Boxing for fitness has an incredible amount of health benefits but is often avoided due to its intimidating reputation. Understandably, many of us have a preconception of boxing gyms being scary, grimy places but these days that is not really the case. Many mainstream gyms and studios now offer boxing fitness classes that allow people to enjoy learning the skills of boxing in a safe, non-contact environment. Furthermore, many new boxing gyms are cropping up all over the world that cater to both those who box for fitness and those who box to compete. These are bright, clean spaces, where egos are left at the door and beginners and seasoned competitors are welcomed equally. These gyms have cleverly bridged the gap between the old school boxing gyms and 'cardio boxing' classes to create boxing fitness workouts that are accessible to the general public while maintaining the integrity of the sport of boxing. Many who train in these gyms have no intention of ever stepping foot in the ring to compete but are able to benefit from the numerous health and fitness benefits boxing has to offer. Boxing fitness is becoming increasingly trendy and popular with many celebrities citing it as their workout of choice but what is it that makes boxing so beneficial?
1. Functional Fitness.
Functional fitness exercises recruit multiple muscles to work together to train the body for everyday life by simulating common movements you would do at home, at work or in sports. These exercises have a strong emphasis on core stability and the ability to work upper and lower body muscle groups at the same time. Because functional fitness exercises train you for everyday life they can reduce your risk of injury, improve your quality of movement and in turn, improve your quality of life. Boxing is an excellent example of functional fitness. Everything from throwing a punch to slipping or rolling (defence movements) require the use of multiple muscles - arms, legs, shoulders, hips and especially your core. Though you may never throw a punch outside of the gym, the ability to do so correctly can improve your movement quality in your everyday life and keep you safe from injury. Furthermore many of the functional skills learned in boxing are transferrable to a number of other sports.
2. Builds Confidence.
Though boxing can be intimidating as a beginner, it is amazing how quickly the fear disappears and confidence starts to grow once someone learns the basics. Boxing as a workout is so rewarding because you can see yourself learning and improving every single class. This generates a huge boost of confidence which travels with you far beyond the walls of the gym. Again, you may never throw a punch outside of the gym but there is something incredibly empowering about knowing you can. There is nothing quite like the feeling of connecting a really strong, technical and powerful punch with the mitts.
3. Improved Physical Fitness.
Boxing is extremely well rounded as a physical fitness workout. In one simple activity you are working to improve your cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, explosive power and balance to name but a few. Cardiovascular fitness is important for strengthening your heart, lungs and circulatory system, reducing your risk of diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. As far as cardio goes, boxing is a lot more fun than spending hours on a treadmill and it comes with all the added physical fitness benefits listed above!
4. Stress Relief.
Most of us deal with some level of stress in our daily lives. While any form of exercise can relieve stress due to the production of endorphins (our body's natural 'feel good' chemicals), boxing allows us to physically fight away those stressful feelings. Ever had a bad day and felt like punching something? You're not alone. Boxing is a safe place to let those feelings out. While the physical fitness benefits of boxing are amazing, nothing beats the emotional benefits.
5. Massive Calorie Burn.
In one single boxing class you will throw hundreds if not thousands of punches. Now, remember which body parts are working when we throw one punch - arms, legs, shoulders, hips and core. If you want bang for your buck as far as burning calories goes, boxing is the workout for you. Though the actual number of calories burned depends on a variety of individual factors (such as your body weight, age, exercise intensity and duration) you can be sure you will absolutely torch calories in a boxing class. This is due to the high intensity cardio element and the functional aspect of boxing - recruiting multiple muscle groups at once. If your goal is to lose weight, boxing is an excellent addition to your training regimen.
6. IT'S FUN!
I am a firm believer that fitness should be fun, above all else. There are so many ways to move your body and so many ways to stay fit and healthy so why would you do something you hate? Many people quit their gym routine because they find it miserable and boring. Boxing is a seriously FUN workout. There is no better feeling than seeing yourself improving each week - getting more skilled, more confident and stronger! When you get comfortable throwing basic punches, the combinations you can work on the mitts are genuinely thrilling and there's no better feeling than nailing a combination of punches, defensive moves and counter punches. Try it! What have you got to lose?!
I am now available for a limited number of private one-to-one and small group boxing on Nantucket. If you are interested or would like to know more, email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508 680 2216.