Boxing For Parkinsons Disease Treatment
Parkinsons is a degenerative disease that causes physical muscle loss in many of the same areas boxing can help strengthen. In Rock Steady Boxing, you wont be facing off against another personyoull be facing off against the disease itself. The goal is to combat Parkinsons symptoms with exercise, address postural imbalances, improve flexibility, and build your overall fitness levels.
The goals of this unique treatment for Parkinsons disease include:
- Combat symptoms with exercise
- Build and maintain overall fitness
- Extend perceived abilities
How To Sign Up
The Mruk Family Education Center on Aging is excited to reach out to our Parkinson’s community by offering this innovative program that is making a big difference in the lives of many people. The first step is to call the MFECOA at 508-3880 to receive a new members packet. From there, participants will need a Primary Care Physician’s authorization to participate and a referral to the Baxter Regional Medical Center Physical Therapy Department. After an assessment by a Physical Therapist, participants will be referred to the Rock Steady Boxing Mountain Home program and be well on their way to fighting back against Parkinson’s Disease!
All classes are held at the Baxter Regional Wellness Education Center located at 2545 Hwy 5 North, Mountain Home, AR 72653
For complete details, contact Diahanne VanGulick, MFECOA Coordinator, at or, or visit.
Q: Are All Rock Steady Boxing Courses The Same Do You Have Advice For People Looking For Classes On How To Find A Good One
Dr. Leder: All programs are not the same. The instructors and the class format can vary quite a bit. Most often, people will simply go to the one that is closest to where they live, but they might want to trial a class before they sign up to make sure they like the instructor and it feels safe for them.
Dr. Ellis: In my experience, there is a lot of variability in the quality of the classes. In order to become an instructor in the program training is required, which is great, but the variability in instructors still remains. Some instructors come from the world of boxing and fitness others, from the medical world.
It is important for anyone who teaches these classes to have some expertise in PD. Understanding elements of PD such as freezing of gait, postural control deficits, fall risk and on/off periods, that are unique to PD can make the class safe and more effective for people with PD. Invariably, a program overseen by movement disorders specialist like Dr. Leder will be enhanced by her PD expertise.
Recommended Reading: Does Linda Ronstadt Have Parkinsons
Q: What Are The Advantages Of Rock Steady Boxing For People With Pd Any Disadvantages Safety Concerns
Dr. Leder: One of the main advantages of Rock Steady is that there is a high compliance rate. It is fun and social and therefore patients enjoy coming. The more they come the better they feel. There are two different types of classes. One is for patients who are not at risk of falling and the other is for patients who either are at risk of falling or actively fall. When the class is in person , we always have medical student volunteers who are there to watch and guard those who may be at risk of falling. They are also able to take blood pressures when someone feels lightheaded
The main disadvantage in our program is that more patients wish to come to a class than we can accommodate! Otherwise, there are no more safety concerns as compared to attending a typical gym perhaps less, because the program caters to a special population and has safety guards in place to protect against falling, which a regular gym does not.
Dr. Ellis: It is important to note that it is the components of boxing that may help symptoms of PD. We know that the components of exercise that can help PD include strength training, aerobic training and balance training, among others. These elements can be accomplished with many different exercise modalities and routines, with boxing potentially as one of them.
What Does A Typical Rock Steady Power Hour Look Like
Rock Steady Power Hour uses boxing training to develop hand-eye coordination, endurance, footwork quickness, agility, exibility, balance, and speed. There is no experience necessary and boxers begin training at their own tness levels, but be prepared to challenge your body and mind!
- Warm-up: Stretching, cardio and bodyweight exercises to warm up, loosen, and stretch muscles.
- Bell to Bell: Wrap your hands put on your gloves! Box for eight 3-minute rounds with active rests between rounds. God through several stations, including the heavy bags, speed bag, double-end bag, and the ring.
- Core Workout / Cool Down:
Read Also: Does Black Seed Oil Help Parkinson’s Disease
Rock Steady Boxing At The Mar
The MAR-JCC, located in North Miami Beach, FL, currently offers the Quality of Life Senior Wellness Program for seniors through a supervised and monitored comprehensive fitness and exercise program. The TQOL offers seniors with Parkinsons with a daily program specifically tailored to them, developed in conjunction with the Parkinsons Foundation.
