10 Benefits of Boxing That Will Have You Punching Your Heart Out
Boxing is a truly fantastic sport and it isn’t just for those giant beasts of men that you see on television. Boxing is a sport that everybody can participate in and that makes a huge difference. Of course, you don’t actually have to step in the ring in the form of competitive boxing. We realize that not everybody wants to fight other people for fun, not to mention that taking a few shots to the noggin can definitely hurt your brain, but you can always box for fun and you can definitely engage in all of the training that comes with it.
The benefits of boxing are quite numerous and they all go a long way in keeping your mind and your body as healthy as can be. If you are interested in just what exactly boxing can do for you and your body, you should give this a read through. You might just be surprised as to the many benefits that boxing can have.
Benefit #1: Cardiovascular Health
Something that is very beneficial about the sport of boxing is that it is excellent for your cardiovascular health. One of the things that make boxing so great for your heart is that the act of punching, any punch, forces very many of your muscles to contract at once. Due to so many muscles being utilized at once your heart has to work extra hard to pump blood and oxygen to them, thus giving your heart quite the workout.
There is also the fact that boxing requires you to always move around and stay light on your feet, thus also giving your heart and lungs a run for their money. Moreover, training for boxing also involves a lot of cardiovascular fitness, as boxers often do things like jump rope, circuit training, cycling, and running on treadmills to increase their stamina, all of which are of course fantastic cardiovascular workouts.
Getting such a good cardiovascular workout is great for physical fitness and performance both inside and outside of the ring. Training your heart to work more efficiently means that those muscles you are using to throw punches are better fed with blood and oxygen thanks to your heart being able to pump more life into them. Of course, cardiovascular health is also important when it comes to things like controlling blood pressure, attaining a lower resting heart rate, and avoiding various kinds of heart disease.
Benefit #2: Strong Bones & Joints
One of the things that we really like about boxing is that it is a bone building exercise per extraordinaire. Of course having stronger and denser bones is fantastic for your overall health, especially as you get older. Bone building exercises are very important because as you age your bones tend to get weaker, thus increasing the incidence of broken bones and even degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis.
However, a good way to solve this issue is by building your bones through weight bearing exercises. Boxing is actually a weight bearing exercise, and it is so in more than just one way. First of all, boxing gets you up on your feet and the nature of boxing means that you are always bouncing around, thus putting weight on your legs and knees.
Moreover, every time you strike or punch, your elbows, shoulders and the rest of your arms also have weight put up against them. Punching may not be your classic weight bearing exercise, but it actually does function in much the same way. There is also the fact that the sport of boxing involves a lot of training through various exercises such as running, jumping rope, doing pushups, and other various activities which all qualify as weight bearing exercises.
In case it is not clear, your bones work in much the same way as your muscles do, at least in the way which they get bigger and stronger. The more weight you put on your bones and joints, the more those bones, or to be exact, your osteoblast, produce bone mass. That bone mass serves to enlarge and thicken your bones, thus making them stronger.
Benefit #3: Bigger Muscles And More Tone
Another big benefit that comes along with engaging in the sport of boxing is that it will definitely tone your body and help your muscles get big and strong. After all, boxing is about being not only quick but also strong, at least if you want to stand a chance of defeating your opponent. Not only does the physical movement of performing various punches strengthen your arms, shoulders, and core, but all of the other aspects that come along with boxing help to build your muscles too.
Serious boxers go through a ton of training which includes weight lifting, resistance training, pushups, sit ups, pull ups, and whatever else a boxer needs to do to get ready for his next opponent. All of the training that is involved in boxing definitely goes a very long way in strengthening your muscles and making them more powerful plus more explosive.
Even better is the fact that boxing involves very fast movements that combine speed and strength, thus giving you really toned and taut muscles, as opposed to those slow and bulky muscles that many weight lifters have. Boxing itself may not make you that strong, but all of the training that you need to do to be an effective fighting machine in the ring definitely does.
Benefit #4: Improving Your Coordination
The next big benefit that you can reap from boxing and training for boxing on a regular basis is that you will develop better hand-eye coordination. Training your hand-eye coordination works in the same way as training your cardiovascular endurance or your muscle strength, in the sense that the more you challenge it, the better it will get.
Boxing involves a lot of coordination because you need to be able to bounce around and move in certain direction with your feet, while at the same time landing punches on your opponent. Moreover, you have to be able to aim your hands perfectly to get that big punch in on your opponent’s sweet spot, something that requires a heck of a lot of coordination.
Moreover, training for boxing, such as skipping rope, or better yet using a speed bag, also helps to train hand-eye coordination and the connection between your brain, the part that tells you to do something, and your hands and feet, the parts which execute the maneuvers which your brain has instructed them to do.
Benefit #5: Weight Control
Another big benefit that comes along with boxing on a regular basis is that it goes a very long way in helping you lose weight. An average training or sparring session in the ring, or even just going after a heavy weight bag, will allow you to burn anywhere from 400 to 700 calories every single hour.
