Boxing as a sport requires a high level of athletic prowess: strength, speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, endurance, nerve, and power, just to name several required attributes. Boxing as a fitness activity enables the average person to hone those same athletic skills, all without having to take a punch.
The whole point of cardio is to place a moderate amount of stress on your heart and lungs so that they’re challenged enough to make beneficial physiologic adaptations to support the higher level of physical activity. As long as you keep your heart rate up during your workout, there’s no reason you can’t punch, kick, and jump your way to a healthy heart.
During a boxing workout, you may punch or kick a bag hundreds of times, requiring your upper body, lower body, and core to engage as you make contact with the bag. Plus, most boxing gyms incorporate other strength training moves into a boxing workout.
Boxing can help hand-eye coordination. When you’re tasked with punching a speed bag (a lightweight boxing bag suspended from a disc that turns and bounces quickly with each punch), or you’re paired up to spar with a partner (practice punching your partner’s padded mitts), you must be able to see the target, react to the target, and hit the target, all while the target is moving and changing position. It’s tough, but with practice, your hand-eye coordination improves substantially.
Almost any form of moderate to intense physical activity can decrease stress. According to the Mayo Clinic , exercise increases endorphins, boosts mood, works as a form of meditation, and improves sleep, all of which help reduce stress.
Boxing is a great outlet for stress for two reasons: First, during a boxing workout you typically transition between high intensity bouts of exercise and moderate intensity recovery periods. When you’re pushing yourself through a couple minutes of high-intensity punching or kicking, you don’t have much mental power left to worry.
Second, there’s an incredibly cathartic release when you get to take some of your stress out on a punching bag. It’s an empowering feeling to punch your stress to smithereens.
Boxing is great for improving body composition – and some might say it’s great for weight loss.
Boxing is an incredible mechanism for improved body composition because it perfectly combines muscle-building strength training moves and calorie-torching bouts of cardio. By regularly participating in a boxing program and following a nutritious eating plan, there’s no reason you won’t see changes in your shape and improvements to your fat mass percentage.