Next Avenue: What a 72-year-old grandmother with Parkinson’s learned when she took up boxing

by | Apr 18, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from According to conventional beliefs, I should be degenerating. After all, I’m a 72-year-old grandmother with Parkinson’s. But the first word I use to define myself is strong. I exercise daily. I’ve lost 20 pounds, and I believe I will feel even more powerful next year.

I attribute this radical optimism to a team of three characters in this drama that is my life. First, my supportive husband devours books and articles about anti-aging, giving out encouragement and information freely. Then, there is a functional neurologist I’ve seen since my diagnosis. He has taught me about neuroplasticity.  The Functional Neurology Society explains that “research has confirmed that we have the ability to create new neurons (neurogenesis), a process long considered impossible.” This is how we learn new skills and how a person who has suffered a stroke of the brain’s language centers may still regain the ability to speak.  In my twice-monthly sessions with the functional neurologist, we work on exercises that strengthen my gait, balance and cognitive functions. I’m also learning to protect my nervous system with diet, exercise and stress-reducing behavior (like prioritizing experiences that bring me joy — spending time with my grandchildren and getting outside in nature hiking, walking and kayaking). Also see: Are you fit for your age, or are you frail? Here’s how to find out.A fighter on many fronts M …

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