Edgewood’s LifeCare Community takes up boxing to fight Parkinson’s Disease

Edgewood adds Rock Steady Boxing to its Wellness Programs to empower residents with Parkinson’s disease to fight back and improve their quality of life.

Beginning Thursday, May 4, Edgewood, the only LifeCare Community in the Merrimack Valley, will begin offering residents wellness classes in Rock Steady Boxing, a non-contact boxing-based fitness curriculum.

The first boxing program of its kind in the country, Rock Steady Boxing empowers those with Parkinson’s disease the ability to fight back and provides hope by improving their quality of life.

Rock Steady Boxing is a researched-based exercise program largely designed after a typical boxing regimen. Rigorous exercises and drills condition for optimal agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, hand-eye coordination, footwork, and overall strength to defend against and overcome opponents. In this case, Parkinson’s disease is the adversary.

Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Rock Steady Boxing was founded in 2006 by former Marion County, Indiana, Prosecutor, Scott C. Newman, who is living with Parkinson’s. Newman began intense, one-on-one, boxing training just a few years after he was diagnosed at the age of 40 with early-onset Parkinson’s. Newman witnessed the dramatic improvement in his physical health, agility, and daily functioning through the intense and high-energy workouts.

In February 2017, Nancy Ryan, Edgewood’s Wellness Specialist, traveled to the Indianapolis Rock Steady Training Facility for a “Training Camp” to become a certified Rock Steady boxing coach. While there, Nancy was able to observe students  hitting the bag and other workouts. Nancy says her training was excellent, comprehensive and hands on, and she returned with a passion and commitment to assist our residents who have this disease to fight.

At Edgewood, we are pleased to bring this unique training and wellness program to our community. Currently, we are only one of two Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Massachusetts to offer Rock Steady Boxing and the only one in Merrimack Valley.

While all of our residents can participate and benefit from Rock Steady Boxing, it is extremely pleasing to provide health and hope to those with Parkinson’s, whether they have been newly diagnosed or have been living with it for decades plus.