HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease every year. More than 10 million people are living with it worldwide, according to Parkinson’s Foundation.
So, to help Rock Steady Boxing Rocket City helps people with Parkinson’s Disease through non-contact boxing exercises and the Huntsville program is celebrating six years in the Rocket City.
The exercises help people with Parkinson’s build their power, strength, flexibility, and speed. Director of Rock Steady Boxing Rocket City, Carolyn Rhodes, described the classes to News 19 as “a 90 minute all comprehensive workout where we do balance, strength, agility and so forth.”
But, that isn’t all they do. “We have a comprehensive voice program for safe swallow voice and cognition, we have a choir for that same reason,” Rhodes told News 19. “We offer dance with PD and we offer power moves which helps them move into bigger motions.”
Carolyn and her husband, Jim, started the program in 2016 after Jim was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. After hearing about Rock Steady Boxing they immediately knew it belonged in the Rocket City.
“We were really shocked and it was very emotional because we didn’t know what was going to happen,” Jim shared to News 19. “But, we watched a video and I said to Carolyn ‘We gotta do this.’ So, we started with 6 of us and the rest is history.”
Those 6 boxers have turned into more than 200 with nearly a dozen classes a week. Carolyn shared that for many, the program is life-changing.
“One man said I’m playing tennis again, dancing again,” Carolyn explained. “One said I can climb up on my John Deere tractor again, I’m golfing again.”
The organization also provides support and education opportunities to families of people with Parkinson’s. With this and the other fitness programs and activities they offer, they are excited to announce their change from Rock Steady Boxing to Parkinson’s Dynamic which will include all of their programs.
More information on the classes and how you can get involved can be found here.