Rock Steady Boxing is a fitness curriculum that uses non-contact boxing to help improve quality of life for patients with Parkinson’s Disease. In addition to its overall exercise benefit, the program’s mission is to “empower people with PD to fight back.”
Unlike traditional boxing, there is no contact, sparring, or hitting. The patient performs boxing moves aimed at boxing equipment, instead of a human opponent. Mirroring standard boxing methods, there are intensive periods of work, followed by rest.
Studies have supported the practice of rigorous exercise – emphasizing gross motor tasks, core strength, balance, and rhythm – to favorably affect PD patients’ flexibility, posture, gait, and range of motion. The exercises are adapted from boxing practices that condition for muscular endurance, accuracy, speed, footwork, eye-hand coordination, and overall agility.
The Rock Steady Boxing protocol challenges the brain by encouraging the patient to think about the movements the instructor is specifically giving. This differs from the repetitive nature of exercises such as running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle. Additionally, there is a concept that using intense exercise to push the perceived capabilities of a patient may possibly help slow the progression of their PD.
Patients should discuss this exercise curriculum with their physician before beginning it. The Rock Steady Boxing program is available with certified instructors at the JFK for Life Health and Fitness Center. To speak with an instructor and schedule a complimentary tour of the facility, please call 732-632-1610.