It’s American Heart Month! That means out of our 365 days in 2022, 28 of those days can be spent focusing on cardiovascular health and taking care of ourselves.
Our hearts need this annual spotlight – heart disease is the number one cause of death in America, regardless of gender. And since poor lifestyle behaviors have been increasing because of pandemic restrictions, we want to share how mind-blowing the benefits of boxing can be.
Boxing is a great way for avid exercisers to switch up their routine and find new ways to challenge themselves. But it’s also a smart option for those who are looking to become consistently active because it’s a fun way to jump right into a healthier lifestyle, no prior experience necessary!
Benefits of Boxing-Based Fitness
Boxing isn’t just for the beasts you see on TV. Wrap up your hands and get in the ring for some heart-pumping fun.
Beyond getting your anger out by socking something repeatedly, boxing requires you to be light on your feet. That means different workouts are incorporated into the regimen, from jump roping to cycling or circuit training. The combination of activities helps to:
- Increase Stamina
- Control Blood Pressure
- Lower Resting Heart Rate
- Avoid Diabetes
- Prevent Stroke
- Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Plus, the physical act of punching actually trains your heart to work more efficiently. To get blood and oxygen moving, many muscles contract as you toss a punch, strengthening the heart over time.
With a healthier heart comes numerous other improvements, all of which you can obtain through boxing.
Better Sleep Quality
Poor sleep quality has links to heart disease among other health problems. And while there are many things that people try to promote a good night’s sleep, not all will work.
Enter: Boxing. Wrap up, warm-up, and feel the stress leave with every punch. By the end of the session, you’ll feel much more relaxed and there’s a strong chance that you’ll notice your sleeping patterns change.
Stronger Bones & Joints
Resistance training with bodyweight, which is considered a part of boxing training, helps to improve the mineral density of your bones. This is countering the effects that aging has on our bones and joints, including working to prevent degenerative diseases (i.e., osteoporosis).
If you feel like you have two left feet, boxing might be the answer. As you train, your hand-eye coordination will further develop. From skipping rope to using a speed bag or practicing circuits, you’ll continue to find it easier to maneuver your workout, which will quickly extend into everyday activities. Something as seemingly random as driving will improve because your reflexes are getting better.
The stronger you get, the more you’ll be able to fit into a workout. This is because your muscles are becoming used to the activity; your heart and lungs can pump more blood and oxygen in less time than before.
You can burn literally hundreds of calories in one session of boxing. Of course, it depends on the specific activities you’re doing, but either way, boxing helps to turn your existing fat stores into energy that your body can use to keep moving. An added benefit is your exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC) level, which keeps moving for a while after you’re done working out, continuing to burn calories.
It’s also good for your heart to keep your weight at an optimal level for your body. Controlling your weight and preventing obesity helps to reduce the chance of heart disease, as with:
- Cholesterol Levels: Obesity can cause bad cholesterol levels to spike upward while lowering the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol. HDL is what reduces the risk for heart disease as it removes bad cholesterol.
- Blood Pressure: Excess weight requires your body to pump more blood using higher levels of pressure to move the blood around, which is a common reason for heart attacks.
So, whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or maintain the level you’re at, boxing can do it. And each session helps your heart become a little bit stronger, letting you live your best life.