Boxing Against Parkinson’s Disease


By: Ashlee Root

Chelsea Wellness Center is offering a unique ninety minute course, Rock Steady Boxing, designed to minimize the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative movement disorder which can cause deterioration of motor skills, balance, speech and sensory function. Rock Steady Boxing reports that 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. Exercises in this boxing class are tailored to the physical abilities of each participant so it does not matter how long they have had Parkinson’s.

A referral from a participant's physician (preferably a neurologist) is required. Participants will complete an assessment prior to the program to gain subjective and objective information about the new boxer. Assessments track the changes to the participant’s score over a 6-12 month interval. Boxing gloves, a set of gel wraps for their hands and any other equipment needed is provided.

Classes are held Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:30pm- 3:00pm. The participant may bring a partner who does not have Parkinson’s known as “Cornermen” for no additional charge. Cornermen are important because they act as the participants main support during classes, especially with participants with lower physical capabilities. Coaches also use these “Cornermen” to assist with different drills and exercises.

Classes are taught by coaches who have undergone extensive training. These coaches have not only taken online courses that teach them about Parkinson, but study in depth the symptoms, progression and programing specific exercises to help. A coach of the class, Kaitlyn Schneider shares her thoughts on the class thus far: “I have really enjoyed getting to know our participants, learning their backgrounds, understanding the obstacles and hearing their goals. Each class, I am challenging them to be loud, give it their best and to get up and move.”

Rock Steady Boxing Class Fee Information:

Scholarship opportunities are available for this course.

Assessment Fee: $150 - A one-time initial assessment fee.

Assessment Includes: A 60 minute assessment with a Rock Steady Boxing Coach, pair of boxing gloves and hand wraps for participants to keep. Two classes are included.

30 Day Monthly Pass: $129

Participants participate in 12-13 Classes.

Wellness Center Monthly Membership: $35

Active RSB participant have full access to the Wellness Centers

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