Greenspring Introduces Rock Steady Boxing to Its List of Wellness Offerings

Kelly Shue
July 9, 2024
Greenspring residents

Exercise is essential to healthy aging, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency recommends that adults over 65 perform two and a half hours of moderate physical activity a week and muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups twice a week.

The two on-site fitness centers, variety of exercise classes, and top-notch wellness staff members at Greenspring, an Erickson Senior Living community in Springfield, Va., make it easy for residents to meet--and exceed--these exercise goals. 

"My life has absolutely improved since moving to Greenspring," says Barry Centini, who moved to the community with his wife Philippa. 

In addition to the popular yoga, stretch, aerobics, flexibility, and Chair Fit Balance classes, the community recently added Rock Steady Boxing to their fitness offerings. The noncontact, boxing-based curriculum is designed to support residents diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

"I wouldn't be where I am without the Rock Steady Boxing classes, personal training, and physical therapy at Greenspring," adds Barry. "It all solidifies our choice of retiring here!"

Off and swinging

Fitness Specialist Lisa Boorom and Fitness Coordinator Kelly Shea, certified Rock Steady Boxing trainers, teach the class every Wednesday and Thursday.

Each class begins with a group discussion followed by a warm-up. The group then proceeds through a round of shadow boxing--throwing punches in the air--before putting on gloves and hitting the traditional heavy boxing bag. Following the boxing session, the group cools down with strength, balance, and agility exercises.

"The class caters to each participant's specific abilities," says Shea. "Residents are welcome to stand or sit as they box and encouraged to take breaks whenever needed."

"The residents who participate give it their all!" says Boorom. "As a result, they've each slowed the progression of the disease."

"Since starting Rock Steady Boxing classes, I feel myself getting stronger every day," says resident Rachelle Birnbaum. 

Classmate Margaret Wyse agrees, crediting the class for starting her on a new fitness journey. "I'm not someone who enjoys exercise, but Lisa and Kelly are superb motivators," she says, with a laugh. "They make it fun by varying the activities!"

Tip of the iceberg

Many Rock Steady Boxing participants sign up for other wellness offerings at the community as well. 

Margaret, for example, walks throughout her residence building daily and attends Greenspring's new water walking program.

"The water walking sessions are wonderful, expanding my fitness options and helping me achieve the recommended amount of exercise," she says. "The instructors provide cards detailing the exercises so I can perform them on my own too." 

Margaret adds, "Lisa and Kelly encourage us to devote time to other physical activities. Before taking Rock Steady Boxing, I didn't have any fitness goals. Now, I aim to thrive!"

"Studies show that it takes 150 minutes of exercise per week to slow the progression of Parkinson's," says Kelly. "As a result, we encourage all of our participants to add exercise to their daily routines."

Barry also enjoys visiting the pool--six to seven times a week. "I cover an average of 50 meters per swim," he says. "I also schedule balance exercise classes in the pool and am enrolled in private physical therapy sessions."

Rachelle opts to visit Greenspring's fitness centers to help her reach her exercise goal. 

"I work out on the NuStep at least four days a week," she says. "In fact, since moving to Greenspring, I've moved from severe osteoporosis to osteopenia--a feat my doctor calls 'amazing.' While there are several things at work to produce these results, I believe that my exercise routine is the biggest part of the formula."

Circle of friends

An added benefit of Greenspring's exercise classes is the opportunity to make new friends. 

"My Rock Steady Boxing classmates have become family," says Margaret. 

"I've quickly made many new, caring friends," says Rachelle. "We rely on one another for strength and support. I really enjoy the camaraderie we share."

Of course, Boorom and Shea are included as well. "I cannot say enough about the friendship and discipline I've received from both Lisa and Kelly," says Barry. 

"They are the true heroes of our Rock Steady Boxing classes," says Rachelle. "Thanks to their efforts, our classes are filled with fun and laughter. They are kind and creative and have truly given their blood, sweat, and tears to make these classes great. We can never thank them enough!"

To learn more about affordable, independent senior living at Greenspring, request your free brochure to get the scoop on amenities, floor plans, and so much more.