The Surprising Health and Fitness Benefits of Boxing
Boxing has always been around as a truly fantastic sport and workout. The great thing about boxing is that it isn’t just exclusive to elite boxing athletes or those jacked behemoths of men you see on television. Boxing is a sport that everyone can actively participate in, and the barrier to entry is low. In contrast to what you see in the media, you do not actually have to step into the ring in the form of competitive boxing. While some athletes enjoy the direct competition aspect of it, not everyone wants to go toe to toe in the ring with another fighter. For some people sparring just isn’t in the cards and that’s completely fine. Not to mention taking a few shots to the brain cavity can definitely cause some problems. The point is everyone can take part in the sport for fun and you can definitely engage in all of the training and reap some of the benefits that come with it.
There are a multitude of positives to be had from boxing and they all aid in keeping your mind and body as healthy as you can keep them. If you think of training cardio, typically treadmills and running come to mind. When it comes to improving strength, your mind will go to lifting weights and barbells. Boxing is the beast that it is because it allows you to improve your endurance, strengthen your muscles, and toughen your mindset, all within one sport. If you are curious about what exactly boxing can do for you and your body, read on. You just might be amazed as to how many benefits of boxing.
Top Benefits of Boxing
Competitive boxing as a sport requires an extraordinary level of athletic skill and boxing gear. It takes a ton of strength, speed, endurance, power, mental toughness, hand eye coordination, and agility just to name a few. If these traits sound like something you would like to have, then you’re in luck! Training in the sport as a workout activity enables anyone to hone these abilities just like a pro, all without having to take one in the jaw. If you’re still not convinced, here are some of the best reasons to start boxing training!
Benefit # 1: Improved Cardiovascular Health
Everyone and their mother know that regular cardio is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle. Experts say you need it to help prevent heart disease, burn unwanted calories, and to help maintain or even lose weight. People know the benefits but still dread doing cardio day because it usually means hopping on a treadmill and logging in some mindless, boring minutes until you hit your goal. But it doesn't have to be boring. Boxing is a great and exciting way to get your cardio in. The whole idea of cardio is to put your heart and lungs under a moderate amount of stress so that they’re challenged enough to adapt your body to support higher levels of physical activity in the future. How you choose to get your cardio in is up to you. As long as you keep your heart rate up during your workout, then you can do whatever you like, boxing included.
Anyone asking about how throwing some punches in boxing can equate to putting in some miles on a treadmill clearly has never put in work on a punching bag. Throwing good, solid punches in boxing gloves really works up a sweat and gets your blood pumping. The act of throwing a punch, any punch, really forces a plethora of muscles to contract at once. Because of so many muscles being utilized at once, your heart has to work overtime to pump blood and oxygen to them.
If that’s not enough for you, boxing also requires you to be always on the move and light on your feet. In competition, this is to be able to avoid your opponent’s attacks, but in training it is quite the cardio workout. Trust us, a full boxing training day is no walk in the park. Plus, there are also plenty of cardiovascular training boxers like to do to increase their stamina. These include jump ropes, circuit training, cycling, and yes, even running.
Getting a solid cardiovascular workout is great for your overall health and fitness in and out of the ring. Training your heart to work more efficiently means that your muscles will have plenty of blood and oxygen to use when throwing those nasty haymakers. The better your heart, the better your ability to keep those punches nice and strong.
Benefit # 2: Better Hand-Eye Coordination
The next benefit you can expect to gain from training for boxing on a regular basis is that you will develop much better hand-eye coordination. You may not typically think of hand-eye coordination as an improvement on your health, but it really does play an important role in a person’s gross and fine motor skills. People with good hand-eye coordination usually have significantly faster reflexes and reaction times, as well as better physical coordination as a whole. This is especially important as we age, as coordination and balance are typically the things that become compromised, increasing the chance of injury from falling.
Training your hand-eye coordination works just about the same as training your endurance or strength. This means that the more you challenge your coordination skills, the better it will get. Boxing is a great challenge because it involves a lot of coordination, especially hand-eye coordination. This is because when you are tasked with hitting the speed bag or paired up with a sparring partner, you are required to keep track of your targets, react to different stimuli, and hit certain targets, all while these targets are constantly moving and changing. It’s tough, but as with everything else, it gets easier with practice.
Benefit # 3: Relieving Stress
Everyone has some form of stress in their lives. Whether it be from work, school, bills, or relationships, we need to find a healthy way to reduce the amount of stress we endure. Enter boxing. Boxing can be a great outlet to help reduce stress as it lets you really let your frustrations out. There is something about being able to let loose on a punching bag that just feels really satisfying.
While violence shouldn’t be the first and only solution to stress, directed in the right way it can help. Leaving it all out in the ring when you are stressed can help you forget about what is stressing you in the moment. Sweating out your frustrations really works, and there is a scientific explanation for this as well! When you put yourself through a moderate to intense physical activity, your body increases the amount of endorphins it produces. This is the chemical whose function is to literally relieve stress and pain in the body. Getting a good workout for your health and reducing your stress sounds like a win-win to us.
Benefit # 4: A Better Body Composition
Another big benefit that attracts people is that boxing is an incredible mechanism for building up your muscles and improving your overall body composition. It’s ability to get people to lose weight is enticing to many, and it works as long as you are willing to put the work in.
An improved body composition means increasing your overall muscle mass while decreasing the percentage of fat in your body. Boxing is a great vehicle for this because it perfectly combines intense calorie burning cardio with muscle-building strength training movements. Pair boxing with a nutritious eating plan and you’ll start seeing positive changes in your body and improvements in your overall health. Persevere and stick to your plan for long enough and you’ll have a fit, toned physique you’ll be proud of.
Benefit # 5: Improved Core Stability
Our core can get overlooked by many of the more vain muscles people love to look at. The core is called the core because it literally is the center of your body. It is at the core of near every movement you make. Having a core with good stability will strengthen many of your body functions and improve your balance as well. Boxing as a whole involves plenty of different movements and forms of training that will engage your core muscles which will in turn strengthen them.
A stronger core will lead to better posture and helps prevent back pain as your core muscles will have better capacity at keeping your body upright. This takes the load off of other parts of your body, like your back, that would have to work overtime to keep you up. If you’re starting to feel the annoyance that is back pain, consider trying some core workouts. It might just relieve some of that pain.
Benefit # 6: Learn Self Defense
This one is a little self-explanatory. There is great value in knowing how to protect yourself against threats. Whether we like it or not, the world is full of threats and dangers out of our control. However, we can control our level of knowledge and skills to best protect ourselves against anything that comes our way. While the sport is great for getting fit and improving health, boxing is a combat sport at its core. While we hope no one ever has to use them in these situations, the lessons we learn in boxing can be applied to teach us how to fight in real situations where you may be threatened.
If you haven’t already thought about boxing as a form of training, give it a shot! Boxing is one of the most effective and exciting ways to get into shape and maintain your health. Even if you don’t plan to box competitively, there are a wealth of benefits that come with the sport. If you need some starter gear, Elite Sports offers some fantastic options at more than reasonable prices. With all the benefits and gear sorted, you should be ready to start on your boxing journey!