TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- More than 1 million Americans have Parkinson's disease.
Local patients say they've found a treatment that is working for them. It's called Rock Steady Boxing, which is a nation-wide Parkinson's boxing program. Today, there are 280 Rock Steady Boxing affiliates in 44 states and 12 international affiliates.
Several Indiana gyms are certified by Rock Steady Boxing including The Sweatbox Gym in Terre Haute. The gym offers one class, three days a week.
The 90 minute workouts include weight training and cardiovascular activity. It's shown to have a major impact on the body.
Bob Hargis was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease six years ago. He says it mainly affects his right hand side of the body. Hargis has been boxing for about one year after his neurologist told him to try it out.
"Before I had trouble working my arms up higher, but now I can get my arm up a lot easier than I could before," he said. "Don't accept Parkinson's as an end disease. You can live with it."
It's a form of exercise that James Porter, a coach at The Sweatbox Gym, has watched change people's lives.
"I have watched people walk in to the gym with a cane or a walker and after about four to 5 weeks they don't need it anymore," said James Porter, a coach at The Sweatbox Gym. "Rock Steady Boxing helps their balance, their cordination, and helps them get around."
Neurologists back up Rock Steady Boxing.
"We know the patients are having problems with mobility," said Dr. Steven Maynard, a neurgologist at Union Hospital. "By going throught the excersies and going through the motions they are losening the muscles up. From each visit that I see the patient, they're getting better. I can do so much with medication, but the activity is really beneficial for them."