I now have boxing gloves. Red ones.
I have signed on to a rigorous exercise program called Rock Steady Boxing. It is offered in Largo, FL at Bodyssey gym on Walsingham Road not far from the beach.
For now, the Largo location is the only one in the Tampa Bay area. That’s a 70-minute haul from our Hillsborough manse, in the best of traffic conditions. If the franchise program is as good as its press and promise, I bet it will soon jump the bay into Tampa.
Rock Steady has received a great deal of positive, anecdotal notice lately on CBS TV, local TV and in the Tampa Bay Newspapers (TBN) weekly group. From my two visits, I think the Rock Steadiers are on to something very promising.
TBN reporter Chris George got there before I did. Gym owner Tara Schwartz pitched program benefits this way to George: “ The studies have shown that forced intense exercise has slowed the progression of Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s slows the conduction of the nerve to the muscle, so everything slows down. Boxing does the absolute opposite of that. And it’s a non-contact form of boxing.”
Good elevator speech, Tara. I watched one day. Signed up and worked out the next. Ninety intense minutes to pulsating music and demanding, disciplined but supportive instructors: “elbows up…jab, jab, hook…chest out, stomach in…just 10 more seconds.”
By coincidence, I just ran across this article about intense exercise and how it relieves Parkinson’s symptoms. It talks about yoga but the principles also apply to boxing.
Schwartz’s class typically has 12 to 15 participants who work out ideally at least three days a week. Said Schwartz: “While focusing on overall fitness, strength training, reaction time and balance, workouts include: ring work, focus mitts, heavy bags, speed bags, double ended bags, jump rope, core work, calisthenics and circuit weight training. No boxing experience is necessary and people of all ages are invited to participate.” For more details, check out her website, including fees.
The session I attended ran 90 minutes and had 30 minutes of stretching exercises, 30 minutes of weight training and 30 minutes of working on the punching bags. I intend to give you periodic updates on my progress and impression of the program as I go forward.
One follow up to the palliative care conference in Denver follows: