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    • #16969
      Mary Beth Skylis
      Moderator

      My Dad joined Rock Steady Boxing as soon as a location popped up near our home. The act of boxing seems to build confidence. The PD community begins each session with conversation, helping him to make friends through a tough phase of his life. And the fitness helps him manage his symptoms.

      Has anyone else explored Rock Steady Boxing? Or boxing in general? Have you experienced positive or negative impacts from this type of exercise? What do you like or dislike about your fitness routine?

    • #17307
      Stanley Yip Moy
      Participant

      M B S
      Yes, Rock Steady Boxing in Albany has helped me maintain a routine of regular workouts, and it is a necessary part of my mental well-being.
      Besides providing a systematic left-right exercise, the social aspects are just as valuable; to be with others in the same, or better/worse condition, in support of each other is an uplifting experience.
      SYM

    • #17314
      Scott Milstein
      Participant

      I got involved in RSB a few weeks after diagnosis in September. It’s one of the main reasons I have been able to keep my mental state at somewhat of an easy keel. The socialization is as important as the workout.

    • #17318
      Beata
      Participant

      I have been attending a Rock Steady Boxing class since shortly after my diagnosis 3 years ago. It is very enjoyable and is one heck of a great workout. I always feel much better afterwards. It is inspiring to see how others handle their challlenges. I learn so much.

    • #17319
      Chris Manning
      Participant

      I am a great believer in boxing for people with PD – it’s excellent for big movements, cardio, footwork and balance beside the need to concentrate on each of the drills. The YMCA in Oakville, ON, started a Rock Steady Boxing program in October but I found there was not enough time spent on the actual boxing so now I am working with an instructor at a boxing gym to develop our own program. Our aim is not only to offer the program to people with PD but also to those with other kinds of neurological problems, stroke victims, etc.

    • #17332
      Henri Fenger
      Participant

      boxing is great…balance..meeting people..and best of all the metaphor of boxing is fighting…I find if I combine it with Yoga  a totally opposite tyoe of excercise..along with learning some difficult moevment things like learning to tango  which is good for your brain…well ..it works very well for me…so far i have been off meds except rasagaline for 5 years..  pot for sleep..excercise for body..learn something new for brain…so far so good..under no illusions..I have this in my family and I know how it goes..but keep up the boxing…fight

    • #17333
      Henri Fenger
      Participant

      boxing is great…balance..meeting people..and best of all the metaphor of boxing is fighting…I find if I combine it with Yoga  a totally opposite tyoe of excercise..along with learning some difficult moevment things like learning to tango  which is good for your brain…well ..it works very well for me…so far i have been off meds except rasagaline for 5 years..  pot for sleep..excercise for body..learn something new for brain…so far so good..under no illusions..I have this in my family and I know how it goes..but keep up the boxing…fight

    • #17338
      Christine
      Participant

      Hi!

      I’ve been going to Rock Steady Boxing for almost 3 years now, started about 1 and  1/2 years after diagnosis. I love it! It’s a great workout and, more importantly for me, it’s a great mood booster. I am so inspired by our group. There are many levels of PD in the group, and everybody just goes for it and does their best. I do other classes at our local Y, which I also like for getting a solid workout, but at RSB it’s nice to be around people who ‘get’ me. I don’t feel self conscious about my tremor or balance issues at boxing. I always leave class feeling much happier. Just talking about it makes me happy! LOL.

      While my Parkinson’s has definitely progressed, I do feel stronger physically and mentally, due in a large part to RSB, I believe.

      Happy New Year!

    • #17345
      Jo S.
      Participant

      I started Rock Steady Boxing two weeks ago and am thoroughly enjoying it so far, especially when we get a strenuous workout. I feel so good afterward, and it’s great to challenge myself in a group that understands what we’re going through and dealing with. My instructor has an ice-breaker session before we start in on the class. Although I’d prefer to just get going with the exercises and boxing, the ice breaker serves as a bit of a bonding/mini-support group. I think every instructor puts their own spin on their classes, particularly the openers.

    • #17351
      Phil Gattis
      Participant

      I’m not near a gym offering RSB.  Is there a way to participate remotely?  Emailed routines?  I registered with RSB, but all I get so far is requests for donations.