Rock Steady Boxing at the MAR-JCC launched in August 2016. The program exceeded anticipation, from an estimate of 40 to the now more than 150 boxers. For the past two years, all new participants have been neurologists referrals. Although these physicians have never seen our facility, they see the improvement in their patients boxers in our program.
Based on that improvement and patient testimonials, anyone newly diagnosed with Parkinsons is prescribed PD medication and referral to our program as a recommended part of their PD treatment. From the doctors office straight to Rock Steady Boxing at the MAR-JCC. This unprecedented success continues to reaffirm the profound need for this program as well as the need for its expansion.
This is where the magic started. Rosh began to work with Marc. Week after week, he would work with him. In time, Marc became comfortable with Rosh, who gained Marcs trust. Marc became more present and outgoing and embraced the challenges posed by Rosh. Rosh transitioned Marc from a wheelchair to a walker and in time from a walker to a cane.
Learn How Individuals Are Fighting Parkinson’s With Boxing
Research has shown that high intensity, strenuous, interval-type training proves physical, mental, and emotional health especially people with Parkinsons. Boxing may be a neuroprotective way of slowing down the progress of Parkinsons and mitigating the symptoms. In fact, academic institutions have documented better quality of life for people with Parkinsons who participate in Rock Steady Boxing programs.
Also Check: What Medications Cause Parkinson Like Symptoms
We Asked Our Experts About The Effects Rock Steady Boxing Has On Parkinsons
Despite limited clinical evidence, this program is tremendously popular and we get asked about it often. We aimed to find out more about Rock Steady Boxing by talking with two experts on this subject from the APDA community, Dr. Adena Leder and Dr. Terry Ellis. While the two have somewhat different outlooks, there is valuable insight to be gleaned from their unique perspectives.
Dr. Adena Leder is the Medical Director of the Adele Smithers Parkinsons Center, and Associate Professor, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is the Medical Director of the Nassau County APDA Information and Referral Center, based at NYIT. Dr. Leder is also a trained Rock Steady Boxing instructor.
Dr. Terry Ellis is an Associate Professor at Boston University, College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training. Dr. Ellis is also the Director of the Center for Neurorehabilitation at Boston University and the Director of the APDA National Rehabilitation Resource Center housed at Boston University.
We asked Dr. Leder and Dr. Ellis their thoughts on Rock Steady Boxing.
Rock Steady Boxing For Parkinsons
Approaches to treating Parkinsons Disease are rapidly changing. Theres more awareness and support for the disease than ever before. Recent celebrities like Alan Alda and Neil Diamond have publicly spoken about their own diagnoses, offering an honest and long needed dialogue about the disease and what its like to live with it.
There are many new options to improve the lives of PWP . Neurologists are much more sub-specialized and movement disorder specialists are much more available in many U.S. communities, says Steve Eisenstein, MD, a board-certified family physician in Northbrook, Illinois. Hes started working with PWP in his area, mixing training methods from traditional Shotokan karate and his new Rock Steady Boxing skills.
Programs like Rock Steady Boxing, a nonprofit organization geared towards wellness, gives people with Parkinsons disease hope by improving their quality of life through a non-contact boxing based fitness curriculum. Local family physician and Rock Steady Boxing coach Dr. Steve Eisenstein offers some great tips in his article, How to Get Your Primary Physician to be Primary Again.
Read Also: Can Depression Cause Parkinson’s Disease
Fighting Parkinsons With Boxing
On a Sunday in November 2015, Bruce Gropper and his wife were going about their morning just like any other, when they were stopped in their tracks by an interesting segment that was broadcast on CBSs Sunday Morning news program. Lesley Stahls piece on Parkinsons disease and Rock Steady Boxing, Fighting Back Against Parkinsonsin the Ring, made quite a lasting impression on the Groppers.
Since they were planning on signing the paperwork for their Right at Home office in Palm Beach later that day, Bruce and his wife felt as though they were meant to see the news story. Having been touched by Parkinsons in their own lifeBruces wifes grandfather had the diseasethey agreed to get involved with the Rock Steady program once their office was up and running.
