A Bit About Me & Neurofit Boxing
Formerly known as “Rock Steady Boxing SC”
I am a certified Rock Steady Boxing coach and a professional personal trainer.
As a certified Rock Steady Boxing coach, I have worked with the Rock Steady Boxing SC program, and athletes with all stages of Parkinson’s Disease, for the past 4 years at American Gym in Costa Mesa. My additional professional training includes: muay thai, boxing, kickboxing, and general strength and conditioning.
With my Rock Steady Boxing and personal training experience, as well as my own boxing and muay thai background, I have transitioned “Rock Steady Boxing SC” to “NeuroFit Boxing” and incorporate training methods that focus not just on the body, but on the brain.
I pride myself on being positive, supportive, and all about helping you hit your fitness goals! I would love to chat with you about how NeuroFit Boxing can benefit you, no matter where you are today.
Boxing Therapy Improves Balance
A study published by the American Physical Therapy Association found that Parkinsons patients who took part in two-to-three 90-minute boxing therapy sessions over a nine-month period showed clear improvements in both balance and gait.
How does it work? If you ask the best boxers in the world, theyll tell you that the key to their success has nothing to do with how hard they can hit or even how quickly they can move. Instead, what youre likely to hear is that success in boxing is closely tied to the ability to control your center of gravity a core component of any good boxing therapy program.
Bt Exercises And Performance Measurements
On initial evaluation, each participant was screened for details regarding their PD diagnosis, including symptoms, self-reported frequency of falls, other medical conditions and comorbidities, and medications. Each participant was then matched with a trainer, who provided one-on-one assessment and coaching throughout the duration of the program.
Twice per week, each participant worked with their trainer on specific boxing-related exercises aimed at improving overall coordination, gait, and balance. The program consists of hundreds of exercises/skill sets, broken down into three main phases. Phase one began with mastering a set position, which established basic balance and holding a specific posture, with feet a little farther apart than shoulder width. In phase two, boxing footwork was practiced, wherein forward, side, and backward steps were made with increasing speed, based out of the set position and according to specific landmarks on the floor. The third phase involved mastering a series of punches, both in the air and at a bag, timed to maximize force based on proper balance, posture, and steps. Each phase had to be mastered before starting the next phase. Progress through each of the three phases was tailored to the physical condition of that participant, based on the judgment of their trainer.
participant was unable to perform the activity at all, even with help
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Hit Parkinsons Where It Hurts: 3 Benefits Of Boxing Therapy
Exercise of any kind is helpful to people with Parkinsons disease because it can help improve everything from balance and mobility to an individuals ability to perform the basic activities of daily living . In fact, according to the Parkinsons Foundation, research shows that getting at least two and a half hours of exercise per week is enough to slow the decline in a persons quality of life. Lets take a closer look at three of the biggest benefits of boxing therapy for Parkinsons.
Boxing For People With Parkinsons Disease In Calgary
Grizzly Strides was launched in 2016, it is a Parkinsons-specific adaptive fitness program combined with elements of cognitive training. It consists of group classes which are non-contact boxing based. Our program is recognized by Parkinsons Canada as well as Parkinson Association of Alberta. We offer innovative training practices in a supportive, safe and motivating environment. Advances in neurological research have shown that the human brains potential for neuroplasticity has been greatly underestimated leaving a whole new exciting path of discovery lying ahead!
While not a cure for Parkinsons or other brain conditions, moderate to intense exercise has been shown to help significantly with tremors and many other symptoms. The elements of a boxers training are highly related to these areas giving individuals a chance to be active participants in their own treatment plan while increasing overall fitness in an exciting and positive social setting. In 2021 we added a new member to the Grizzly Team, Marcela Jaimes . Her educational focus within her masters degree was neurorehabilitation and she has a particular interest in the area of research, which we hope to embark upon in 2023.
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What Is Rock Steady Boxing
Rock Steady Boxing is a boxing program designed for people with PD, based on exercises that are adapted from the world of boxing that emphasize agility, speed, endurance, accuracy, hand-eye coordination, footwork and strength. The exercises are meant to be vigorous and to push the participants beyond what they perceive they are capable of performing. Various levels of training have been developed to meet the needs of people with PD at different stages of the disease. Started at a gym in Indiana in 2006, Rock Steady Boxing developed a system to train fitness instructors across the country and now operates out of more than 870 affiliate locations worldwide. Those interested undergo a two-part Affiliate Training Camp an online course, followed by an interactive in-person or virtual-based hands-on training. Trained personnel can then set up an affiliate Rock Steady Boxing program.
High Intensity Exercise May Be Particularly Helpful
Its thought that high intensity exercise might be particularly beneficial for slowing the progression of PD.
In a 2014 study , researchers examined the benefits of high intensity physical therapy with gait training, strengthening, and perceiving cues on a group of 30 participants in the early stages of PD. They found that the exercise program stimulated increased levels of BDNF and had neuroprotective effects on cells that produce dopamine.
