Boxing program for Parkinson’s patients a good fit for Minot

While Parkinson’s remains a devastating disease in the country, for those afflicted and those affected, research has come a long way in defining lifestyle measures that can improve the quality of life of patients and help stave off some of its symptoms.

Exercise, particularly intense activity, is known to be particularly helpful.

Taiya Bohn, director at Family Wellness in Mandan, said she’s seen participants in the center’s Rock Steady Boxing classes for Parkinson’s patients make visible progress. Bohn spoke to the Minot Parkinson’s Support Group May 2 about Rock Steady Boxing, a nonprofit corporation based in Indiana. As of March 2017, the organization reported fitness curriculum affiliates in 45 states and six countries. The first affiliate in North Dakota was in Grand Forks. Now classes also are offered in Fargo as well as Mandan.

Rodger Martin, owner of Moore’s Martial Arts in Minot, said he is familiar with the benefits of boxing and the martial arts for Parkinson’s patients – has had two students with Parkinson’s. Some boxing skills already are incorporated into his Parkinson’s class being offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m.

In an article in the May 13 Minot Daily News, “Punching against Parkinson’s,” Martin tells MDN’s Jill Schramm that he is looking into Rock Steady Boxing and is interested in working with more people with Parkinson’s.

North Dakota is in need of additional resources – and innovative ones – for those with Parkinson’s. The state ranks #3 in the nation in per capita instances of Parkinson’s. Its complications are the 14th leading cause of death in the country and the economic impact is estimated at over $14 billion a year. The number of people affected by Parkinson’s is expected to double by 2040.

Rock Steady Boxing would be a welcome addition to Minot and a benefit to many today – and in the years ahead.