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Rock Steady Boxing empowers people living with Parkinson's to fight back

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This April, Rock Steady Boxing of Western Slope CO, located at Anytime Fitness in Delta, will join millions in observing Parkinson's Awareness Month. A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects the ability to walk, talk, balance and move, Rock Steady Boxing Western Slope CO gives those living with Parkinson's hope today by offering a non-contact, boxing-inspired fitness routine proving to dramatically improve their quality of life.

According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, more than 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson's disease and more than 60,000 Americans are diagnosed each year. Recent medical studies, including one at the Cleveland Clinic, focus on intense "forced" exercise and indicate that certain types of exercise can exert a neuroprotective influence and may actually slow the progression of the chronic, incurable disease. Rock Steady Boxing serves participants at all stages of Parkinson's, from the newly diagnosed to those who have been living with the disease for decades plus.

"Parkinson's Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to raise awareness about the disease our fighters live with on a daily basis and to reflect on their courageous battle. Rock Steady Boxing is about more than just one class or one program; our mission is to inspire and provide hope and better quality of life globally for those who are fighting back against Parkinson's disease," said Jan Blue, head coach of Rock Steady Boxing Western Slope CO.

Blue and Charlie Farrell of Cedaredge are the owners and operators of Rock Steady Boxing Western Slope CO. Farrell was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2013. He first heard about Rock Steady Boxing from an interview with Leslie Stahl on CBS News. During January and February 2017, Blue and Farrell attended Rock Steady Boxing in Palm Springs, Calif., twice a week. Farrell saw "unbelievable" improvement in his symptoms. Recognizing the need for Rock Steady Boxing in our community and a willingness to share based on Farrell's personal experience, Blue and Farrell attended the required two-day "training camp" in Indianapolis, Ind., to become certified Rock Steady Boxing coaches. They held their first Rock Steady Boxing class in June 2017. Classes are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Anytime Fitness. The training/exercise sessions are offered at no cost; however, use of the facility requires that participants have a gym membership.

The class consistently has a dozen fighters/boxers each training session, but is in need of additional volunteers to serve as "corner persons."

To see a Rock Steady Boxing class in action, visit the class on Thursday, April 26. To learn more about the program, contact Jan Blue or Charlie Farrell at 970-399-7272 or westernslope@rbsaffiliate.com. You can follow the class on Facebook, rsbwesternslopeco "Beat Parkinson's."

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