The Rock Steady Boxing Solution
Various studies in the 1980s and 1990s 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. Our clients attest, and academic institutions, such as University of Indianapolis and Butler University, are reporting and documenting the improved quality of life among our boxers. Discovery of a cure may be many years away but in the last seven years, there is evidence that progress is made in all stages of the disease by those participating in the RSB 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
participant required no assistance
Senior Star: In Your Corner For The Fight Against Parkinsons
Some Senior Star communities offer a program called Rock Steady Boxing. This non-contact physical therapy class is specifically designed to help people living with Parkinsons disease. Jessie Ritter, the program director at Senior Star Dublin, teaches seniors with the disease a new way to fight back. Since the program began, Jessie has witnessed the neuroprotective benefits of boxing therapy first hand. She has seen people in their 90s feel stronger and more empowered as a direct result of their participation in the Rock Steady Boxing class.
At Senior Star, Rock Steady Boxing is just one of the many ways were determined to offer seniors a variety of innovative opportunities to support holistic health and overall well-being. We call them our Signature Programs, and were positive youll find something that inspires you. Contact us today for more information or learn more about the vibrant lifestyle options we offer.
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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.
Researchers Study Potential Benefits Of Boxing For Parkinsons Patients
CHICAGO For years, researchers have documented the therapeutic benefits of exercise for patients with neurological and movement disorders. Now, a pilot study shows that boxing may ease the symptoms of Parkinsons.
About six years ago, retired firefighter Catherine Renar was having difficulty walking and developed pain in her feet.
I was trying going from doctor to doctor, trying to figure out what was going on and nobody could quite figure it out, she said.
It was Parkinsons disease. The diagnosis for Renar, a former athlete, was something that redefined who she was as a person.
I have come to terms with I am not as physically strong as I once was.
She took up boxing as part of a Parkinsons Foundation-funded pilot study on its impact on patients.
The program was modified specifically for people with stage two Parkinsonswhen patients have symptoms like tremors, rigidity and difficulty walking.
No one’s going to hit you in the head, and we don’t expect you to hit anybody else in the head. So, that is really the difference here. And although it’s a basic difference, it’s an important difference, said Dr. Deborah Hall, director of the Parkinson’s Disease Center of Excellence.
The boxers were then followed for three months.
They also found decreases in anxiety, sleep problems and pain.
Every time I left there I was in a better mood, said Renar.
She says she felt a difference after each session not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.
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How Exercise May Slow Down Parkinsons Disease Progression
Exercise is thought to help slow down or possibly even reverse the progression of Parkinsons disease by causing neurological changes in your brain.
have found that exercise may have neuroprotective effects on the brain by increasing your bodys production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and growth factors that promote the growth of brain cells.
Other have found that exercise might limit the depletion of dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra. Exercise might also enhance your bodys ability to adapt to altered levels of dopamine and another neurotransmitter called glutamate.
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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Rock Steady Boxing In The Medical Literature
Although there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that promotes Rock Steady Boxing, there have only been two small trials that sought to examine the clinical benefits of Rock Steady Boxing. In one study, 31 people with PD were assigned to either a boxing exercise training or traditional exercise for 24-36 sessions, each lasting 90 minutes over 12 weeks. Participants were tested before and after completion of training on measures of balance, balance confidence, mobility, gait velocity, gait endurance, and quality of life. Although the researchers state that their original hypothesis was that boxing would lead to greater improvements than traditional exercise, the study did not bear that out. Both groups demonstrated gains on multiple measures. No outcome measure demonstrated a significant difference between groups except for balance confidence which favored the traditional exercise group. Despite the fact that boxing was not shown to be better than traditional exercise, it did improve important measures of fitness.
In a second trial, six people with PD attended 24-36 boxing training sessions, each lasting 90 minutes over 12 weeks. Outcome measures of balance, mobility and quality of life were assessed at 12, 24, and 36 weeks. Each of the participants showed improvement on at least five of the 12 outcome measures at 12 weeks, which was sustained at 24 and 36 weeks.
What Our Community Is Saying
“The workouts are interesting, challenging, high tempo and most of all FUN!”
“I can say without a doubt that joining this program has changed my life.”
“We felt welcomed from our first class. B4H provides a supportive atmosphere and positive environment.”
“Ive benefited from increased energy and a renewed sense of hope”.
“We also look forward to connecting with our fellow boxers on a social level.”
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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.
Parkinsons Boxing Study 2021
An information session for a non-contact boxing exercise trial for Parkinsons disease was held recently for a group of patients and carers at the Niche in Nedlands.
The boxing trial is expected to begin in the first half of 2021.
Clinical Professor David Blacker, Perron Institute Medical Director, led the session, providing information on the study, latest research in the area and helpful advice.
Professor Blacker has a highly personalised point of view as a specialist neurologist and also having been diagnosed with Parkinsons.
He and the study team are passionate about finding further treatment options for Parkinsons, a disease which currently has no cure.
