Personal training and exercise classes for people with Parkinson's disease.
Steve's Story as featured in The Project
12 years ago I thought I'd be in a wheelchair.
I was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease in 2012 at age 40. Although I was a fitness trainer and had been a positive force for change in other people's lives, after 5 years of living with the disease, I had given up hope. Afterall it was only ever going to get worse. Thankfully in early 2017, I was introduced to boxing! Putting those boxing gloves on and stepping into the ring for the first time, changed my life! I went from virtually no exercise since my diagnosis, to boxing everyday. Within a few weeks my wife noted that I seemed to have a lot more energy than before... and she was right. This was the start of a journey that saw many of my symptoms start to recede.
Since then it has been my passion to help those with Parkinson’s learn the lessons I’ve learnt. My goal is to help you keep your Parkinson’s under control and living your life to the full. As a Director of Parkinson's NSW I am focused on doing everything I can to help those living with Parkinson's. To read more of my story click here.
Flexible Training options for people with Parkinson's
I know what it is like to live with the difficulties of Parkinson's and the keys to fighting its effects. My training program is not just a fitness program adapted for Parkinson's. I combine my 25 years experience in fitness training, extensive knowledge on PD and skills as a life coach to provides exercise options for those with PD wanting to turn their lives around. With the variation of PD symptoms, sometimes on a daily basis, exercise programs need to be adaptable. In light of this I offer the following options:
Why exercise for Parkinsons?
More and more research studies confirm that exercise is one of the most important methods of treatment for Parkinson’s Disease; right up there with medication!
We know exercise is important, however, not just any exercise will do! The exercise needs to be intense. We’re talking about 80% of your maximum heart rate (220-age) or higher. While this is a tough way to train, it’s recommended that you increase your exercise workload slowly over time until you can comfortably work at such a high intensity level.
High intensity training seems to help the brain become more efficient at using dopamine to transfer signals between cells. Put simply, the more efficient you become with your dopamine use, the less dopamine a person will need………hopefully leading to a drop in the amount of medication a person needs. The end result may be either a slow down in the progression of PD or even a reduction in the medication levels needed for a person with PD who is exercising at high intensity levels.
Other benefits of high intensity training include better sleeping patterns (often an issue for people with PD), increases in energy levels, improved memory and cognition and improvements in mood and apathy levels. It is also thought that more complex forms of exercise (that still maintain a high intensity level) help the brain to develop new pathways for signals to travel along improving memory, cognitive ability, co-ordination, balance and reaction time. To see the research click here
Non-contact boxing classes help slow and even delay the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Boxing is a very high intensity activity that is complex and difficult to master. A good boxer knows many different punching combinations, keeps his head moving and can react quickly enough to avoid his opponents attacks. He also has good footwork, reaction times, coordination and reactive balance.
More recent research tells us that forced, repetitive and complex exercises result in increased brain plasticity and may be neuro-protective, culminating in the slowing down of symptoms in PD. This is what PD Box Fit aims to provide. Non-contact boxing has been proven to build strength and improve speed, flexibility, agility, muscular endurance, accuracy, balance, footwork and hand-eye co-ordination.
My clients start to feel and function better leading to a healthier and happier life. No matter at what stage of the disease you are my training can make a difference.
Hear from my Personal Training clients
"I knew the research said high intensity exercise was important but I couldn't get the motivation to do it myself. Steve changed all that. Steve's fitness knowledge, experience with PD and his wisdom on how to live with PD has been a game changer for me. Steve is more than a trainer. Steve has been a mentor and coach to me. He has helped me to have a positive and hopeful perspective for the future."
Kurt Peters - Young Onset PD diagnosed Feb 2018 aged 42
"Steve is a fantastic trainer. He is knowledgeable and extremely patient and understanding. He has a wonderful ability to tailor his PD boxing sessions to the ability of his students, particularly those of us who are less mobile and restricted in their movements. Steve, who himself lives with his own PD, makes each PD boxing session interesting and varied - challenging us both physically and cognitively. We are very fortunate to have someone of Steve's ability to drill us in PD boxing and help us better manage our condition."
Mike Solomons - PD diagnosed 2018 aged 57
"Steve is understanding, empathetic and quietly patient, able to adapt the boxing program to suit individual needs. He is very encouraging as he challenges us to go that little bit further and work that little bit harder. Steve is a great motivator and inspiration. I have no doubt that his knowledge, his skills as a trainer and coach have contributed to my general sense of well-being, both physically and mentally, and introduced me to a program which is fun, challenging and enjoyable."
Christine Hosking- PD Diagnosed 2017 aged 72
'I have done both personal training and Parkinson’s Group Boxing with Steve. He is extremely knowledgeable and his enthusiasm is contagious. It has been excellent to have a professional who genuinely understands where I am coming from (because he has been there himself). He pushes me to do my best and I feel he genuinely cares about my progress. The group classes have been enjoyable and given me an opportunity to mix with others with Parkinson’s in a social setting. Everyone supports each other and enjoys a chat after class. Steve is a genuine inspiration to all.'
Ross Hamilton - diagnosed 2016 aged 69