April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and it offers an opportunity to talk about an incredibly positive program located in our Schererville Club.
Rock Steady Boxing (RSB), a non-contact boxing class for people with Parkinson’s Disease, is available at the Franciscan Health Fitness Centers Schererville. Founded in 2006 in Indianapolis by former Marion County Prosecutor Scott Newman, who was himself diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s Disease at age 40, the program enables people with Parkinson’s disease to fight back and favorably impact their range of motion, gait, flexibility, posture, activities of daily living and overall quality of life.
After a two-day instructor certification in Indianapolis, RSB classes started in the fall of 2018. In addition to having a room totally dedicated to the boxers, they also use the fitness center’s equipment, turf area, and Occupational therapy department as well. Ninety minute classes are held 3 days a week and include: warm-up stretches, LSVT (Parkinson’s specific exercises), non-contact boxing on heavy bags, speed bags, double bags, and focus mitts, upper and lower extremity strengthening exercises, core work and a cool down. In addition to these class basics, Mondays have a focus on fine motor drills (cross word puzzle, buttons/zippers/snaps, handwriting, word search, cognitive challenges, etc). Tuesdays focus on strengthening exercises, and Thursdays include “turf day” which incorporate working with heavy ropes, pushing a sled, kettlebells, dribbling a ball, etc. Each exercise can be modified so that people of all levels can safely participate.
In addition to providing intense exercise, these classes offer emotional and social support which is vital to the well-being of people with Parkinson’s. “The boxers enjoy the camaraderie and sense of family they get when in the group exercise setting,” says Coach Deb Scanlon, MS, ATC-L, PTA, LSVT certified, “and it is motivating to be a part of a group.”
Rock Steady Boxing offers one free week for those interested in starting this exciting program and once enrolled, you will have full club access to Franciscan Health Fitness Centers for the duration of your program. A Parkinson’s diagnosis from your doctor is required to participate. For more information, visit http://franciscanhealth.rsbaffiliate.com/ Any questions can be addressed via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (219)306-8615.