A lot of people tell me that they’re afraid of taking a boxing class because they’re intimidated by the idea of boxing. They think it’ll be too intense for them or that it’s only meant for super strong and athletic people who are already in amazing shape. As someone who’s been boxing and teaching it for years, let me tell you—anyone can do it. Your age, gender, fitness level…none of that is a reason to NOT box. And unless you seek it out, you don’t have to get punched in order to learn it. Boxing is a sport that improves your body and mind and it’s absolutely worth trying out if you haven’t already.
Some people might think that boxing is all about powerful punches, but the biggest benefit that most beginners see from it is cardio. So if you find running pretty boring, this is a great way to trick yourself into getting some cardio in without getting bored. It’s also an efficient way to burn calories because you’re using so many muscles at once when you’re throwing punches and moving around on the balls of your feet. Boxing will strengthen your body over time, especially your core. And it’s not just an upper-body workout—as I’ve said before, power in punches comes from your lower body, so it’s a great full-body workout. If you stick to it, you’ll see improvements in your stamina and endurance as well.
If you have played or currently play sports, you’ll know the value of hand-eye coordination. With boxing, being coordinated (or working on it) is a key part of moving around, whether you’re maneuvering around a bag or an opponent. You’re constantly working on synchronizing your upper body movements with your lower body…for example, throwing combos and pivoting your feet, or practicing footwork and head movement so that you can move around fluidly. Balance also plays a huge part of the sport when it comes to moving around fluidly. Trying to be light on your feet, shifting weight as you move, that stuff might not come naturally at first, but it’s a skill everyone can gain with practice.
All of these physical aspects of boxing will inevitably impact your mind. Other than the obvious “aerobic exercise = producing endorphins = better mood,” learning these skills gives people confidence: confidence in using their bodies, confidence in their abilities, confidence from hitting goals or making improvements. For example, if you’re the type of person who’s always felt clumsy, the skills that you develop in boxing can improve your self-awareness and maybe even reflexes. You’ll be more sure of yourself as a result. Boxing also reduces stress. Some people feel a bit of catharsis from punching a heavy bag while others find that boxing allows them to be in the moment and focus. It can be freeing.
There are countless other ways in which people benefit from boxing, but these are just a few basic ones. It can be empowering, therapeutic, inspiring…everyone has different reasons for why they box. You never know how it could affect you. And don’t feel like you aren’t ready for it. We teach people of all different fitness levels. Regardless of where you’re at, it should always be a bit challenging. If you haven’t tried it yet, sign up for a class and discover your own reasons for boxing. At the very least you’ll have fun and burn a ton calories, but chances are that you’ll find it rewarding for both your body and mind!