programma boxe e parkinson_upmc chianciano
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Boxing & Parkinson Program

After Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s is the most widespread neurodegenerative disease.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease tend to worsen over time, though new drugs and treatment with non- pharmacology therapies have considerably improved the patients’ quality of life (source: Istituto Superiore di Sanità).

The main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:

  • Tremor at rest
  • Bradykinesia (slowness of movement)
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Balance disorder

Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a slow and gradual evolution over time, which is why patients need long-term treatments and changes in their day-to-day habits that can have an impact on symptom management and quality of life:

  • Exercise: regular physical exercise helps to counteract muscle rigidity, improve the mood, and relieve stress
  • Following a healthy diet: a balanced diet ensures all nutrients your body needs

In partnership with the not-for-profit association Un gancio al Parkinson, the Medical and Wellness Center of UPMC Institute for Health Chianciano Terme launched the Boxing & Parkinson program to improve the quality of life of people fighting this disease. Clinical studies have shown that high-intensity physical exercise, such as boxing, has a beneficial effect on cognitive abilities and neurogenesis (formation of new nervous system cells).

Why boxing?

Exercises performed during a boxing session provide many benefits:

  • Improve balance, speed of movement, eye-hand coordination, and focus
  • Increase joint strength and elasticity
  • Positively affect the mood

These workout sessions consist in a basic motor activity resulting in the advantages listed above, and cognitive exercises to stimulate neuroplasticity. The idea underlying this new approach to rehabilitation is that it must incorporate multimodal aspects of motor and neurocognitive learning. International scientific studies also suggest that at least two boxing sessions per week should be held for at least two months, so that actual results can be noted.  Furthermore, physical improvement continues for six months after the training period.