Research Suggests Non-Contact Boxing Can Combat Parkinson's

By Terence Dooley

Muhammad Ali’s post-boxing battle with Parkinson’s was attributed in part to the blows he took in the ring, especially in the second phase of his career, yet some experts at the time claimed that the physical fitness he built up during his time in the sport may have helped his body fight certain symptoms.

Now, over two-years after his death, research suggests that involvement with boxing as a fitness activity could be beneficial in the fight against the debilitating disease.  The condition has core symptoms such as tremors, difficultly moving and stiffness, and these can contribute to physical problems such as falling over as well as mental issues, for example depression, insomnia and memory loss. However, regular physical activity could help diminish the effects of certain symptoms.

The NHS estimates that one in five people will suffer from Parkinson's, which is caused by a loss of dopamine in the brain, during their lifetime, with the majority of suffers being 50 or over, although an estimated one in 20 suffers are under the age of 40.  The lack of a cure means that many live in fear of being diagnosed with the disease, but there are increasingly more ways of living and coping with it.


Chantell Calderbank, a Salford-based sufferer, took up non-contact boxing training earlier this year at the Elite Boxing Gym owned and ran by former pro Alex “One Man Riot” Matvienko, and she told the Manchester Evening News that there has been an improvement.

“I couldn’t just sit around doing nothing,” she said.  “Before I started boxing I was so exhausted.  I was suffering from a lack of concentration and had stiffness in my limbs.  But they are so friendly at the gym, I’m getting to know people.  I get up and go to the boxing gym three times a week.  It’s given me a new lease of life.  When you hit the punch bag, the tremor stops.  It only starts again when you relax.”

She added: “When I think of where I was to where I am now — I still have a long way to go — but I can already move my arm.  My two sons, who are 12 and 18, have been really supportive, they are amazed I have started boxing.”

The 43-year-old is one of around 127,000 people in the UK who are battling Parkinson’s.  In Calderbank’s case it began as a creeping physical malaise, a slight tremor in her hand that became steadily worse.

“It was odd but I wasn't overly concerned to begin with,” said the PA when speaking to Laura Milne of The Express.  Once the diagnosis was confirmed, she learned that physical exercise can help alleviate some of the symptoms so started up her new hobby and this in turn led her to the Elite Gym, where someone else with Parkinson’s had trained for years for the same reason.

“It took all my courage to enter the doors of the gym for the first time,” she said.  “I was so anxious and nervous, my tremor was on full voltage but the staff and qualified coaches were so welcoming and any fears I had soon disappeared.”

Some sufferers in America have taken the same route, and Daiga Heisters from the  told The Express that:  “Evidence suggests that increasing exercise to 2.5 hours a week can slow the progression of Parkinson's symptoms and Chantell is an amazing example of what can be achieved through exercise.  Boxing training has helped her increase her mobility and reduce stiffness and pain.”

You can visit Parkinson's UK for more information about Parkinson's or to find further support.

Please send news and views to @Terryboxing.

Tags: boxing image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by asgarth on 07-19-2018

Some weird responses to the topic lol. It's just the boxing workouts without sparring or competitive fighting. Boxing requires a lot of coordination and fitness, which should slow down the process of Parkinson. Freddie roach said that working as a…

Comment by Julia Slobberts on 07-19-2018

[QUOTE=DARKSEID;18950015]What in the actual **** is non contact boxing. Non contact boxing... that's like non-fuking sex. Or a non dick-sucking bl0wjob.[/QUOTE] I think it's a boxing workout minus any sparring. "Non-contact boxing" is kind of a silly term for it.

Comment by DuckAdonis on 07-19-2018

Do they mean shadowboxing ?

Comment by GlassJoey on 07-19-2018

Isn’t it the gloves that cause the problems? Go bare knuckle and all will be fixed

Comment by Clegg on 07-19-2018

This sounds a lot like Sarcastaball.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (9)
Top Headlines Tevin Farmer-James Tennyson: CompuBox Historical Review Katie Taylor-Cindy Serrano: CompuBox Historical Review Jose Zepeda Stays Busy at The Auditorio Municipal in Tecate Ryota Murata-Rob Brant: CompuBox Historical Review Nathan Gorman Gets Win, Beats Kamil Sokolowski In Brentwood Dadashev vs. DeMarco - CompuBox Historical Review Crawford To Pacquiao: I Was Scared? You Didn't Want To Fight! Francisco Rodriguez vs. Tyson Marquez in Crossroads Fight Saul Sanchez Has To Dig Deep To Defeat Fernando Saavedra Naoya Inoue: I Expect To Fight Rodriguez, He Beats Moloney Andrade: If I Face The Elite at 160 - I'm F***ing Somebody Up! Kautondokwa: Soon People Will Know How To Say My Name! Rodriguez-Moloney, Dorticos-Masternak: WBSS Stats & Stakes Hearn: Kautondokwa More Dangerous For Andrade Than Saunders Andrade: I'll Fight Canelo At 168; No Reason For Us Not To Fight Daily Bread Mailbag: Crawford, Roy Jones, Hatton, Tyson, More Kautondokwa: Don't Underestimate Me; I Didn't Just Fall From Sky! Coldwell Reflects on McDonnell's Knockout Loss To Roman Video: Jorge Linares Talks Loma-Pedraza, Murata-Brant, More Video: Hearn Talks Jacobs, Charlo Needing DAZN, Usyk-Bellew Mayweather: I Told Al Haymon To Make Pacquiao vs. Broner Video: Malignaggi on Wilder-Fury, Pac-Broner, Pac-Mayweather 2 Video: DiBella Talks Farmer-Tennyson, Wilder-Fury, Floyd-Canelo Pacquiao: Crawford is Scared, Top Rank Prevented The Fight Paulus Moses is Back in the Ring Against Emmanuel Tagoe Could The DAZN-Canelo Deal Lead To The Demise of PPV? Canelo: If Mayweather is Hurt By My Deal - It's His Problem! Video: Jarrell Miller Talks Oquendo Fight, Wilder-Fury, Canelo Video: Robert Garcia on Canelo-DAZN, Wilder-Fury, Pac-Broner Video: Shannon Briggs Talks Return, Wilder-Fury, Wilder-Joshua Video: Teofimo Lopez on Menard, Loma-Pedraza, Ryan Garcia Jarrell Miller-Fres Oquendo In Works For 11/17 In Atlantic City Photos: Dadashev vs. DeMarco, Falcao vs. Pitto - Weigh-In Photos: Michael Conlan, Vladimir Nikitin - Square Up in Las Vegas Photos: Ryota Murata, Rob Brant - Set For Las Vegas Showdown Photos: Dorticos, Masternak - Prepared For War in WBSS Clash Photos: Emmanuel Rodriguez, Jason Moloney - Ready For WBSS Bellew: Ortiz & Povetkin Are PED Cheats - NOT Saunders, Whyte Photos: Jose Zepeda, Domicio Rondon - On Weight To Fight De La Hoya: Laughing at Lowlife Mayweather, He Needs Money

Latest Active Forum Threads