Wellness at Family Health West offers program for people with Parkinson’s

Wellness at Family Health West in Fruita now offers Rock Steady Boxing, an exercise program for people with Parkinson’s disease.

“We are fortunate to bring this program to Family Health West,” said Kara Griffith, an exercise physiologist at Wellness at Family Health West who completed training to offer the classes.

The program involves non-contact boxing as well such exercises as bicycling, pushups, running and stretching. Griffith and Summer Gienapp, another exercise physiologist, teach two levels of classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the adult rehabilitation clinic at Colorado Canyons Hospital and Medical Center.

Rock Steady Boxing was developed in Indianapolis and has grown to more than 740 affiliates around the world. “When evidence began to emerge that our program had a very positive impact on the ‘boxers,’ our mission became clear — to share our knowledge and experience with all people with Parkinson’s,” said Joyce Johnson, executive director of the nonprofit organization.

By one estimate, 1 million to 1.5 million people in the United States have Parkinson’s, a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement.

Family Health West operates Colorado Canyons Hospital and Medical Center as well provides a range of health care services. For more information, visit www.fhw.org.