And in the three years since, the Groppers have kept their promise.
For Some Parkinsons Patients Boxing Can Be Therapy
No-contact boxing is a great full-body workout for anyone, but some experts say people with neurological disorders just might benefit most.
Send any friend a story
As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.
Give this article
For Cheryl Karian, a 72-year-old retired physician assistant, boxing is medicine. Ms. Karian, whose Parkinsons disease was diagnosed in 2020, doesnt compete or spar, but every Tuesday and Thursday, she trains for an hour at Main Street Boxing and Muay Thai in downtown Houston.
Before her diagnosis, Ms. Karian ran, played tennis and worked a demanding job caring for patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center. This all changed in the years leading up to her diagnosis in 2020, as she started experiencing cognitive difficulties and frequent falls. I cant do what I used to do, Ms. Karian said one day after a boxing class.
Along with two other class participants, Ms. Karian was shadowboxing, or punching into thin air, under the direction of the professional boxer Austin Trout, known as No Doubt Trout. It was part of a program called Rock Steady Boxing, which specializes in no-contact boxing training for Parkinsons patients.
As Mr. Trout called out instructions One, two! One, two, slip! Ms. Karian threw different punches, dodging and rolling her head, all while maintaining a boxers wide-legged stance.
Recommended Reading: Can You Slow Down Parkinson’s
The Benefits Of Boxing With Parkinsons Disease
Its hard not to think about Parkinsons disease without thinking about famous boxer Muhammad Ali, who passed away in 2016. While many might think that boxing would have a negative impact on the progression of the disease, research suggests otherwise, especially since the Rock Steady training does not include contact with anything other than a heavy bag or focus mitts.
Parkinsons affects balance, memory and coordinationall things that boxing helps improve, Bruce explains. Boxing also helps with agility, strength and coordination. Its really amazing.
Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movements throughout the body. In addition to experiencing tremors, people with Parkinsons can experience a deterioration of speech, motor skills, sensory function and balance.
There are currently 540 Rock Steady Boxing programs throughout the country, which train an estimated 27,000 people living with the disease. Many of them report feeling better since participating in the program and have been able to improve their symptoms outside the gym.
In fact, Dr. Stephanie Combs-Miller and her team of researchers at the University of Indianapolis included Rock Steady Boxing participants in a study published in 2011. Dr. Combs-Miller found that after 12 weeks of training, there were measurable improvements in gait, balance and quality of life.
Joshua ‘accepts’ Fury Title Fight Offer
Although Joshua’s management team said they have accepted the 40% split for a proposed fight with Fury on Dec. 3, sources have told ESPN some obstacles remain in the way of a deal.
Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, is trying to secure a site fee that would satisfy Fury’s thirst for a sizable purse, sources have said. Venues in Saudi Arabia, which staged Oleksandr Usyk’s rematch with Joshua last month, have not shown interest thus far.
Both camps will need to agree upon a deal over how the fight will be broadcast. Fury is signed exclusively to BT Sport, while Joshua is signed with DAZN, meaning they would likely have to strike a deal for a joint pay-per-view.
Joshua had initially hoped to fight again closer to Christmas — Dec. 17 — but Fury said the deal hinged on fighting on Nov. 26 or Dec. 3.
The Principality Stadium, where Joshua successfully unified the world heavyweight titles with a points win over Joseph Parker in 2018, could potentially accommodate around 75,000 spectators for Fury vs. Joshua.
With Usyk announcing he will not fight again in 2022 due to injury, Fury switched targets for his next fight and offered Joshua the opportunity to challenge him via social media.
When Fury and Joshua verbally agreed to fight each other in 2020, before both pursued different opponents , it was claimed the all-English encounter was worth £200 million.
Also Check: Can Parkinson’s Disease Cause Low Blood Pressure
Parkinsons Patients Fight Back In Rock Steady Boxing Program
Three times a week, Susan Vittone, a 5-foot-4 former kindergarten teacher, makes the 45-mile trek from her home in Mexico, Mo., to Columbia for a workout class. Unlike most women her age, Susans workout includes lacing up a pair of gloves and whacking a heavy bag suspended from the ceiling in MU Health Cares Human Performance Institute .
