Sagewood Implements New Fitness Program Using Boxing to Help Residents with Parkinson’s Disease

Fitness instructors at Sagewood, a life plan community located in North Phoenix, recently created a unique fitness program designed for those living with Parkinson’s Disease. The new group fitness class utilizes boxing drills to help residents regain mobility, strengthen muscles, increase agility, and support coordination.

The class, titled Functional Fitness, uses exercise that can easily be translated to daily activity. Each move mastered in the gym will help residents live a more independent life. The thirty-minute program has three stations to focus on different aspects of boxing and functionality. Residents work up a sweat through shadow boxing, footwork, speed bag and heavy bag workouts, slip and duck drills, and so much more.

The drills go beyond just mobility for residents diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease includes the shrinking of movements and becoming soft-spoken; Function Fitness targets these symptoms without singling out residents or making them feel isolated. By practicing the large, exaggerated motions in boxing, Sagewood residents are now retraining their body to beat these symptoms in their daily lives.

“I enjoy the boxing exercises in Functional Fitness much more than my standard Parkinson’s exercises,” says Bob Fitting, Sagewood resident and Parkinson’s Disease patient. “My symptoms are always lessened the next day after completing a class and I am really grateful to have a program like it at Sagewood.”

Boxing is also a very vocal sport and the instructors at Sagewood encourage participants to make as much noise as they can. From battle cries to grunts, residents are now able to get as loud as they can without feeling silly. By training the vocal cords and practicing loud sounds, Parkinson’s residents are able to work through the soft-spoken symptoms.

Joshua Bredimus, trained instructor through National Institute for Fitness and Sport and Sagewood’s Fitness Specialist shares, “Functional Fitness is unique in the fact it combines residents with and without Parkinson’s so no individual feels isolated. All the residents who have participated in the class, regardless of their ability, have really enjoyed it and found beneficial elements of the program.”

In addition to the health benefits of daily exercise, Function Fitness is also helping improve residents’ mental well-being. Residents with Parkinson’s now feel more independent than ever. The class not only helps improve self-esteem, but all participants are gaining socialization with other residents at Sagewood. The 30+ residents who participate in the class regularly have become close friends and bond beyond just boxing.

Fitness classes like Functional Fitness help break the stigma surrounding Parkinson’s Disease, provides tools for daily life and helps socialize residents of all levels of ability. While the class is still new, residents are lining up week after week to participate in it. The athletic instructors at Sagewood are so pleased with the results and reactions from Functional Fitness and plan to continue the program for many years to come.

For more information on Sagewood and the Functional Fitness class visit

About Sagewood
Sagewood is a Life Plan Community located at 4555 E. Mayo Blvd. in Phoenix, featuring resort-like amenities including a fitness center, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor pools, 18-hole putting golf course, auditorium for multi-purpose use, formal and casual dining and health center providing assisted living, memory care support, skilled nursing and a rehabilitative therapy center. Industry leader Life Care Services and Westminster Capital are the joint-venture partners of Sagewood. For more information, visit
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