Of course, this does vary depending on the type of exercising that you are doing. Since boxing involves so many different methods of training, the calories you burn will vary depending on if you are in a real life match, just sparring, hitting a bag, going for the speed bag, or doing weight training or even cardiovascular training.
While the calories you burn do depend on the specific thing that you are doing in boxing, you can rest assured that they all go a very long way in helping you to burn calories and keep your weight under control. Of course, burning calories is one thing because that means turning existing food in your system into energy, but boxing also helps to burn fat, or in other words, turn your pot belly fat stores into the energy required to train and fight.
Even better is that intense physical exercise like boxing and the training that comes with it also helps to rev up your metabolism in order to burn more fat and calories than ever. There is also the fact that having bigger muscles means that your body needs more energy to keep them going, thus burning even more fat and calories.
Another thing that benefits from this strenuous exercise is your EPOC level or exercise post oxygen consumption. In essence, your metabolism stays revved up for quite a while after you are done exercising, therefore helping you burn more calories than ever.
Benefit #6: Improved Confidence
A very important thing that boxing can do for you is to improve your self-esteem and confidence. Simply put, being stronger, healthier, being in better shape, and looking like a muscular boxer will make everybody feel better. How we perceive ourselves and how we look physically has a big impact on our self-esteem levels. Boxing can also be very good for your confidence levels, at least if you win fights, because everyone likes to know that they are the biggest and baddest player in the ring.
Benefit #7: Better Core Stability
The next thing that is really great about boxing is that it increases your core stability as well as your ability to balance. Boxing involves a lot of different movements as well as forms of training, many of which engage your core muscles and therefore strengthens them. This is also true for the muscles in your back. Having a stronger core and back is important for a number of different reasons.
One of the top reasons is because a stronger core and back lead to having better posture and less back pain due to the fact that your core muscles have an increased ability to keep you upright, thus taking strain off of other parts which would have to work overtime to keep your back straight.
Moreover, developing your core muscles through punching exercises and training allows you to balance better. As your core gets stronger it has an increased ability to balance and deal with the quick rotational movements that come along with boxing. This also has to do with your proprioceptors, the agents in your body which tell your brain that you need to balance.
The more you train through these quick movements associated with boxing, the quicker and more effectively your proprioceptors will be able to deal with positional shifts that might otherwise cause you to fall down.
Benefit #8: Better Endurance
Another thing which boxing can help you with is to increase your overall endurance. As we have mentioned before, boxing both strengthens your muscles and gives you a great cardiovascular workout at the same time.
When you have stronger muscles it means that you can punch harder for longer without getting tired because they are used to the increased work load which you are putting them through. Moreover, since your cardiovascular system is being strengthened due to various forms of training, your heart and lungs have the ability to pump more blood and oxygen to your muscles in a limited period of time.
More blood and oxygen in your muscles means that they can go for much longer without getting tired. There is also the fact that when you train, you train your lungs to be more efficient at absorbing oxygen and processing it into your blood stream, therefore you will also run out of breath much less quickly when you engage in regular boxing training sessions.
Benefit #9: Self-Defense
Another thing that boxing is great for is for teaching self-defense. The simple fact of the matter is that we live in a world where people like to be violent, therefore people like us need to be able to defend ourselves. Sure, we train to box in order to get fit and to be competitive in the ring, maybe even to make a bit of money. However the lessons we learn in boxing and the ability it teaches us, to fight, is extremely valuable in real life situations where your life may be threatened.
Benefit #10: Relieving Stress
Perhaps one of the best things about boxing is that it has the ability to relieve stress and tension in your body. Part of the reason for this is because hitting things and taking your anger out on an inanimate object like a punching bag, or even an opponent in the ring, simply feels good.
Violence is not always the first solution, but when it comes to relieving stress and getting rid of pent up rage, a few right hooks and left uppercuts will definitely make you feel better. Another part of the reason that boxing is good for relieving stress is because of the physical intensity it involves. Exercising at increased levels is shown to make people feel happier and relieve the symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression.
This is because when you work out really hard your brain produces certain chemicals. One of the most important chemicals is serotonin, a feel happy brain chemical that produces a sense of joy, elation, and happiness. Therefore, exercising can directly contribute to the relief from clinical depression and anxiety. Moreover, exercising is also shown to cause the brain to release something called endocannabinoids.
These are the same type of substances found in marijuana and they also go a long way in producing a sense of relaxation and happiness, not to mention that it also helps to reduce pain too. As you can see, the chemicals produced when you practice boxing can work very well when it comes to things like pain management and an increased overall sense of happiness.
If you haven’t already tried boxing or at least the training that comes with it, you may want to give it a shot, literally and metaphorically! Punching away at a heavy bag, sparring, and all of the other training aspects that come with the great sport of boxing will have you in amazing bodily shape in no time at all, plus it’s a good way to get rid of some pent up rage too. The benefits of boxing far outweigh any negative consequences that may come with this sport, especially if you don’t box competitively so you should really give it a go!