How I Benefit from Rock Steady Boxing Workouts
Last updated: September 2022
Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) is a boxing exercise program dedicated to helping people with Parkinson's reduce the symptoms associated with this insidious disease. It incorporates activity that increases speed, endurance, accuracy, hand-eye coordination, footwork, agility, and strength.
After being evaluated by my cardiologist, I have added Rock Steady Boxing into my exercise routine. It complements my repertoire of exercises to help me with Parkinson's disease (PD) symptoms. On the recommendation of my movement disorder neurologist and physical therapist, I purchased the basic equipment on Amazon so that I could participate. The equipment included a self-standing boxing bag and boxing gloves.
Every day when I wake up, I make a decision. I can either become a couch potato and veg out or I can stand up tall and fight back. If I become a couch potato, I know what’s going to happen. But, if I stand up and fight, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Parkinson’s disease is unyielding, and works every day, 24/7. It doesn’t take a day off, so how can I?
The physical benefits
By doing RSB, 3 times a week for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, I have found that it has helped me in many ways, both physically and cognitively. One of the benefits of RSB is that it is a good aerobic exercise and provides a good cardiac workout. It increases my respiration rate and causes me to move my entire body. Every muscle in my legs, calves, and hamstrings are activated. My arms, shoulders, back, and chest muscles are being engaged.
I also participated in RSB for core-strengthening exercises to improve my balance, power, and stability with a solid fighting stance. I also wanted to improve my endurance, stamina, and agility. Consequently, this activity improves my ability to stand for long periods, while concomitantly reducing associated weakness and tremors.
I am improving my footwork, muscle strength, coordination, posture, mobility, and cognition, by remembering and executing these exercise routines. Loudly calling out the numeral punching sequences or what type of jabs I am throwing is helpful for my vocal quality and loudness.
Working through stress
I can work through the stressful situations that I experienced on a particular day by visualizing the boxing bag as the person or situation that is causing me the stress. Thinking of the situation that caused me the stress, I can punch hard, alternating my hands. While hitting the bag with straight punches, side punches, and uppercuts in different combinations, I have to remember to complete my routine.
Sometimes, I get to pick up one leg at a time and kick the bag sideways! I put on the music from Rocky and play it loudly while I exercise as I transport myself into a Sylvester Stallone-like character and continue to beat the boxing bag to a pulp! To improve my balance, I imitate his footwork also by moving from side to side, forwards and backward.
Mentally, I stay focused and push myself even when I am tired to increase my endurance and not give in to stopping the activity. This skill is transferred to activities in social skills needed to go on with real-life experiences.
Rock Steady Boxing overall is very beneficial. It exercises many aspects of my Parkinson's diseases maladies at one time. Doing RSB is helping improve my walking, decrease falling, and multi-tasking, and benefitting my cognition and acuity.
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