In a 2018 clinical trial , researchers found that a high intensity treadmill program where participants ran at 80 to 85 percent of their maximum heart rate three times per week saw no change in the severity of their symptoms over 6 months. Participants who exercised at a lower intensity had a worsening of symptoms.
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Quest Website Evidence Appraisal
The initial yield from the online search of boxing for PD and PD organizations was 448 websites. Of these, 418 were excluded because they were either business advertisements or promotions, personal testimonials, event lists, blogs, newsletters, unreferenced summaries, media releases or presented in non-English languages. After duplicates were deleted, there were 29 websites, which were evaluated for eligibility at a consensus meeting. On closer examination, 20 were excluded because they were news media, blogs, event lists or referred to general exercises and not boxing. Nine websites were included in the final analysis .
Table 5. QUEST appraisal of included websites.
Does Boxing Increase Dopamine
Boxing can lead to an increase in feel-good brain chemicals, like dopamine. Aerobic exercise is a great way to boost your mood and may also result in increased levels of dopamine.
Boxers release more endorphins and dopamine during their fight, which leads to a better mood. Increased levels of these feel-good brain chemicals will lead to a better mood overall.
If youre interested in boxing as an intense aerobic activity, be sure to check with your doctor first.
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What Is Boxing Exercise Treatment
Boxing exercise as a physical therapy treatment for Parkinsons disease involves the use of modified, non-contact boxing techniques. Boxing treatment for Parkinsons disease was first pioneered in 2006 at Rock Steady Boxing.
At Mangiarelli Rehabilitation, boxing exercise treatment involves our physical therapist, Bobby, holding focus mitts as targets and calling out instructions for punching patterns, such as one, two-three-two, four! In that way, the patient knows which boxing pattern to follow to hit the focus mitts, as demonstrated in the video below. Bobby has the patient alternate throwing punches with his left and right hands as well as alternating between low and high punches. Bobby and the patient also move around the clinic to improve gait, step width, and stride length. Physical therapist, Mike, supports the patient with a gait support belt and accompanies the patient as he moves around the clinic for safety of movement.
Studies have shown that exercise can contribute to increasing dopamine, a chemical Parkinsons patients lose due to the diseases destruction of dopamine-producing cells. Patients who exercise have been shown to perform better on functional tests that assess motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms . One analysis showed that patients who completed multiple-week exercise programs increased their serum levels of BDNF BDNF is brain-derived neurotrophic-factor which helps the neurons that make dopamine survive.
Cohort Description And Type Of Study
This cohort consisted of 98 PD patients who voluntarily enrolled in a private BT clinic. All participants enrolled in that BT clinic were included in the study, which meets the definition of a longitudinal cohort study by STROBE guidelines , to which this study adhered. All methods were carried out in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations via a Northwestern University IRB-approved protocol.
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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.
What Is Parkinsons Disease
Working in the physical therapy field ive seen how the advances in the industry have started to improve the quality of life for people with neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinsons disease. Parkinsons is essentially a movement disorder and until recently the medical community did not understand that people living with this disease could benefit from intense training the same way an athlete can.
The invention of an exercise program called Rock Steady Boxing that combines muscular endurance, hand eye coordination, and agility training, has proven that people suffering from Parkinsons can regain strength and mobility if they just push through and keep going.
Why Is Rock Steady Boxing Good For Parkinsons
Rock Steady Boxing is a great form of exercise for people with Parkinsons because it is positive and consistent, which helps improve strength, agility, and motor control.
RSB also reduces stress levels and provides regular sessions that can be adjusted to fit your needs. The training is available in different locations around the world so you can find a class that works best for you.
Finally, RSB has been shown to help patients maintain their physical abilities over time
Congressman Higgins Announces The Boxing Therapy For Parkinsons Access Act Of 2022
Congressman Brian Higgins joined local veterans to announce the Boxing Therapy for Parkinsons Access Act of 2022 . The bipartisan bill, introduced by Rep. Higgins and Congressman Darin LaHood , directs the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide coverage for boxing-based therapy classes to veterans diagnosed with Parkinsons disease and other movement disorders.
Many veterans in Western New York and across the country struggle to manage Parkinsons diseases and similar movement disorders, while maintaining an independent and mobile lifestyle, said Congressman Higgins. Boxing can provide veterans and other patients with an innovative form of physical therapy that can slow the progress of the disease and improve their quality of life. Currently, it is not covered under VA benefits. The Boxing Therapy for Parkinsons Access Act will ensure that all veterans have access to this therapy to help them reclaim their lives from Parkinsons disease.
It didnt take long for Congressman Higgins to go to work on the PD issue, said former Congressman Jack Quinn. My brother Jeff and I showed him a 15-minute video, at lunch, in the Capitol. Just a few months later, here he is with bi-partisan legislation to help provide hope for thousands of our Veterans. Special thanks to Congressman Darin LaHood, son of Secretary Ray LaHood, for recognizing the non-partisan nature of this important legislation.
