Staunton-Augusta YMCA introduces Rock Steady Boxing

Local community members are literally fighting back against Parkinson’s Disease through the Rock Steady Boxing Program at the Staunton-Augusta YMCA.

staunton-augusta ymcaA local chapter of a national program – based in Indianapolis, IN. – the program uses the non-contact elements boxers use to train to slow down the effects of Parkinson’s Disease.

Typically associated with the middle-aged and elderly people, Parkinson’s Disease impacts the nervous system. It is usually manifested through tremors, slower and imprecise movements and/or muscular rigidity.

Since May 8th, the Staunton-Augusta YMCA  has been helping members with the disease fight back.

“Rocky Steady Boxing has been great,” said Josh Cole, executive director of the Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA.

Cole said adding the program completes the Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA’s three-pronged approach to improving quality of life among aging adults.

“We have a neuro-wellness program for people recovering from strokes or neurological disorders, and we brought in adult daycare, which will help those who are taking care of others and just need a break,” Cole said. “Finally, we can bring it Rock Steady Boxing. It’s a program to help people fight back against Parkinson’s Disease, and it’s showing to do that. After one month, we’ve seen great improvement in folks.”

The 90-minute class, held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m., is led by Staunton-Augusta YMCA fitness instructor Wendy Shutty and YMCA staff members Avis Henderson and Judy Briggs.

“Research has shown that this form of boxing, which is forced, intense action, has been shown to slow down the progression the disease,” said Shutty, who leads between six and 10 boxers through a circuit of boxing training.  “One of our members, who was very passionate about this program, has Parkinson’s.  She came to us and encouraged us to get that program here, knowing that there are people in our community who have it as well. She’s one of our coaches now.  We just wanted it to be something we are doing for our community.”


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