Rock Steady Boxing: A Great Addition to Your Parkinson’s Voice Exercise Toolkit

Rock Steady Boxing, Parkinson's disease

Rock Steady Boxing: A Unique Philosophy

Rock Steady Boxing was founded on the philosophy that people living with Parkinson’s disease can fight back against the condition through non-contact boxing-style fitness routines. The program encourages participants to push their limits, defy the odds, and take an active role in managing their health. However, what truly sets Rock Steady Boxing apart is its commitment to addressing various facets of Parkinson’s disease, including the often-overlooked vocal challenges.

Classes: More than Just a Workout

Rock Steady Boxing classes are designed to be engaging and effective for individuals with Parkinson’s. The classes, whether done online or in person include a combination of physical exercises to improve strength, coordination, balance, mental focus, and confidence. A unique aspect to the classes is the inclusion of Voice Activation exercises to improve vocal strength, quality and stamina. 

Let’s Get LOUD!

Voice Activation exercises are a standout feature of the Rock Steady Boxing program. As participants engage in the physical workouts, they’re encouraged to perform loud vocalizations. For example participants may loudly verbalize their punching combinations: JAB! CROSS! LEFT HOOK! UPPERCUT! This combination of physical exercise and voice activation is a powerful tool in addressing the vocal challenges often faced by individuals with Parkinson’s.

Barb, a dedicated Rock Steady Boxing coach from Gaitway Neurophysio in Ontario, Canada shared some insights into the Voice Activation components she uses in her classes. Barb explained that she often incorporates brisk marching as a warm-up exercise. While her class marches and vigorously swings their arms, they are encouraged to count down loudly from 10. This simple yet effective exercise not only warms up the body but also engages the voice, helping to strengthen vocal projection.

The Power of Dual Tasking

Dual tasking is an important component to include in any Parkinson specific exercise. This approach involves performing two or more tasks simultaneously, such as counting out loud while exercising. It challenges the brain to work on multiple fronts, ultimately strengthening cognitive functions. This is especially beneficial for individuals with Parkinson’s, as general cognition can decline as the disease progresses.

A Finishing Touch: The Voice Activation Cheer

Coach Barb loves to conclude each class with a Voice Activation cheer. The cheer adds an element of fun and camaraderie to the class, further enhancing the socialization aspect of Rock Steady Boxing. Her members particularly enjoy the following cheer: Imagine singing this to the US army drill chant…

🎵 “I don’t know what you’ve been told. Parkinson’s is gettin’ old. We don’t let it get us down. Because we’re fighting every round. At the end of the day we’re proud to say. Fighting back ROCK STEADY way!!” 🎵

This cheer exemplifies the resilient spirit and unwavering determination of Rock Steady Boxing participants, who are united in their fight against Parkinson’s.

Rock Steady Boxing is a dynamic fitness program for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. It offers not only physical exercise and social interaction but also invaluable voice activation exercises. The “dual tasking” approach strengthens cognition, and the Voice Activation cheer fosters a sense of community and support.

The “Rock Steady” way is all about standing strong and fighting back against Parkinson’s, one punch, and one loud cheer at a time. So, if you’re looking to expand your toolkit for managing Parkinson’s, Rock Steady Boxing might just be the perfect addition you’ve been searching for.

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Rock Steady Boxing, voice activation exercises, speech, chants