What is Rock Steady Boxing?

Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) is a fitness program designed for people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD).  It is a NON-contact, high intensity interval training program that works on speed, agility, endurance, strength, balance, eye-hand coordination, dexterity and even memory.  RSB was established in 2006 by former Indiana prosecutor, Scott C. Newman who was diagnosed with PD at the age of 40.  Scott was inspired to start RSB after noticing great improvements in his symptoms and quality of life after intense workouts. Rock Steady now has over 600 affiliates in all 50 states as well as Canada, Japan, Israel, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia and China. RSB serves thousands of people with Parkinson’s at all levels from newly diagnosed to those who have been living with PD for years.  You can find out more about Scott’s story and Rock Steady Boxing at rocksteadyboxing.org.


Rock Steady South OC

For the past 16 years, Gretchen Westgaard has owned and operated Pilates West, a private pilates studio in Laguna Beach.  In 2015, Gretchen’s mom, Gay Sutherland, was diagnosed with PD.  After volunteering for RSB Southern California and seeing the benefits of exercise that her mom experienced, Gretchen decided to become a Rock Steady certified coach and open her own affiliate.  RSB South OC was started in 2016.

What does the science say about PD and exercise?

Medications and surgery can address the symptoms of PD, but exercise has been the only thing to date that has been shown to slow down the progression of the disease.  Check out what the research is showing:

Mayo Clinic: Aerobic Exercise: Evidence for a Direct Brain Effect to Slow Parkinson’s Disease Progression

Brain Connectivity:  The Effect of Forced-Exercise Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease on Motor Cortex Functional Connectivity

Davis Phinney Foundation:  The Role of Exercise in Parkinson’s

Michael J. Fox Foundation:  Exercise Improves Cognition in Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s Foundation:  Neuroprotective Benefits of Exercise

NBC News: Vigorous Exercise Can Slow Parkinson’s


These studies are confirming what we see every day in the gym at RSB South OC.  Exercise is improving the lives of people with PD.