Running, going to the gym and other forms of exercise are gaining in popularity, yet, these exercises are not the ultimate exercise routine for those people who want to have a great workout, develop a valuable life skill and vent the stresses of everyday life. Boxing ticks all these boxes and more; it’s the perfect sport for people who just want to be comfortable in their own skin while they exercise. Boxing is one of the world’s oldest sports, it has continued to evolve and be refined through the years and it is currently a global phenomenon with huge appeal to multiple age groups. Today, weight loss, increased speed and co-ordination, improved muscle tone, and intense cardiovascular benefits are becoming increasingly apparent to people who begin boxing. I’ll attempt to touch on just three of the immense benefits that boxing has to offer.

It’s a great workout

Cardio is an essential component of exercise when it comes to reducing the threat of heart disease, burning calories, and losing or maintaining weight. However, many people don’t want to go through the monotony of endless runs on the treadmill or swimming laps. Boxing is a thrilling, competitive sport that will give you the health benefits you need without the limitations of other workouts.

Contrary to popular belief, boxing doesn’t just teach you how to throw a punch; it also serves as an excellent and holistic workout. Boxing is similar to running and swimming in that your body undergoes an intense workout which tests your flexibility, speed and strength. If you are trying to lose weight and develop a strong, lean and toned body, then boxing should definitely be incorporated into your workout. You can use interval training techniques during a workout to burn calories at a high rate in a short amount of time (boxing workouts can burn between 350 and 500 calories in only one hour) ensuring that your body is purging excess fat. Moreover, many muscle groups in the body will be activated during a boxing session and you will gradually notice your body becoming more toned, stronger and defined. Repetitive punching and kicking motions are supported by the muscles in your core which will develop your sense of stability, good posture and limb movement. Boxing workouts will also help enhance your cardiovascular efficiency and local muscular endurance which will be noticeably beneficial in other sports or exercises.

Additionally, boxing routines and exercises can facilitate better hand-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination influences your fine motor skills. Individuals with good hand-eye coordination tend to have faster reflexes, reaction times and better physical coordination as a whole.

Boxing is an excellent workout when it comes to increasing your lean muscle mass and developing useable strength. Most professional heavy bags weigh around 100 pounds. Repeated strikes on this weight will require your upper body, lower body, and core to engage as you impact the bag. Furthermore, most boxing gyms will give you the opportunity to test yourself on an array of other strength training exercises which will assist your boxing, such as, squats, push-ups, planks, and heavy medicine ball exercises.

With a consistent boxing regimen, it’s possible to sculpt out considerable definition to your muscle groups and even increased mass if your genetics are optimum. Boxing is an incredible mechanism for improved body composition because it perfectly combines slimming cardio and strength training. If you combine the benefits of boxing with a nutritious diet then I believe you’ll see a range of beneficial changes in your body and appearance.

You are learning a life skill

Boxing gives you the skills and knowledge to potentially keep yourself and other people safe in the event of danger. The possession of these skills belays a significant level of confidence yet, boxers are not taught to seek confrontation. Your skills and confidence should convey an inward belief that there is nothing to prove. However, if you are put in a situation where self-defence skills are required, boxers will be more adept at finishing things quickly and cleanly, due to heightened confidence levels and skill. When someone is confident in the ability to defend themselves physically, this often translates to a psychological benefit of self-contentment and peace of mind. Of further interest is that you might meet an array of interesting people at a boxing gym who, if asked, will likely be able to impart a lot of wisdom about discipline and making the right choices.

Excellent stress relief

Many forms of moderate to intense physical activity can decrease stress as exercise increases endorphins, creates a positive mindset and acts as a powerful relaxant. The combination of strength training and aerobic work creates a satisfying feeling of weariness and stimulates the cardiovascular system which helps you sleep better. Also, the chemicals release during boxing and the psychological benefits gained through healthy, active living promote an overall feeling of wellbeing which counters stress.

In today’s busy, hustling world, stress can rise up in our life for a multitude of reasons. Boxing with a heavy bag is a great way to vent your stresses. Boxing is an excellent outlet as you usually alternate between high intensity boxing and moderate intensity recovery periods in a workout. During these high intensity bouts, you are pushing your body to the brink and you won’t have much mental capacity to spare worrying about stresses in your job, home or family. I doubt you’ll have much time in your low intensity exercise to stress either as you’ll be focused on breathing, recovering and mentally preparing for the next round. Also, punching a bag is a very powerful and empowering experience as you can physically take out your stress through your fists until you are exhausted.

Boxing will continue to rise in popularity as its colossal benefits become more pronounced and known. In the changing uncertain world around us, it is very important to keep your body and mind in top physical shape while you learn skills which could be life-saving one day. Continually practicing and enjoying boxing will mean that you are refining a skill that transcends fitness on multiple levels and creates a better version of yourself.