Dedicated to the Founder of the Light of Day Foundation, Bob Benjamin, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1998. “Boxing for Bob” is a full-body, non-contact boxing workout for folks suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
It was designed by Shawn Darling, the owner of Gladiator’s Gym, site of the first Boxing For Bob classes. The Gold’s Gym in Howell and Ocean Township also offer classes.
Recently highlighted in The Asbury Park Press, “Boxing for Bob” tests and can improve balance, agility, hand-eye coordination, stamina and muscle strength, all of which can be affected by Parkinson’s. “By forcing the body to do movements the brain can’t control, boxing challenges the brain to create new circuits, which leads to neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to rewire and reorganize itself by forming new neural connections,” explains Roberta Marongiu, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. It also can potentially help speech (grunting or yelling while punching can aid with vocal projection) and even offer an outlet for frustration toward symptoms of the disease.
Equally important, “Boxing for Bob” promotes comradery and community, helping to bring the Parkinson’s community together in a social environment and reminding participants that they’re all “Fighting Together Against Parkinson’s.”