What is Day One Fitness (D1F)?
D1F is a one-of-a-kind, Evans-based nonprofit gym founded in 2015 to provide a uniquely effective form of physical exercise to people who are living with Parkinson’s. Though it may seem surprising, this non-contact, boxing-inspired fitness routine is dramatically improving the ability of people with Parkinson’s disease to live independent lives. D1F and the information on this website is not intended or implied to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of Parkinson’s disease. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, on this website is for general informational purposes only. You are encouraged to discuss any information found on this website with your physician.
Who started Day One Fitness (D1F)?
The foundational roots for what has become D1F began with a prayer to spark a fire. After traveling to Indianapolis and participating in a training camp, Tambra and Steve Wilkerson embarked on a partnership to empower people to reclaim their quality of life and happiness. (Please read the OUR HISTORY section for more information.)
Is Day One Fitness (D1F) limited to physical training?
D1F offers high-intensity and medium-intensity physical training. In addition, D1F offers dance classes, Nordic pole walking classes, and manual dexterity classes.
Does Day One Fitness (D1F) provide any other types of support or group activities?
D1F is designed to be fun, combining an exercise program within a social atmosphere. D1F and their caregivers, friends and families foster a culture of optimism by supporting each other in many ways other than in the boxing training. Activities include social events, pot-luck luncheons, moral support, fundraising, and sharing news on various treatments and support resources.
What types of boxing classes does Day One Fitness (D1F) offer?
Training classes include an exercise program that attacks Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's at its vulnerable neurological points. While focusing on overall fitness, workouts include: ring work, focus mitts, heavy bags, speed bags, double-ended bags, jump rope, core work, calisthenics and circuit weight training. No boxing experience is necessary and people of all ages may participate.
Why boxing training instead of more traditional exercises, such as physical therapy or just going to exercise classes at a fitness center?
Various studies in the 1980’s and 1990‘s support that rigorous exercise, emphasizing gross motor movement, balance, core strength, rhythm, and hand-eye coordination can favorably impact range of motion, flexibility, posture, gait, and activities of daily living. According to ESPN, boxing is "the sport that demands the most from the athletes who compete in it. It's harder than football, harder than baseball, harder than basketball, harder than hockey or soccer or cycling or skiing or fishing or billiards or any other of the 60 sports we rated." More recent studies, most notably at Cleveland Clinic, focus on the concept of intense “forced” exercise, and suggest that certain types of exercise are neuro-protective, which means that it is a type of exercise that may actually slow disease progression.
The boxing regime at Day One Fitness (D1F) provides a framework that fits the mold for neuro-protection. Boxing requires a combination of endurance, strength, power, speed, agility, flexibility, durability, hand-eye coordination, and the ability to react appropriately to strategic situations. Boxing improves balance and stability by forcing movements in all planes of motion. The rapid movements involved in jumping and punching increases over-all muscle fire ability. In addition, the D1F program utilizes methods to combat specific symptoms through other exercise organizations to mix into the core boxing curriculum.
Is there medical evidence that shows exercise can help alleviate Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's symptoms?
Yes. The value of exercise was corroborated in several studies, including some at Lakehead University in Ontario and University of Utah in Salt Lake City. According to a Cleveland Clinic study, aerobic fitness can improve in Parkinson’s patients following forced and/or voluntary exercise. Studies are showing that exercise induces brain repair and accompanying behavioral recovery. (References to any studies on this website are for informational purposes only and do not imply a specific endorsement of Day One Fitness by the researchers.) Some suggest that continuous, intensive training may confer neuro-protection, and subsequently slow, stop, or reverse the progression of Parkinson’s or promote neuro-restoration.
Likewise, research on the impacts of exercise on people living with mild cognitive impairment showed that brain activity associated with memory, measured by neuroimaging, improved after 12 weeks of a moderate exercise program. According to Paillard et al, physical exercise is "crucial for the maintenance or slow decline of optimal functional ability levels in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease patients...It is advisable to combine aerobic physical exercise with other exercises that are beneficial for the neuromuscular system (e.g., strength/power training and stretching), balance function, and the performance of motor coordination."
Before beginning any type of exercise program including Day One Fitness, those with Parkinson’s are encouraged to consult with their physician.
What are the qualifications of the Day One Fitness (D1F) Trainers?
The National Academy of Sports Medicine licenses all lead instructors as Certified Personal Trainers. Additionally, all lead instructors and many of the volunteers are certified in first aid, CPR and the use of the automatic electronic defibrillator (AED).
Can I visit a Day One Fitness (D1F) class before deciding if I want to participate?
Yes! You and your friends and family members are welcome to visit any of our regular classes at any time to observe. Because there is so much structured activity going on during classes, it is helpful if you call first so we can be prepared for your visit. Contact the Day One Fitness office at 706-799-9506.
Is a similar program offered in other parts of the country?
Yes! Rock Steady Boxing , headquartered in Indianapolis, has affiliate locations throughout the United States as well as internationally. Visit their website at to find a location. Parkinson's Wellness Recovery classes are also offered throughout the country. Visit their website at to search their database of providers.
When and where are the Day One Fitness (D1F) classes held?
The mailing address for D1F is 815 Park Chase Drive, in Evans, Georgia. The physical location of classes is at 1613 Fenwick Street, Augusta, Georgia. We operate our program from a donated facility that does not have it's own physical address. Please call 706-799-9506 for instructions regarding finding our location. Each class is approximately 90 minutes in length, including stretching and warm-up. Please see our current schedule posted on this website.
Am I required to attend every class once I get started?
To receive the maximum benefit we suggest that boxers attend at least three training sessions each week, but there is no minimal attendance requirement. We realize that personal schedules may occasionally require you to miss a class. However, continuity in training is important. If you miss a class, we encourage you to exercise at home or at an off-site fitness facility.
Can anyone with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer's participate…no matter what his or her age or condition?
Nearly everyone with Parkinson’s disease can participate and receive benefit from Day One Fitness (D1F). An intake evaluation process is conducted prior to the first class to determine the recommended class level. Some participants will require a caregiver partner to assist in each session. Individuals of all ages can benefit from the D1F programs.
We are currently accepting people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or early state Alzheimer's disease.
We strongly encourage you to discuss D1F participation with your physician prior to your first workout.
What should I wear to the classes?
We recommend that you wear comfortable gym clothes including shorts or pants, tee shirts, sweats, or yoga clothes, and comfortable athletic shoes. Street clothes and shoes are not recommended. Boxing equipment is available for free use while at the gym.
Is there a charge to attend Day One Fitness (D1F) classes?
D1F is a non-profit organization largely supported by private donations and fundraising events. There is a monthly fee of $80 per month for D1F that allows for unlimited classes. A spouse, family member, or friend is allowed to attend as well for a discounted fee of $40 per month. There is also a $25 non-refundable charge for your initial 90-minute assessment with a D1F Coach; this fee will be applied to your first month’s membership if you decide to join the program. If you cannot afford the cost of D1F, please contact us and a scholarship may be available.
Do I need a physician’s recommendation to attend Day One Fitness (D1F)?
We require every participant to have a physician’s release. We recommend that D1F boxers always discuss any form of exercise they are doing inside and outside of D1F with their physicians as part of their overall wellness plan. D1F also requests that individuals with cardiac problems clear their participation with their doctors to make sure that they can participate in activities requiring rigorous exercise.
What do I need to bring to class with me?
Please dress comfortably and be ready to exercise. If you are typically cold, you will want to wear layers so you can remove them when you get warmed up. We always get hot!!!! We also recommend socks with no holes. We have a padded floor and you have to remove your shoes. You should bring a water bottle and continue to stay hydrated throughout the class. Some folks like to have a towel to lay on when we get on the mat for floor exercises. We will supply boxing gloves and hand wraps when you arrive. See you there!
How do I wrap my hands?
Check out this video!
What if I don't like using the hand wraps?
A majority of the boxers wear gel glove wraps that they purchase after they join the program. These can be found at any sporting goods store.