Non-contact boxing is a great way to boost your physical and mental fitness, says local expert Tim Exeter
Traditionally seen as a sport for boys, men and competitive fighters, boxing has often struggled in the past with its perceived inaccessibility. A rise in popularity among women and the elderly however has gone some way to opening up the ring to a whole new generation of boxing enthusiasts. Tim Exeter, owner of a new Leamington Spa-based gym Megabox Fitness, is on a mission to show how taking up boxing exercises without contact at whatever level or intensity can do a lot for your overall health and wellbeing.
Given its popularity with supermodels such as Gigi and Bella Hadid, it perhaps comes as no surprise that boxing is a great way to stay physically fit. From having to assume the signature boxer’s stance to the very act of punching the air or a pad, boxing helps tone and shape a myriad of muscles within the body.
When you assume the boxer stance, with your knees slightly bent, then start punching with various combinations, you engage your core and work every muscle in the body, building endurance and strength. The very act of punching forces many of your muscles to contract at once, making your heart work extra hard in order to pump blood and oxygen to them. Recent studies have shown a link between boxing and improved cardiovascular health. With benefits that range from blood pressure control to a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, cardiovascular fitness is essential when it comes to maintaining overall physical health.
Boxing is also shown to have a positive impact on bone mass density. As an exercise which forces you to put weight on your legs and knees, boxing encourages your bones to enlarge and thicken. With research showing a decline in bone mass after the age of 30, bone building exercises such as boxing are crucial in strengthening your bones and slowing the rate of bone loss over time, ultimately preventing the on-set of degenerative diseases like osteoporosis.
The good news is that all these benefits come into play regardless of your level of intensity or ability. Just remember to start at a level you’re comfortable at and remember, consistency is always better than intensity. The key is to get the body moving in multiple directions as it was designed to do. Combining boxing with athletic type exercise really balances out the whole circuit.
Furthermore, boxing is shown to vastly improve hand-eye coordination and consequently boost your body’s reflexes. By constantly changing your position and engaging your core muscles, boxing further helps strengthen your back muscles and core, thus improving the body’s posture and balance.
Like all forms of exercise, boxing also helps reduce feelings of anxiety, stress and low mood. As research has shown, the process of working out helps simulate endorphin production and the creation of chemicals like serotonin which induce feelings of happiness. The act of punching further helps relieve muscle tension and thus mitigate the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety. Boxing can also instil a sense of achievement and mental strength which not only builds confidence and self-esteem but gives you the fighting spirit you need to tackle life’s problems.