When it comes to getting fit and losing weight boxing usually isn’t the first exercise that comes to mind.
People would much rather try Zumba or the latest exercise craze, and there is a good reason for this. According to ESPN boxing is one of the hardest sports to participate in.
But if your willing to put in the hard work the benefits you will receive are worth it. In this article I will show you 7 health and fitness benefits of boxing, so keep reading.
7 Health and Fitness Benefits of Boxing
1) Improved cardiovascular health
As a personal trainer one of the most requested goals that I get from my clients are “to get fit”, also known as improving your cardiovascular health.
You could jump on a treadmill to improve your cardio, as this is what they are built to do, but to keep motivated I always like to switch my fitness routines up every so often, and boxing is one of the best ways to improve your cardiovascular health.
If you have never boxed before you will be surprised how out of breath you can get after throwing punches for a minute or two.
2) Improved strength, power and muscle endurance
Unlike the latest fad workout routine, boxing is the ultimate full body workout. When participating in a boxing class or working out at a boxing gym you will be using your legs, hips, abs, chest, arms, back, shoulders and muscles you didn’t even know existed.
After 1 hour of boxing, you will ache like never before but persevere with it. Punching a heavy bag or with heavy boxing gloves on increases resistance against your muscles and makes them stronger over time. This resistance builds up your power, speed and muscle endurance, making you able to train harder for longer, which burns even more calories.
3) Stronger bones and joints
Resistance training helps strengthen your bones and can slow down the progression of osteoporosis. Although boxing isn’t your traditional resistance training like weight lifting, throwing punches acts in the same way.
Every punch you throw creates resistance for your hands, elbows, shoulders and countless other muscles. When boxing you also have to train with skipping ropes, body weight exercises and even running, all of which are high impact exercises.
These high impact exercises cause your body to produce more bone mass, which thickens your bones and makes them stronger.
4) Improved muscle tone
Not only will you learn to protect yourself like a Spartan but you’ll also start looking like one.
Ok, maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but boxing is a great workout routine for improving your muscle tone. Unlike weight lifting, which creates bulky and slow muscles, boxing creates functional muscles that are lean and taut because you are combining speed and strength within your workouts.
5) Boxing makes dieting easy
A calorie deficit is eating fewer calories than your body needs and on average you need to be in a calorie deficit of 300-500 calories a day to lose weight. Eating 500 fewer calories a day for a week should allow you to lose around 2-3lbs a week.
Now before you start sighing, in my opinion, this is the easiest way to lose weight. It’s much easier to consistently lose 2lbs a week for a prolonged period of time than go crazy with the latest diet and try losing half your body weight in a few days.
Personally, I find dieting easy, but not everyone does.
If you find dieting hard, boxing can help.
Boxing on a regular basis can help you lose weight as an average boxing session in the ring or just hitting a heavy bag can help you burn between 500-700 calories.
But that’s not all, over time this effect is compounded. Boxing speeds up your metabolism and by adding more muscle to your body it allows you to burn off more calories than before.
If you are looking to lose weight and have found dieting hard, I highly recommend signing up to your local boxing gym.
6) Mental benefits of boxing
Boxing is a massive stress reliever. If there is something better than punching something (or someone in a controlled environment) to relieve your stress I haven’t found it.
Is your boss giving you a hard time? Hit that punch bag harder. Is your partner giving you stress about putting up a shelf which should have been done 6 months ago? Put 30 punches into that speed bag. Trust me, you will feel better.
Punching a heavy bag feels good, but that’s not the only benefit you get from boxing. Increased activity levels have been shown to increase the chemical called serotonin in the body. This chemical is known as the feel-good chemical because as the name suggests it produces happiness within the brain.
Other chemicals released by the body when exercising such as endocannabinoids produce a feeling of relaxation and happiness.
7) Increased self-confidence
Over the years I have trained in many forms of martial arts including MMA, Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ and Krav Maga have allowed me to know how to protect myself, keep in shape and feel good. A side effect of knowing how to protect myself has improved my confidence.
Physical strength can be built in boxing in a few months but the mental strength has lasted me a lifetime, in and out of the ring.
Boxing is tough. When you first start out it feels impossible to spar for more than a few minutes, but if you keep at it you soon break through this feeling and this instils a sense of achievement within you and this builds your confidence.
The skills I have learned in boxing have no doubt helped me to be mentally stronger in life, whether this has been in work or in social situations.
If you have never tried boxing, I would urge you to give it a go. Either sign up to your local boxing gym or buy a heavy bag and start punching away.
Punching a bag, sparring and all the other types of training that you do in boxing will sculpt both your mind and body into a much healthier place than it is now. It’s also a lot of fun.
If you can join a boxing gym with a friend it ads to the fun, nothing builds up a friendship better than punching each other in the face.
If you don’t want to actually fight you don’t have to. I have never been forced to fight in a ring at any boxing gym that I have been a member of.
So what are you waiting for, go find your local boxing gym and sign up, if you need any boxing equipment please check out our boxing equipment reviews.