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Boxing And Parkinsons Disease
We know without a doubt that exercise is important for people with Parkinsons disease . Various types of exercise and movement can help people improve their balance, strength, mobility, flexibility, endurance and walking ability. Studies also reveal that exercise can help improve cognition, depression, fatigue, and sleep. We have discussed exercise in previous blogs and go into great detail in our Be Active & Beyond exercise guide. Weve also shared tips for exercising safely while at home during the pandemic. We often get questions about boxing as exercise for people with PD especially about Rock Steady Boxing, a specific type of boxing class for people with PD that is offered around the country. For todays blog well share a bit more info about Rock Steady Boxing and get input from two experts on the topic so you can decide if this type of class is right for you. Note: Not every boxing-style class designed for people with PD is a Rock Steady Boxing class. There are some independently-run classes that are not affiliated with Rock Steady. For the purpose of this blog, we are specifically discussing the Rock Steady Boxing program.
Parkinsons Patients Fight Disease Through Boxing Course Led By Utsw Alumnus
Judy Danielson, 61, is a Parkinsons disease patient and shes a boxer.
When she was diagnosed three years ago, she couldnt imagine that these two descriptors could fit together.
The first thing I thought of was: This is not the plan I had for my life. This is not what my retirement was going to be. Im not in a relationship, Im single whats going to happen to me? Whos going to take care of me? Ms. Danielson said.
As Parkinsons progresses, it burdens patients with tremors and makes it difficult for them to walk or control their balance and movements, among other symptoms.
Ms. Danielson, a patient at UT Southwestern, had experienced a series of falls, so when her physical therapist recommended she participate in a research program studying the effects boxing has on the symptoms of Parkinsons patients, she feared falling again.
But Ms. Danielson decided to give the class a try anyway.
On the first day she experienced a discouraging moment when she was unable to do an exercise that required patients to walk around a row of traffic cones.
I squashed the cones, Ms. Danielson said.
That experience made her cry. And it wouldnt be the last time navigating those cones would make her cry.
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May Be Especially Beneficial For People With Neurological Disorders Such As Parkinsons Disease
Boxing can improve balance and coordination, which may be beneficial for people with neurological disorders such as Parkinsons Disease. It also helps to increase strength and endurance, both of which are important factors in rehabilitation for these diseases.
The repetitive motion associated with boxing can help to preserve brain function and reduce the risk of physical injury due to falls or accidents. Finally, boxing has been shown to improve moods in those who suffer from depression or anxiety disorder, making it a valuable adjunct treatment option for those suffering from these conditions.
Overall, boxing is an excellent way to address many of the challenges faced by people with neurologic disorders such as Parkinsons Disease
Exercise Programs Incorporating Boxing Skills May Help Manage Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease Heres How They Work
When Preston Moon was diagnosed with at age 53 in 2008, he never dreamed hed be bobbing and weaving in a boxing gym or pounding punching bags one year later. After learning that the condition would progressively impair his motor function due to a loss of brain cells that produce the chemical messenger dopamine, he thought he had little to look forward to but a steady decline. Then, in 2009, his next-door neighbor in Indianapolis mentioned Rock Steady Boxing, a local nonprofit program shed attended that used boxing to manage the symptoms of Parkinsons disease.
Moon was skeptical. Im a retired Army sergeant first class, and physical training was something I did but didnt necessarily enjoy, he says. The last thing I wanted to do was work out again. But with little to lose, he decided to check out the program. What he saw at the gym was surprising: People were punching small speed bags and large heavy bags, doing footwork and balance exercises, and performing calisthenics. It was people of all ages, male and female, and they wereexcuse my Frenchgoing balls to the wall, Moon says. I thought, These guys have Parkinsons? It changed my attitude immediately.
COURTESY: ROCK STEADY BOXING, INC./MARC MORRISON PHOTOGRAPHY
COURTESY: ROCK STEADY BOXING, INC./MARC MORRISON PHOTOGRAPHY
Specific Moves for Specific Symptoms
COURTESY: ROCK STEADY BOXING, INC./MARC MORRISON PHOTOGRAPHY
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Can Boxing Cause Or Worsen Parkinsons
It is unclear whether contact boxing can directly cause or worsen Parkinsons disease.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons , amateur and professional contact boxing can lead to permanent brain damage or chronic traumatic brain injury. Research suggests that most professional boxers have some level of brain damage.
A 2019 study measured the brain function and motor control of 20 amateur boxers before and after sparring matches.
One hour after sparring, the boxers showed temporary changes in the brain that were similar to those seen after brain injury. This suggests frequent head impacts in contact boxing may result in long-term damage.
Noncontact boxing involves no physical contact to the head, so it poses none of the same risks as contact boxing.