People living with Parkinson’s in Hopkins County and surrounding areas will soon be able to benefit from training used by boxing pros and customized for all levels of Parkinson’s disease.

Rock Steady Boxing, a unique exercise program based on training used by boxing pros and adapted for people with Parkinson’s disease, will soon be available in Madisonville.  Led by boxing coaches and trainers, the program involves exercises that fight back against Parkinson’s symptoms.  Stretching, running, balancing and lots of non-contact boxing all reduce the impact of Parkinson’s symptoms and improve strength, agility, balance, hand-eye coordination, speed of movement and attitude.

Rock Steady Boxing offers a sense of community and fun to everyone involved in the program.  “We’re thrilled that the Owensboro Health Foundation awarded the YMCA grant funding to help us bring Rock Steady Boxing to Hopkins County allowing us to offer classes that will help people fight back against Parkinson’s,” says Hopkins County Family YMCA CEO, Chad Hart.

Rock Steady classes will be geared to people at all stages of Parkinson’s disease; boxers could include men and women ranging in age from under 30 to over 90.  Classes will begin at the Hopkins County Family YMCA in early December.

The Rock Steady Boxing Method was developed in Indianapolis over the course of seven years.  In 2012, the Training Camp was launched to share the Rock Steady Boxing Method with others who are fighting back against Parkinson’s disease.  Today, there are over 90 affiliates across the United States.

“We have always believed in the Rock Steady Boxing Method,” said Rock Steady Boxing, Inc. Executive Director, Joyce Johnson.  “When evidence began to emerge that our program had a very positive impact on the boxers, our mission became clear – to share our experience with all the people with Parkinson’s.  That is why we decided to make our training available worldwide – to train as many as we can so together we can improve the care of people with Parkinson’s everywhere.”

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative movement disorder which can cause deterioration of motor skills, balance, speech and sensory function.  The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation estimates there are more than 1 million people in the United States diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and more than 60,000 people are diagnosed each year.  Currently, there are over 1,200 residents in Hopkins County living with Parkinson’s.

Various Studies in the 1980s and 1990s supported the notion that rigorous exercise, emphasizing gross motor movement, balance, core strength and rhythm, could favorably impact range of motion, flexibility, posture, gait, and activities of daily living.  More recent studies, most notably at Cleveland Clinic, focus on the concept of intense “forced” exercise, and have begun to suggest that certain kinds of exercise may be neuro-protective, i.e., actually slowing disease progression.

For questions or more information, contact Robert Coulter, Director of Healthy Living at 270-821-9622 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..