Boxing is often seen as a blood sport that is not only aggressive but extremely dangerous. Though this may be true, if we look into the sport as physical activity, you’ll realize that boxing is one of the greatest forms of exercise for men, women, and children.
If we take away the competition aspect of boxing and break it down into exercise and its physical acts and demands, boxing is a unique sport and will give you a workout as no other sport can. Boxing doesn’t have to be violent, and you don’t need to put your own or others health at risk.
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Boxing is one of the very few exercises that can simultaneously work your cardio, muscles, core, and joints. Boxing is perfect for weight loss, muscle growth, and body toning. Boxing isn’t only good for your physical body but is also good for your mental health.
Throwing heavy hits will help to blow off steam and stress better than the treadmill will. As long as you can differentiate boxing with competitive fighting, boxing is safe and perfect for the young and the old, for men and women.
Traditionally, boxing is a combat sport where two individuals will fight for a prize. Boxing has a wide following of fight fans and combat sports enthusiasts. However, this group of people is a small niche.
To the outside world, there is not much mainstream appeal compared to other competitive sports due to the violent nature of boxing. The legitimacy of boxing as a sport is often questioned as many of its fighters put themselves at serious health risks.
Health complications such as broken bones, damaged organs, cuts and most commonly, head trauma, are all concerns when it comes to the sport. Multiple studies have shown that boxing is one of the most deadly sports in the world.
A 2010 journal article by Hans Forstl and his team of researchers titled “Boxing – Acute Complications and Late Sequelae,” reported that an average of 10 boxers dies per year and that 80% of these fatalities are due to head and neck injuries suffered in the ring.
If competitive boxing as a sport is your calling, pursue at your own risk. However, always keep in mind, boxing doesn’t always need to be violent and incorporating boxing in your training routine can bring you many health benefits.
Health Benefits of Boxing
1. You Will Burn Fat
Boxing may look as straightforward as running or cycling, but be warned. It is far more complex and will require every bit of cardiovascular strength you have. Boxing is extremely popular for burning calories in short periods, putting it head to head with high intensity running and cycling.
Exercise physiologist Jessica Matthews concluded in her 2017 study on boxing for exercise that it has a burn rate of 13 calories a minute. ’30 minutes of punching a bag burn 200 calories, while 30 minutes of sparring with a partner can burn up to 300 calories’, Matthews says.
No matter your level of fitness, boxing will always be an endurance sport that will test your strength and heart rate. So no matter how much your endurance improves from boxing, you’ll never stop burning the calories.
2. Sculpt Every Muscle in Your Body
Unlike most cardio exercises such as running and cycling, boxing requires you to use and move every part of your body. This, in turn, will activate your entire body, every muscle as well as your core. Boxing doesn’t only require speed and endurance, but you also need to use a lot of physical strength.
From throwing punches and moving your legs to adjust your positions, you are activating all your muscles to give you strength. Over time your strength will continually increase, and so will your muscle.
What makes boxing great for muscle building is that it doesn’t just target one specific muscle or area but tones the whole body, keeping your body and muscles toned and balanced.
3. Improve Coordination
Boxing requires mental focus just as much as physical effort. The idea behind boxing is to inflict damage to your opponent while protecting yourself from taking it. Coordination between your arms, body, feet, and head is the key to staying safe and succeeding in the sport.
Unlike most other sports, boxing requires you to use all body parts to work together in harmony. By understanding this and executing during your boxing training, your coordination and sense of awareness can significantly improve.
Not just in boxing but also everyday life. Boxing can help to improve your body’s sense of awareness towards situations and their external environments.
4. Build Discipline
Just like diet and exercise, discipline is the key to its success. Boxing is no different. Boxing is one of the most gruelling sports that can impact your life outside of training. In order to be a competent boxer and ensure effective boxing sessions, you are required to eat correctly, stretch your body and exercise consistently.
Boxing requires you to build more endurance and strength should you want to enjoy its health benefits. This means what you do outside of training is important. Maintaining a good weight and fueling your body with healthy foods to help you build your strength is crucial to your success in boxing.
5. Blow Off Some Steam
Boxing has become increasingly popular in recent decades as it is known to help people with stress relief. The physical act of hitting something is a healthy and productive way to help relieve any built-up tension.
Boxing also gives you an endorphin rush, just like most other cardio sports do. The physical nature of punching required in boxing will always keep your workouts being high intensity regardless of how slow or quick you are.
A 2017 study published in Neuropsychopharmacology found that those who engaged in high-intensity workouts for an hour released significantly more endorphins than those who spent an hour on moderate exercise.
6. Learn Self Defence
Combat sports such as boxing are the only sport where you can develop your self-defence skills. Hopefully, you won’t ever have to fend off an attacker with boxing; however, learning to defend yourself with combat can be an important life skill.
This is why boxing and other combat sports are great for all people. Self-defence is only one of the few benefits boxing can give outside the ring.
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