Boxing for Parkinson’s

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Boxing for Parkinson's Disease.
Man with boxing gloves working out.

People coping with Parkinson’s disease may see it as the fight of their lives. We all know how important it is to exercise, especially with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Studies show exercise that targets motor movement, balance, core strength, and rhythm make a significant impact in slowing PD.

A non-contact boxing program could improve quality of life and willingness to exercise in people with Parkinson’s. According to Danielle Larson, MD, a neurologist at Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center, moderate exercise has long been associated with having positive impact on some people with Parkinson’s.

A study presented at the American Academy of Neurology included over 1,700 people with PD of an average age of 69. Of the participants, 1,500 were either current or had previously participated in boxing programs and about 200 had never participated. The participants completed a survey that included questions about their quality of life, depression, fatigue, and fear of falling. The survey found that most of the boxing participants reported improvements in several life areas, less fatigue, and improved mood.  In the survey, the participants in the boxing program scored higher than the non-participants. Most of the participants said they would recommend the program to others with Parkinson’s.

Exercises are adapted from boxing drills and focus on the following areas:

• Increased strength

• Improved hand-eye coordination

• Mobility

• Stronger core

• Balance and posture

• Respiratory control


Wexler, M. (2020). Boxing May Improve Quality of Life for Parkinson’s Patients, Study Finds. Retrieved 24 February 2021, from

(2021). Retrieved from

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