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Sporting goods stores in Springfield, Illinois, might be noticing a new trend – boxing gloves are suddenly in demand among older adults. The popular boxing class at Concordia Village, a Lutheran Senior Services Life Plan Community in Springfield, Illinois, could be contributing to this. While boxing and senior living communities don’t seem like things that would go together, they actually go together very well. And Concordia Village residents agree.
“I started boxing for upper body strength,” explained Donna Nichols, Concordia Village resident and a regular in the intermediate boxing class. “I was also trying to lose weight and was having some success, but Greta, the Director of Community Wellness here, mentioned I should add something to my exercise program.”
James Howard, another Concordia Village resident who takes part in the boxing classes, began boxing when it was recommended for his Parkinson’s Disease. Studies have shown that non-contact boxing can help with symptoms of Parkinson’s. He agrees that the past 18 months of boxing have improved his strength and balance.
“The hand-eye coordination, strength training, multitasking, all of these aspects of boxing really can help those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease,” added Greta Huseman, Concordia Village Director of Community Wellness. “Boxing can be beneficial to all older adults and it’s very adaptable.”
That adaptability makes this class a favorite for residents of all levels of living. There’s even a boxing class where participants can remain seated while punching the bag. All classes are a circuit workout with several stations that mix the actual boxing with core and strength exercises.
“It’s weekly routine now,” said Bob Nichols, Donna’s husband who is in the more advanced boxing class. “If I miss one, like I did last week, my day is not complete. The days I can go to stretch class, then boxing, and I’m totally loosened up and ready for my day.”
But like any activity, the benefits go beyond just physical fitness.
“It is beneficial, but I also have fun with the others in class,” said Violet Dickson, another regular at boxing classes who, by the way, is 93.
Donna Nichols agreed, “I enjoy the class and visiting with others who are participating.”
“We joke and we laugh and we have golden oldies playing and staff is funnier than heck,” said Bob Nichols. “I do it for the enjoyment, camaraderie, and good connection.”
So, maybe the sporting goods stores in Springfield and other communities should take note and keep boxing gloves in good supply. This doesn’t sound like a trend that’s going away.