Elmira Heights, NY (WENY) -- Di's Personal Fitness opened a little over a year ago, and on Saturday the gym celebrated their one year anniversary with an open house. The gym began training clients who suffer from degenerative diseases, with the hope of making their symptoms less severe through active movement.
When you first step into the gym it looks like a typical fitness center, but Di's Personal Fitness isn't open to just anyone.
The gym offers Rock Steady Boxing, which is geared towards people who suffer from Parkinson's Disease. A progressive nervous system disorder that affects ones movement.
“With rock steady boxing, when they come in the door, we don't talk about Parkinson's, we're busy, we're working, we're boxing, we're doing agility, we're doing circuits, we're doing one on one training. Sometimes I have to go in another room and train with them there, so it's just a wonderful little place for them to come to and forget about Parkinson's Disease,“ said Diane Carozza, owner of Di's Personal Fitness.
The staff at the gym have medical backgrounds which makes it easier for them to decide what exercises will best help their clients.
“The people with the Parkinson's Disease, yes they can go to the gym and they can do the treadmill and they can do plank and work on their push-ups however what we really work with is what they really need is working on their posture, working on their agility, working on their strength,” said Carozza.
It's not all strenuous workouts, sometimes it's as simple as talking,
“We also use vocalization, Parkinson's often people will get very quiet, you can't hear them, that's why you hear us saying count out loud, we know they can count, we want to hear them with their voice," said Molly Houp, Volunteer at Di's Personal Fitness.