A research facilitator for our study shared with us that one of the assisted living facilities she’s working with is going to purchase a punching bag for their gym because there is quite a bit of research that shows using a punching bag helps improve symptoms of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. We agree that this is a great idea, and wanted to share it with you too!
We know that exercise plays a key role in alleviating some of the symptoms of the disease, but certain exercises can become difficult to engage in as Parkinson’s progresses and a fear of falling can keep people from even trying. That’s where the punching bag comes in. Research supports non-contact boxing as a way to improve agility, gait and balance for people with Parkinson’s disease. It also serves as a great outlet for the frustration that people with this disease can feel. There are programs around the country that hold boxing classes for people with Parkinson’s, which incorporate other exercises in addition to using the punching bag.
We found several stories about this, including this interesting and inspiring one from the Washington Post:
And another from the Daily Hampshire Gazette: https://www.gazettenet.com/Boxing-and-Parkinson-s-13288874
Perhaps this is something you can try at your facility? Keep in mind that it’s great exercise for everyone—not just those with Parkinson’s disease!