The Evansville Downtown YMCA is the first Y in the nation to offer "Rock Steady Boxing."
The exercise program is based on training used by boxing professionals and adapted to work for people fighting against Parkinson's.
The program involves stretching, biking, running, balancing and lots of non-contact boxing, led by certified trainers. Luke Savage and two-time Indiana Golden Gloves champion John Richard are two of the people coaching the classes.
Savage, who has a physical therapy background, says a lot of the exercises are designed to give people with Parkinson's more core stability and help them create new, strong, neural pathways to replace the ones they're losing.
Chris Eberhard was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2002 and became interested in Rock Steady Boxing after seeing the Indianapolis-based program on the news.
He says physical activity, especially boxing, has kept him much stronger than doctors ever expected.
Coaches Savage and Richard hope to help more people like Eberhard with the new classes at the Y.
The Y is offering free demo classes August 19, 21, 26 and 28 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and August 23 and September 6 from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
The first 7-week session begins September 8th.
For more information or to register for the 7-week session, visit the website or call 812-423-9622.
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