Boxing can often be seen as a pretty brutal kind of sport, but there’s another more friendly side to it too. Because stepping into the ring and throwing some punches makes a highly effective and enjoyable way of keeping fit for both men and women. Celebrities, Victoria’s Secret models and plenty of normal people too enjoy boxing as a great way of keeping in shape. And here are 10 good reasons why you should give it your best shot.
1. gives you a total body workout
With your whole body constantly on the move, boxing not only combines strength and cardio. It also improves your balance, coordination, agility, and reaction speed. It’s the complete workout and the reason why boxers are among the fittest people on the planet.
2. boosts upper-body cardio
Many cardio exercises tend to focus on your lower body, but you also need to ensure you give your upper body the same level of attention. Boxing represents the ideal way to do just that. In fact, it’s the exercise equivalent to buying your upper half chocolates, champagne and expensive holidays.
3. puts stress down for the count
Bad day at work? Fallen out with a friend? Or just got off the tube? If you’re looking for a great way to release stress, take out your troubles on a punching bag. You’ll release tension. Improve your mood as all those endorphins start flowing around your brain. And sleep much better at night. Surely that all counts as more than one benefit?
4. improves your hand-to-eye coordination
Good hand-to-eye coordination is a key part of boxing whether you’re sparring with a partner or just beating up a bag. Better coordination can help you to improve your workouts. It also boosts your brain-body connection, so you’ll be more in touch with how you’re really feeling. People who have great hand-eye coordination also tend to benefit from quicker reactions. So you can be first to that empty seat on the train.
5. burns up calories
Boxing is basically a high-intensity interval training workout with gloves on. A lot (and we mean A LOT) of effort is followed by a short time for recovery. In addition to great aerobic – or cardio – exercise, boxing also provides you with an anaerobic workout. Your body needing more oxygen than you can supply and draws on the energy stored in your muscles. That results in increased speed, strength and power while also building muscle mass and boosting your metabolism. In other words, it incinerates calories.
6. flattens your belly (or keeps it that way)
You’re moving around the ring. You’re ducking and weaving and throwing some nice tight sequences. As you do, you’re extending your arms and constantly rotating your hips. Compared to lying on the floor and doing sit-ups, you’re burning a load more calories while still putting your abs through their paces. Ding ding. That six pack is a lot closer than you think.
7. a natural exercise
Today there are countless fitness fashions all promising a tighter this or a more honed that, but beware. Many of them can put your body under an unnatural amount of strain. Boxing on the other hand only contains natural movements, even if they do happen at top speed. You’re not jumping on top of obstacles or over them. You’re not picking up and swinging heavy objects. You’re just getting a highly demanding and effective good old school workout.
8. a routine that never becomes routine
Riding an exercise bike. Taking on a treadmill. Lifting weights. Some things always stay the same and, ultimately, boredom can start to creep in. With boxing, on the other hand, nobody knows it all and there’s always something new to learn. Think of it as an endless fitness challenge, especially if you work with a good instructor.
9. easy to practice at home
It obviously makes sense to start out in a class run by trained professionals. They’ll teach you the basics, help you develop your skills and keep you motivated. But it’s also easy to continue working on your jabs, your uppercuts and your hooks at home. All you need to set up your own private training facility is a punching bag, a pair of gloves and a skipping rope. Speak to your instructor about creating a simple home-based routine to compliment your gym sessions.
10. It’s for everyone
Boxing is one of the most effective ways to get in shape. And if you haven’t got a bent nose, cauliflower ears or a steely glare don’t worry about it. The benefits of boxing are there for everyone to enjoy at every level of physical fitness, experienced or not.
Not sure where to find fitness-friendly boxing classes? Download the free E² app to book one-off boxing classes at some of London’s most sought after gyms wherever and whenever it suits you. Welcome to the world of fitness on demand.