    • #17352
      Jo S.
      Participant

      Sorry there isn’t a gym nearby you that offers RSB, Phil. (And, yeah, their site is mainly about donations, so I unsubscribed.) It’s really something that must be done in person (punching bags and other boxing equipment are required) and can only be led by trained instructors. There are other PD exercise programs available though, such as PWR, that have online exercises that you could do at home. http://bit.ly/36hFCS5

      Also check out Parkinson’s On the Move, which is a wonderful website by Alexander Tressor, a former ballet master who now has PD. He offers lots of great videos for free as well as personalized long-distance training (for a small fee). He also has an incredible and infectious sense of humor and is a terrific speaker (I’ve heard him in person). Definitely peruse his site and videos and consider a personal consultation. https://pdonthemove.com/

    • #17355
      Chris Manning
      Participant

      The Brian Grant Foundation has some good videos on boxing exercises which you can do at home. You can find them at https://briangrant.org/exercise-videos/ He won’t keep bugging you for donations all the time either!

    • #17380

      After researching on-line for the best resources to help with Parkinson’s, we discovered Rock Steady Boxing.  Luckily, there was a location about half an hour away.  They hold classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for one hour.  A full class consists of 30 people.  the fitness trainer running this class went directly to the Head Office of Rock Steady Boxing for his training so follows their recommendations.  Classes consist of about half the time being spent on boxing and the other half are exercises for stretching, strength and balance – weight lifting is also included.  When he comes out of there, he feels he had had a real workout.  We are so delighted that we have access to such a program.  Can’t wait for his  six month re-assessment to see how much improved he is.  He went in there with good stability, balance etc. but we are looking for better speed, posture etc.  Will keep you posted as we go along.  He only joined the beginning of Dec. 2019.

    • #17384
      MaryAnn Cavanaugh
      Participant

      I started RSB a little over 2 years ago. It’s a wonderful way to connect with other people with Parkinson’s and a great workout. I think what people don’t realize is that it is not just boxing. It’s working on balance, strength, endurance, and over-all movement. I also use a Fitbit to get me moving each hour, but no matter how much I move at home I don’t get the workout that I get from RSB. And to top it off, it’s fun!

    • #17414
      Charles H Levin
      Participant

      I am doing something called Neuroboxing … kind of an evolutionary successor to RSB in that it can be tailored to other neurodegenerative diseases like stroke, MS or traumatic brain injury …

      I’ve been doing it about six weeks and have noticed less rigidity in my neck and some improvement in my balance. I also notice that typing with my left hand is less strained. Some of these improvements come and go, but I’ve only been at it for six weeks. We do some warmup stretches and calisthenics, then work on boxing and then a cool down with weights, crunches, push ups, more stretches …

      Right now, the class meets twice a week, but they plan on adding a third day and possibly an evening session ..

      I really enjoy it, which was a pleasant surprise. I love the work out, the camaraderie and the various strategy and physical craft involved in the sport …

       

       

    • #17419
      Jorge
      Participant

      Agree with many of the same points so well articulated above.  Been doing RSB for 2 years now .  Every program seems to have some subtle differences.  We do about 15 minute for stretching, yoga, and pwr4life (sp?) exercises.  We then split up for the next 30 mins doing treadmill/bikes and core exercises, balance exercises, battle ropes, medicine ball, footwork with the remainder of the time(1.5 hrs total) spent on boxing on the heavy bag, speed bag and in the ring with a trainer throwing punches on command to hand targets.

      Essential to the program is   INTENSITY (at whatever level that might be), learning to box, and exercising that voice box at every opportunity in the exercise counts etc.

      NOTE:  I just saw in the National Parkinsons Foundation website/email that they are soliciting applications for community grant money that they will distribute.  Among the things they will pay for is instructor training for PD related programs.   Online application deadline is 31 Jan.  If you are trying to start up or grow your RSB program here is an avenue to possibly obtain funding  to get a trainer/instructor certified.

      Movement is medicine– no doubt!

       

       

    • #17426
      Mary Beth Skylis
      Moderator

      I’m so happy to hear that so many people are reaping the benefits of RSB. And for those who don’t have a local gym, there definitely are online resources and different kinds of fitness classes that are designed specifically for Parkinsons. I think I’ve heard of a woman in NYC who has a series of online and in person dance classes. But it could be worth asking a local gym if they’d be open to building a PD program as well. Or maybe even your local yoga studio. If there’s enough interest, I think that gyms will adapt.

      The RSB that my Dad goes to is quite new, and interest has exploded since it opened. I think you’re exactly right — boxing shows PD (or whatever else you’re struggling with) that you WILL fight back. And on top of that, you have a community of people that really understands. My Dad doesn’t talk alot, but I think he likes to listen. And listening to people he can identify with helps (or at least this is my theory).

