“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” – Muhammad Ali
For people who don’t box, this quote has little meaning and has only been said by boxing legend Muhammad Ali, but for people who do box, it symbolizes much more. It sums up boxing in one perfect line by saying that a sport of such strength and power is also a sport that is full of grace and elegance.
Boxing gets a bad rep for a lot of reasons, such as being a cause of Alzheimer’s and head injuries, but there is also a lot of good that comes from this sport. You don’t even have to fight anyone, you can just spar and practice on the bag and still get the same benefits.
Gone are the days where the only place you could box were the gritty old school-styled gyms; boxing is now being made readily available for everyone to try in various gyms, which, for some, may be a lot more appealing. Boxing has even grown as a sport: there are variations to it such as kickboxing and tae-bo, and the benefits to picking up a pair of gloves have also become evident.
Enhanced cardiovascular health
Would you rather run on a treadmill, around the same area or box? Personally, I’d rather box! The bonus is that you get a great workout for your cardiovascular system that is as good as the one you get from running, if not better, and you will have more fun doing it. Working your cardiovascular system will help to prevent heart disease, burn calories and help you to lose or maintain your weight.
To enhance your cardiovascular health, you need to put a moderate amount of stress on your heart and lungs, which will get them pumping and your blood flowing—this is easily achieved in boxing before you even get to the sparring. The warm up, which is a mini workout on its own, is enough to get you going, and the bonus comes when you get to start boxing. It’s exciting and will keep your heart pumping.
Improves total body strength
All the kicking, jumping, side-stepping and hitting takes a lot of energy and strength because you do it multiple times. Keep in mind that when boxing in a match, the goal is to keep hitting the person until they are knocked out; if that doesn’t happen, you’re scored and judged on how well you did by the end of the match, meaning that there is a high number of hits and blocks that are required.
Due to the high intensity involved and the fact that your whole body is being used while you box, you build muscular strength and easily stay toned. Boxing is a sport that focuses on your upper body, lower body and core all at the same time—even the circuits for training use your whole body.
Improves hand-eye coordination
Hand-eye coordination is something we rely on every day, so strengthening this will not only help you in the world of boxing but also in everyday life as it will increase your reaction time and give you quicker reflexes. In addition, it will help you later in life as reflexes tend to slow with age—by strengthening them, your reflexes won’t slow as quickly.
While boxing, you need to think of your feet and be ready for whatever your opponent does. You need to block quickly, then take a chance with a hit and you will need to side swipe. You also need to be able to do a combo with a right hook quickly, while being able to react to what your opponent is doing. This means that boxing definitely improves your hand-eye coordination through all the training and through the sport as a whole.
Decreases stress and improves your better mood
When exercising, your body releases endorphins, which make you feel happy, stress-free, focused and ready to keep exercising. This will happen with any type of exercise, but boxing delivers it with a knockout punch when it comes to increasing your mood.
Boxing is a great outlet because a workout typically transitions between high and low intensities: during the high intensities, you let your frustrations out punch-by-punch and you become happier with every punch.
During the low-intensity parts, you're too busy catching your breath while waiting for the high-intensity interval, so you have no time or mental energy to think about what’s bugging you and frustrating you; instead, you just take it out on the boxing bag. Boxing tends to be cathartic for some people because it’s a release from all stress and bad vibes that, in turn, brings good vibes.
Boxing is certainly one of the best workouts you can do: you work out your whole body at once while also having fun. It increases your strength, speed, stamina, and agility, and will also boost your confidence. Boxing also allows people to embrace something new, express themselves and to have fun while building muscle and toning up, so don’t be afraid to pick up a pair of gloves and get started. If you can think of any more benefits of boxing, feel free to share them below!