a better place for Rock Steady to be held than the Grand Island YMCA," said Sports and Fitness director for the Grand Island YMCA Briar Burr.
Before the class, participants are given a one on one evaluation with physical therapists to identify their needs before starting the class.
The class itself features a combination of stretches, fine motor workouts and boxing workouts that are designed to keep participants in shape as well as slow the progression of Parkinson's.
"It has to do with not just boxing and gloves you think of, but agility, balance, strengthening, flexibility. It gets your cognitive aspect with thinking involved with dual task activities. And all those things, the more you practice them the better you get at daily activities. So people with Parkinson's that might be experiencing tremors or postural changes, difficulty walking, shuffling gate those kinds of things all of the exercises we do in this class can address those kinds of things," said Physical Therapist for Grand Island Balance and Mobility Ashlyn Cramer.
For some participants the results are almost immediate. Jean Spiehs of Alda is just in her second day of the program but is already noticing positive changes.
"I like it very well. I can feel the difference it makes a big difference. I can feel strength, increased strength, and it just helps all over your mind and body to work together really well," said Spiehs.
Everyone who is interested in the Rock Steady boxing program is encouraged to contact the Grand Island YMCA or Grand Island Balance and Mobility to help set up a pre–class physical before scheduling time for the class.