    • #17454
      Jill Barden
      Participant

      I am a PWR!Moves certified physical therapist specializing in Parkinson’s disease. I recently completed the PWR!Moves class instructor certification program. There were several Rock Steady Parkinson’s Boxing instructors also taking the PWR!Moves instructor certification training. They said they were there because they had witnessed how much better people who were doing the PWR!Moves program performed in boxing class and they realized boxing wasn’t providing everything their participants needed!

      PD is the only progressive neurological brain disease in which the rate of progression can be affected by doing the right kinds of targeted functional exercise. The research and evidenced-based PWR!Moves program was developed specifically to target both the motor and non-motor symptoms of PD. PWR stands for Parkinson Wellness Recovery. It targets all of the functional movements we all need to do every day. Since we function in many different positions, we need to move and exercise in all of them as well. Just exercising in standing or sitting doesn’t help people with PD function better lying on their back, stomach or on all 4’s.

      The PWR!Moves is a home-based daily program that is performed without any equipment and can be done anywhere there is room for an exercise mat on the floor. It can be adapted for anyone and at any stage of PD. PWR!Moves can be a standalone program or it can be integrated into any other form of exercise. It can be done while traveling, at work or on those cold snowy days when the roads are closed and you can’t get to the gym or exercise classes are canceled!

      Research shows that it’s not just what we do, it’s how we do it that gives the best results. Parkinson’s disease causes stiffness (rigidity) in the body and tells people to move slower and smaller (bradykinesia). The key to the PWR!Moves is that it is an amplitude-based (moving BIG with high EFFORT) functional program that helps people to break through the stiffness and slow movement to move bigger and stronger!

      The PWR!Moves also improves posture, balance, strength, agility and non-motor symptoms like sleep, fatigue, constipation and mood. It enhances and improves all aspects of everyday function including work, sports and hobbies. PWR!Moves reduce freezing and fall risk. Research shows the sooner after diagnosis people begin doing the PWR!Moves, the better they will do throughout life!

      It’s so important to begin moving in the right ways as soon as possible to target the specific changes that come with a PD diagnosis. Please keep doing whatever exercise you love to do, BUT  please do PD-specific functional targeted amplitude training like PWR!Moves every day! Targeted amplitude-based exercise IS medicine for PD!

      For more information on the research, the PWR!Moves, Dr. Becky Farley’s PWR!Gym or to find a certified PWR!Moves Therapist or Instructor in your area visit: pwr4life.org

      Keep Calm and PWR! on!

    • #19424
      Luke Barrett
      Participant

      I run the Rock Steady Boxing program in Manhattan and our boxers were seeing great results and loving it prior to covid.  The boxing drills improve weight shifts, balance, mobility, agility, coordination, speed, and tons of endurance.  We also do many other exercises in our class too.

      However, once Covid hit, we had to move our classes to virtually online, and I also created some youtube videos for them to also do at home.  Many of our members have enjoyed the flexibility of the online classes, but others have not made the move to going virtual.  These are the members that I am worried about, especially as some of them have already reached out to me informing me that they have regressed with lack of exercise.  Do you have any advice for how I can help the people that have not gravitated towards the virtual tech options while gyms remain closed?

    • #19429
      Scott Milstein
      Participant

      I am a patient. Our group went to virtual and it’s been a help. I think you have to be motivated. It’s not as good as in person. I’d have participants reach out.

    • #19434
      STEVEN OPPEN
      Participant

      I’ve been involved with two different boxing programs here in Sarasota, one an “independent” program (not having affiliation with RSB) and one led by a certified RSB instructor. Both programs are excellent. The key to success is really in the hands of the patient/caregiver (there are some participants who require assistance to stand, but damned if they didn’t throw their hardest punches at the bag) As long as the facility is safe. both with respect to its general setup and equipment AND they have made special arrangements during the covid crisis to provide proper distancing, special cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces, then I would heartily endorse boxing as an exercise mainstay. I am exhausted at the end of each 1.5 hr. session, but it’s a good exhaustion because I know that I have given my all. I have one shoulder that is not in good shape, so I omit all of the routines that include that shoulder and double up on the good shoulder. This has the instructor’s blessing – it shows you that you can adapt to existing limitations without losing the rush that you get from working out intensively.

      Steve Oppen

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