Professor Blacker is a strong advocate for exercise, highlighting how it has significantly helped to reduce his symptoms. However, he is concerned about the risk of injury if people with Parkinsons do exercises such as boxing incorrectly.
In the literature, there is a big gap in our knowledge as we just dont have the data at the moment, Professor Blacker said.
I think were in an exciting phase and have the opportunity to provide the evidence base required to show the benefit of boxing as an exercise therapy for people with Parkinsons.
Other members of the study team spoke enthusiastically to the captivated audience. Former Golden Gloves boxing champion and fitness instructor Rai Fazio provided expertise on why boxing movements are perfect for Parkinsons patients.
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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.
Where Can You Find A Parkinsons Boxing Class Near You
You can search the Rock Steady Boxing directory to see if any gyms in your area offer classes. Some gyms not affiliated with Rock Steady Boxing offer Parkinsons boxing so its also worth contacting local gyms and recreation centers.
The Parkinson Foundation is currently offering online boxing and fitness classes.
Boxing gloves may be provided to you by the gym, or you may need to bring your own. Its important to stay hydrated during your workout, so make sure you bring plenty of water.
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Boxing Therapy Improves Mobility
Another thing youll notice about the most effective boxers is that they rarely stand still. The reason for this is simple moving targets are harder to hit. Of course, boxing therapy for Parkinsons isnt about dodging incoming jabs, its about practicing mobility by stepping in multiple directions, changing speeds and staying light on your toes.
How does it work? Parkinsons attacks both our mobility and agility two traits boxers work to improve through their training routines. Boxing therapy for Parkinsons is specifically designed to help strengthen these abilities.
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.
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For Some Parkinsons Patients Boxing Can Be A Great Therapy
No-contact boxing is a great full-body workout for just about anyone, but experts have found that boxing can actually benefit many people with neurological disorders, specifically, Parkinsons disease.
Parkinsons disease is a progressive neurological disease in the brain that triggers unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, dizziness, stiffness, difficulties with speaking, fatigue, loss of coordination, and falling.
While there is no cure or way to stop symptoms from occurring, researchers believe that high-intensity exercise can slow the progression of Parkinsons by promoting neurological changes in the brain, as well as improve patients confidence. Boxing for Parkinsons helps people improve their coordination, agility, and balance. It is a physical way to fight back against Parkinsons.
Once it was recognized that there could be a benefit for people with Parkinsons to practice boxing, the Boxing for Parkinsons program through Rock Steady Boxing Orange County was created. The program implemented high-intensity exercise with strength and cardiovascular conditioning so that participants dont take punches, they only throw them while focusing on agility and balance while avoiding overexertion.
Boxing also seems to help with other neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and people who have experienced a stroke.
Suzanne Taitingfong And Roland Campbell
Suzanne Taitingfong, age 60, was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease back in 2010, and at the time boxing wasnt even on her radar of potential workouts or hobbies.
However, when the mother of three heard that fellow Parkinsons patients were having successful reactions to boxing, she was open-minded.
I said, Well Im willing to give it a try, Taitingfong reasoned.
Not only did she try, but Taitingfong became a pioneer in the world of boxing for Parkinsons patients. Her phone call to former professional boxer Brett Summers resulted in an entire new program at Summers Arlington, WA gym.
Summers was passionate about the program from the start, since his uncle Roland Campbell is also living with Parkinsons disease. Campbell attends his nephews classes along with Taitingfong and whats become a large group of other loyal participants.
Taitingfong, Campbell and their boxing classmates have experienced a slew of positive results. Perhaps most noteworthy is Campbells restored ability to walk backwards, something his doctors all said hed never do again.
This is just one of the many reasons Taitingfong firmly believes Boxing and Parkinsons is a match made in heaven.
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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.
Boxing Therapy Helps With Activities Of Daily Living
The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society sought to determine the impact of boxing therapy on Parkinsons disease, including improvements to participants ability to perform ADLs. What they found was encouraging. On average, modest improvements in both ADL performance and motor skills were documented among the participants.
How does it work? Recent studies performed at The Cleveland Clinic show that certain types of exercise have neuro-protective benefits, including the ability to slow the progression of diseases like Parkinsons. This may explain why boxing therapy for Parkinsons is helping people maintain or improve their quality of life.
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More Research Is Needed To Fully Understand The Benefits Of Boxing For Pd
Even though early research is promising, its important to note that more substantial evidence is needed to fully understand the benefits of boxing for PD. Theres little known about the optimal number of consecutive weeks, times per week, or minutes per week needed to see the most benefits.
A 2019 review of studies concluded that the current use of boxing for treating PD has accelerated beyond current research evidence.
Along with potential physiological benefits, joining a Parkinsons boxing program with other people who are dealing with PD can potentially have psychological benefits.
Before starting a boxing program, you should speak with your doctor. Rock Steady Boxing recommends every person has their doctor sign a release form before participating.
Its been suggested that boxing training could be beneficial in the early to middle stages of the disease and less appropriate at the end stage.
If you have a heart condition or another condition that may prevent you from undergoing high intensity exercise, boxing may not be right for you.