(Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)

Knockout PD, a 10-week, multifaceted exercise program designed to slow the progression of Parkinson’s Disease, is now being offered at the Metuchen YMCA.  Knockout PD combines non-contact boxing, strength training, balance, flexibility, and agility into a comprehensive 90-minute small group workout.
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive loss of motor function and muscle control. The common symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors—often observed in the hands, impaired balance, stiffness, and slowed movement. While there is no known cure for the disease, people suffering from Parkinson’s have been able to delay the progression of the disease and limit the severity of symptoms through medication, surgery, and exercise.
Exercise has become a key part of the prescription for people upon receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis. In a study done at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, researchers determined that “forced exercise” rather than voluntary exercise was especially beneficial in slowing the disease and reducing symptoms. Forced exercise is any exercise that is higher in intensity than what one would choose to do on their own.
Hannah Thomas, the Wellness Director of the Metuchen YMCA, will instruct the class. Hannah is a NETA-certified personal trainer and teaches group exercise at the Y. She was also a collegiate boxer for Penn State University. Hannah combines her knowledge of boxing and exercise with research specific to Parkinson’s Disease to provide a workout that targets cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, balance, and flexibility.
Knockout PD is currently in its pilot session at the Metuchen YMCA and will wrap up in early January. The next cycle of Knockout PD is scheduled to begin during the first week of February. The Metuchen YMCA is offering this program to members as well as non-members with fees of $120 and $170 per session, respectively. All registrants will be required to obtain medical clearance from a physician to participate. Class sizes are limited so contact Hannah today if you are interested or would like more information at hannah.thomas@ymcaofmewsa.org or at 732-548-2044, Ext. 2217.
 
About the YMCA
The YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy is a charitable, nonprofit organization devoted to supporting individuals and families—regardless of age, income or background—in their quest to realize their full potential through programs and services that foster youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Each day we serve over 6,000 YMCA members and 1,000 children in childcare in five communities throughout Middlesex County.  The YMCA of MEWSA has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. www.ymcaofmewsa.org.

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