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A Senior Living Resource Blog from The Goodman Group

Jeff’s Story: Rock Steady Boxing is More Than An Exercise Program [VIDEO]

Posted by The Goodman Group on April 10, 2024

Rock Steady Boxing is a program that empowers people living with Parkinson’s to use their bodies to improve their strength, balance, and most importantly, confidence. This program has many affiliates across the globe, including The Lakes at Stillwater, a senior living campus managed by The Goodman Group in Stillwater, MN. This is the first of four blogs within the Rock Steady Boxing series featuring The Lakes at Stillwater.

Delaying the Progression of Parkinson’s

Rock Steady Boxing Program Director Beth D. from The Lakes at Stillwater shares, “Many studies have shown that exercise, particularly high-intensity exercise, will delay the progression of Parkinson's.” 

While Rock Steady Boxing does not directly delay the onset of Parkinson's, it can contribute to delaying the progression of symptoms and potentially slowing down the advancement of the disease. 

Regular physical activity, such as the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training exercises performed in Rock Steady Boxing classes, have been linked to neuroprotection. Exercise stimulates the production of neurotrophic factors, promoting neurons' growth and survival. By maintaining a healthy level of neurotrophic factors, exercise may help protect the brain from the degenerative processes associated with Parkinson's, potentially slowing down its progression.

As boxers in The Lakes at Stillwater’s program begin to regularly attend classes, Beth says, “What happens is that they get more comfortable moving. Things that weren't moving before begin to move again.”

Jeff’s Story of Strength and Leadership

Jeff is a prime example of this. Since joining the Rock Steady Boxing program, Jeff shares that, “I have never felt so in shape in my life.”

“I have fallen in the past year, maybe three or four times, where I have caught myself without actually falling down onto the concrete. And that is a testimony for the leg work that is being done here.”

Jeff felt “very alone” when he first received his Parkinson’s diagnosis. It wasn’t until he found the community within Rock Steady Boxing that things started to turn around for him.

“It's not just the physical part of Rock Steady Boxing that's important. It's the fellowship part that is so vital. That, to me, was the most important feature,” he to senior living

Fellowship as a Cornerman

While Jeff combats his own diagnosis through regular exercise with Rock Steady Boxing, he also plays a crucial role in supporting and empowering fellow boxers during their fitness sessions. It is during this time that Jeff acts as both a coach and motivator, filling the role of a cornerman to provide guidance, encouragement, and assistance to boxers further along in their Parkinson’s journey. 

“The people I work with every day at Rock Steady Boxing, I consider to be my personal heroes.”

Why you might ask? Jeff says it’s because these individuals “show up” day in and day out with the same goal—to fight back against Parkinson’s. 

Through Rock Steady Boxing, Jeff has come to realize that he is not alone as he navigates his Parkinson’s diagnosis. What’s more, Rock Steady Boxing and its united community has changed Jeff’s perspective on life. “You can have a great life with Parkinson's. And people need to realize that.”

Topics: Fitness, Videos, Parkinson's Disease

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