I never thought I would ever be boxing, she said with a laugh. I am not sure if my mother would approve.
But Vittone knows her mother would be in her corner knowing the critical link between boxing and her good health.
Vittone was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease in December 2015. She described her initial reaction as devastation. A friend suggested that she watch a video about a specialized workout called Rock Steady Boxing. Her neurologist said she should give it a try.
The benefits have been invaluable for Vittone, who credits the program for keeping her symptoms at bay.
The class begins like any other workout for a mature group, with warmups that focus on balance and agility. Then, its time to box. The participants dont hit each other. They pound heavy bags and the smaller speed bags.
1, 2, 3 2, 3, 4.
The trainer yells numbers that correlate to punches a jab, hook or uppercut, thrown with the right or left hand. Then, with loud voices, the group repeats the numbers. Its an effort to keep the brain active while making large movements. The yelling is therapy, too.
The Bottom Line: Exercise And Pd
Rock Steady Boxing can be a great way for people with PD to get exercise and socialization, although it is certainly not the only way. Talk with your doctor about whether Rock Steady Boxing is a good addition to your activities and look for a class that will challenge you in a safe and monitored environment. And if boxing is not for you, dont worry! There are many types of exercise that benefit people with PD you can try different classes until you find what suits you best.
Also Check: Can Probiotics Help Parkinson’s Disease
Rsb Trainers Understand Pd
RSB instructors are trained exercise professionals with deep knowledge of Parkinsons disease. They work on specific skills to improve footwork, coordination, and strength. They understand the hesitation some participants feel.
They understand the limitations some people may have when they start, but as a coach they reinforce the positivity of commitment. Stretching, building strength, and agility all help with motor control and building new brain connections can help to slow the progression of PD.
An RSB program may already be in a location near you. .3
The RSB logo is the Statue of Liberty embellished with a boxing glove. RSBs founder Steve Newman has said, that the inscription on the Statue of Liberty combined with the hope she symbolizes echoed his dream that Rock Steady Boxing would be a beacon of light and hope for those suffering from Parkinsons disease.3
Boxing Is Helpful At Any Stage
The benefits of exercise can be helpful throughout your disease progression. And, whether you begin at the time of diagnosis or start after youve had PD for many years, most people will achieve results. Those include improving motor skills and creating new connection pathways in the brain, improving neuroplasticity.3
This boxing is not fighting its non-contact and thus different than what you see in the ring.4
The exercises combine physical activity and the learning of new skills, requiring the brain to adapt to new challenges and routines. Besides being fun and socially engaging, some of the reported benefits include increased independence and confidence as well as physical improvements.
Remember, it is always best to check with your neurologist before beginning any new program, especially one that involves intense exercise.
Also Check: Is Beer Good For Parkinson’s
Who Is Rock Steady Boxing Vc/la
Rock Steady Boxing Headquarterswas established in Indiana in 2006 as the only Parkinsons fitness program in the world solely dedicated to people with Parkinsons Disease. Now boasting over 950 affiliate gyms worldwide, Rock Steady Boxing is the undisputed champion in combatting Parkinsons symptoms.
Rock Steady Boxing VC/LA Ventura County/Los Angeles was established in 2014 and quickly became one of the most successful Rock Steady Boxing affiliates.
Rock Steady Boxing VC/LA is owned and operated by Lisa Oliver and Yvette Israel who have helped over 1,000 people living with Parkinsons Disease FIGHT BACK with their hands-on, results-driven approach to the renowned Rock Steady Boxing Method proven to stop Parkinsons in its tracks!
It may sound surprising, but Rock Steadys non-contact boxing inspired fitness program is scientifically proven to decrease and reverse current Parkinsons symptoms and is actually neuro-protective working to delay further progression of the disease. So, if youre Young Onset Parkinsons, newly diagnosed or have been living with PD for years, NOW is the best time to join Rock Steady Boxing!
Like a Boxer trains to defeat their opponent, well train you like a Boxer to KNOCK-OUT Parkinsons Diseaseand WIN!