New workout class aims to help Parkinson's patients - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New workout class aims to help Parkinson's patients

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GREEN BAY (WBAY) -- Each year, 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

A new boxing class is helping patients with the these help fight the neurological disease.

"Having a chronic illness can be a very isolating experience and coming together with a bunch of people, who are struggling with the same thing, same disease and their care givers is a very powerful thing," said Dr. Rose Turba, physician with Prevea Psychiatry.

The disease can make life difficult and depressing. But, Indianapolis-based "Rock City Boxing" is expanding its classes across the country, with the mission of bringing Parkinson's patients a better life.

"The whole idea came about when Prevea was approached by a family that has Parkinson's disease and they have done rock city boxing in other states. They came and said they want something like this in Green Bay," said group fitness director for Western Racquet & Fitness Club, Kari Merrill.

The class takes those with the disease through boxing drills and fun group exercises. Doctors say exercise is key with the patients.

"It helps the mobility and helps their muscles to work better, to be able to be more functional and walk better and do those daily things that we all take for granted," said Turba.

Instructors say this class is for patients at any stage.

"No matter what stage they are in in Parkinson's, we are going to form that class around them. We have different levels, so anyone can do it," said Merrill.

The class begins April 23 and taking patients in now for assessments.

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