PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Forget Tai Chi or pickleball, more seniors are putting on the gloves and putting up their dukes!
There is a senior boxing boom happening across the country, including here in Arizona.
Rock Steady Gym is one of several local gyms who offer boxing classes specifically for baby boomers and seniors.
Sarah Stockwell Scott is one of the coaches there and told us boxing is great exercise working the brain just as much as it works the body.
"Boxing is great because you have to use both sides of your brain for boxing, you have to be able to shift your weight from side to side. You have to cross your center line which is great for people with brain injury or diseases. It's great for strength, it's great for balance, it's great for mobility," Scott said.
Rock Steady started as a gym to help people with Parkinson's Disease but it quickly grew beyond that including anyone who wants to challenge themselves and maintain their strength.
Scott said boxing helps with balance and walking which, in turn, can help prevent falls.
Gary Smathers is a client at Rock Steady.
He also suffers from Parkinson's and said boxing has helped him maintain his movement.
"If you can build new pathways, if you're exercising and building new pathways, it can get your muscles connected again," Smathers said.
Scott said she's noticed the clients have created relationships that go far beyond the gym; they've built friendships and share community.
"We're able to take people who had nothing left, who've given up, and we give them a chance. We give them a life and we give them friends."
Classes are offered three days a week.
Rock Steady Boxing is located at 8815 W. Peoria Ave in Peoria.
For more information go to phoenix.rsbaffiliate.com or call 623-878-2935