When you want to get fit (or stay fit), the usual choices are getting on the treadmill or elliptical, joining a Zumba class, or taking up weight training. But as much fun as those exercises are, sometimes you just want to get out of the rut. You want something out of the box. Plus, most of us would prefer an exercise that combines cardio and strength training while working out various parts of our body in one go. Which is probably why a lot of people are getting hooked on boxing.
Boxing is a sport that isn’t just for athletes and their fans. It’s a great exercise that anyone can do. And there’s more to it than just punching a bag or an opponent in the ring. More importantly, it provides you with numerous health benefits.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
We all know that getting your heart rate up and running is an excellent way to keep it healthy. A healthy heart can help control your blood pressure, enable you to achieve a lower resting heart rate, and even reduces the risk of developing heart disease as well as type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, boxing is an excellent form of cardiovascular workout.
When you box, you utilize a lot of muscles. Punching causes several muscles in your body to contract which consumes a lot of oxygen. This means that your heart needs to pump faster to get more blood and oxygen flowing to your muscles as they continue to work harder. And when your heart pumps harder, it gets its own workout.
In addition to punching, boxing requires a lot of movement. You won’t see a boxer staying in one spot for long. This also contributes to increasing your heart rate and gives your lungs a bit of exercise. Moreover, training for this sport includes jumping rope, cycling, and even circuit training. All of these help build up a boxer’s stamina while also improving cardiovascular health.
Muscle Building and Toning
Obviously, if you’ve ever come across a boxer in person or on TV, then you know they’re built. They have huge, well-defined muscles not just in their arms, but all over. This is because if a boxer wants to have any chance of defeating his or her opponent, then they need that muscular strength to be able to punch their lights out.
If you want to be a good boxer, you’ll need to do a lot of strength training which includes weight lifting, resistance training, pull ups, push ups, etc. Boxing equipment isn’t limited to just a punching bag and gloves. This sport requires other equipment that will help you to build and strengthen every muscle in your body like speed ladders, jump rope, and weights. It’s not just the muscles in your arms that will power your punch. Your ab muscles which you work out whenever you twist while punching also help make your punches stronger. It also helps you have a greater reach.
That’s not all. According to a 2011 study published in the Chinese Journal of Exercise Physiology, your lower back muscles can help you put more power into your punches.
Aside from working out to build muscle strength, the physical movements involved when boxing also work out the various muscles in your arms, shoulders, legs, and even your core. Just think, you’ll probably punch a bag around a hundred times in one session. This alone can help build the muscles in your arms, shoulders, back, and core.
Improved Stamina and Endurance
It’s not just your cardiovascular health and muscles that benefit from boxing. This is a sport that helps increase your stamina. Can you imagine if a boxer is unable to stay strong beyond a round or two?
So, how does boxing improve your endurance? Well, when you strengthen your muscles, you’re able to punch harder for a longer period of time without experiencing fatigue. The same goes for your heart and lungs. Because they’ve gotten used to getting a regular workout, your organs will be able to pump more blood and oxygen to your muscles for longer. You won’t tire as quickly. You also won’t run out of breath as easily.
Who doesn’t want to maintain a healthy weight? While all exercises can help you burn calories, some like boxing can burn more than others. Just sparring with someone in the ring can enable you to burn around 400 to 700 calories in just one hour. But that’s not the only thing that this sport does to help you lose weight.
Boxing also helps you with weight loss because it burns fat. Instead of storing fat in your pot belly, your body will turn it into energy to fuel your workout. Even better, boxing revs up your metabolism. What this means is that you get to burn even more fat and calories. And when you get more muscles in your body, your body will require more energy to keep them contracting which results in more calories burned as well.
In short, when you box, you regularly burn a large amount of calories and fat that will help you lose weight and keep it off.
Your mental and emotional health is just as important as your physical health. Now, exercise can help you feel good. Endorphins, serotonin, and all that. However, with boxing, you get something extra. You can relieve stress and tension by taking your aggression out on a punching bag or a sparring partner.
Obviously, violence is never a solution to relieving stress. But the physical intensity that boxing requires can easily make you feel better. Plus, you’ll be able to “lash out” without hurting an innocent.
I am a fitness addict who is always ready to help others learn through my experiences and encourage them to get on the right path and never give up!
I share my thoughts and knowledge on NazoBoxing and other sports blogs. Remember that putting in the time and energy will always lead to results.