Patients step into boxing ring to fight Parkinson’s Disease

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The gloves are on.

Jabs are being thrown left and right.

But for the people inside this Virginia Beach gym, the fight they’re practicing for won’t be inside a boxing ring.

“When you’re punching the bag, you feel like you’re punching out Parkinson's," Anne Henry, who trains at the gym told News 3. "It was a feeling I can’t express and I felt like I was winning.”

Kendra Lapointe began teaching “Rock Steady Boxing” classes after her father, who she also trains, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

“Exercise is crucial. If you don’t use it, if you don’t move – you lose it in Parkinson’s and so that’s what I empower people to do – is to fight back and make sure that we’re fighting the symptoms," Lapointe explained.

Symptoms like shaking that affects body movement.

Henry has been living with the disease for five years.

“I was bumping into things, I was tripping a lot. It was hard to get up from a chair," Henry explained.

Along with Rock Steady, Lapointe also does yoga and voice exercises as part of her training.

She says the fitness exercises strengthens muscles and improves walking.

Results Henry said her doctor saw immediately.

“Right away, I could tell that I was getting stronger, more agile, I had better posture and I had more self-confidence," henry said.

Though she fears the disease will eventually take over, Henry told us this is one fight she will continue until she’s the last one standing.

Last year, we brought you another story of a gym fighting Parkinson's disease through boxing.

To learn more about Lapointe's classes, click here.