July 30, 2020 @ 3:39 PM

PD sufferers have lots of exercise options from senior center classes to swimming, Tai Chi, Yoga, Cycling, walking... and more.  There is Dancing for Parkinson's, Music for Parkinson's, and Big & Loud.  All beneficial and worthy exercise options.  But, all exercise does not provide the same benefits to people with Parkinson's. 

At Boxers with Parkinson's we have a focus on boxing as exercise therapy to reverse, reduce or delay the symptoms of Parkinson's.  Note that on the chart below, it includes columns for Rock Steady Boxing and Boxing.  The all-inclusive nature of the RSB workout includes so much more than boxing:  voice, core, balance, social and more.  So, we recognize that Rock Steady Boxing is different... better... for people with PD than just Boxing.

We use a word you might not be familiar with.. Neurobic exercise. First introduced to us by Dr. Joyce Shaffer, PhD, author of Neuroplasticity and Clinical Practice: Building Brain Power for Health.  Neurobic exercise means to exercise the brain.  There are websites dedicated to Neurobic exercise.  Google Dr. Joyce to learn more about her work specifically in the area of dementia.

This chart points out the difference between Aerobic and Neurobic exercise and there is a great example in walking vs. hiking.   Many seniors go their local mall to walk for an hour.  Out of the weather, nice clear walking lanes.  Lots to look at.

So, while walking is better than sitting in your Lazy-Boy lounger eating ice cream, it is pretty hard to work up a sweat so it doesn't really qualify as Aerobic.  What about Neurobic?  Because the mall floors are flat with clear walking lanes, casually walking the mall is pretty much walking on auto-pilot.  No brain engagement.  Hiking?  That can be Aerobic and Neurobic!  Work to navigate the rocks and logs and climb that incline...  your heart rate goes up so it can be Aerobic.  But, it also engages your brain, Neurobic.  Adjust your stride to step on this rock and to step over that log.  You watch ahead to plan your route.  Your brain is engaged with every step!

The same comparison can be made between boxing and Rock Steady Boxing.  Rock Steady's inclusion of balance, range of motion, voice activation and any/all types of aerobic and neurobic activities make Rock Steady better than generic boxing or kick boxing.  We hope over time tha the study will include some non-RSB gyms to study this assumption.