By Justin Udo

by Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For years famed boxer Muhammad Ali was the face of Parkinson’s Disease.

A local organization is now using that sport to combat the illness

You might not think of boxing as an activity that can help people with Parkinson’s, but officials with the Bala Cynwyd-based non-profit The Parkinson Council says it can be used to slow the disease’s progression.

“One of the things it does is help people with balance and stamina and just makes sure they understand the importance of keeping themselves active,” said Wendy Lewis with the Parkinson Council.

She says they partnered with Joltin’ Jabs Manayunk to put the program together for people fighting the degenerative brain disease.

“He actually has them do a few moves, like feet work and some punching. It’s almost a circuit training. He takes them through specific moves from punching a punching bag, to a heavy bag, to actually just moving their feet,” said Lewis.

She says another important thing this program does is keep people socially engaged, which is something that is needed for folks battling Parkinson’s.