Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative movement disorder which can cause deterioration of motor skills, balance, speech and sensory function. The Parkinson’s Foundation estimates there are more than 1 million people in the United States diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and more than 60,000 people are diagnosed each year. Rock Steady Boxing is the first gym in the country dedicated to the fight against Parkinson’s. In our gym, exercises are largely adapted from boxing drills. Boxers condition for optimal agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, hand-eye coordination, footwork and overall strength to defend against and overcome opponents. At RSB, Parkinson’s disease is the opponent. Exercises vary in purpose and form but share one common trait: they are rigorous and intended to extend the perceived capabilities of the participant
Various studies have supported the notion that rigorous exercise, emphasizing gross motor movement, balance, core strength, and rhythm, could favorably impact range of motion, flexibility, posture, gait, and activities of daily living. More recent studies, most notably at Cleveland Clinic, focus on the concept of intense "forced" exercise, and have begun to suggest that certain kinds of exercise may be neuro-protective, i.e., actually slowing disease progression.
In addition to building physical strength, exercise can improve mental health. It's been shown to reduce depression, anxiety and negative moods as well as alleviate low self-esteem and social withdrawal. In place of these negative emotions, exercise boosts self-esteem and cognitive function.
Non-contact Parkinson's boxing programs, like Rock Steady Boxing, provide education and student-specific training to help people with Parkinson's improve their gross motor skills, balance confidence, and mental sharpness. Boxing's varied and high-intensity workouts offer a blend of strength and cardiovascular conditioning that improves agility, coordination and balance, and which may be especially beneficial for people with neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.
About Rocksteady Boxing
By exercising with coaches who know the ropes, you can fight your way out of the corner and start to feel and function better. Boxing works by moving your body in all planes of motion while continuously changing the routine as you progress through the workout. These classes have proven that anyone, at any level of Parkinson's, can actually lessen their symptoms and lead a healthier/happier life. This program uses the mechanics of boxing for those with Parkinson’s Disease by focusing on PD symptoms including balance, stiffness, tremors, coordination, and soft voice. This is accomplished through non-contact boxing, punching heavy bags, doing footwork, stretching, resistance exercises and aerobic training. All participants receive an assessment. Contact us to shadow a class.
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