Senior boxing with instructor

Rock Steady Boxing at Heritage Pointe of Warren ‘Fights’ Parkinson’s Disease

Blog | March 26, 2024 | Reading Time 3:00 Minutes

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation reports that nearly one million people in the U.S. are living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), with approximately 90,000 more diagnosed yearly. It is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease.

Although there’s presently no cure, people in the Warren, Indiana community have the opportunity to ‘fight’ the symptoms and progression of the disease head-on through Rock Steady Boxing. Heritage Pointe of Warren senior living community offers bi-weekly classes to its residents, as well as to the greater Warren area.

Developed in 2006, Rock Steady Boxing is a non-contact intensive exercise program reported to help maintain and even enhance the independence of people living with Parkinson’s disease. Studies have supported the concept that arduous exercise such as that incorporated into Rock Steady Boxing, can impact one’s gait range of motion, flexibility, and slow the progression of the disease. Additionally, research suggests it may even result in brain repair and behavioral recovery.

Stacia Perry, Director of Pool/Fitness at Heritage Pointe of Warren, was officially trained as a Rock Steady Boxing coach ten years ago. “Since then, we have served as a valuable resource for people fighting Parkinson’s disease throughout the area,” she said.

Although symptoms of the disease differ significantly between every individual, common ones include stiffness, tremors, compromised balance and coordination, pain, brain fog, and soft voice syndrome. While the symptoms vary, the importance of people with Parkinson’s disease to be moving and motivated, Perry said, is consistent across the board.

Heritage Pointe of Warren’s classes usually include 20 minutes of cardio work and 20 minutes of boxing, which involves hitting something heavy while doing the accompanying footwork. “Because many people have memory issues, we include combinations of moves, including hand and foot positions, that participants need to remember. They move from bag to bag as fast as they can. It’s a lot of fun,” Perry said. “We also incorporate voice activation or raising your voice at the person next to you or even across the room to improve breath control and issues with soft voice syndrome. We sometimes play harmonicas and see who can hold the longest note.”

The classes also include fine motor activities such as stacking pennies, putting nuts on bolts, etc. “I’m always thinking of doing new things. This is really rewarding to me,” said Perry.

The camaraderie formed as a result of the program is an essential component of its success. “When younger participants see the older participants, they are motivated to continue and work hard. It makes them feel accountable to each other,” Perry said. “It’s inspirational. They check on each other and pray together sometimes. They form really strong bonds and motivate each other.”

Perry added that only people with Parkinson’s disease are allowed to exercise in the group. “This allows everyone to talk about their symptoms amongst themselves,” she said.

Heritage Pointe of Warren

Heritage Pointe of Warren, which provides a vibrant lifestyle is located in the charming country setting of Warren, Indiana. The senior living community is situated on a 200+ acre rural campus featuring an on-site golf course, heated indoor pool, fitness area, woodshop, and more. Heritage Pointe of Warren offers independent living in villas, townhomes, or apartments. Assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation, outpatient therapy, and long-term skilled care are provided on the same campus, thus offering a complete continuum of care, also known as Life Plan. Heritage Pointe of Warren is owned and operated by The United Methodist Memorial Home, an Indiana non-profit founded in 1907. To learn more about Heritage Pointe of Warren, visit