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What Are the Health Benefits of Boxing?

author image Patrick Dale
Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. A lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a contributor to "Ultra-FIT" magazine and has been involved in fitness for more than 22 years. He authored the books "Military Fitness", "Live Long, Live Strong" and "No Gym? No Problem!" and served in the Royal Marines for five years.
What Are the Health Benefits of Boxing?
Punch your way into shape with boxing workouts. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Being punched over and over is not a very healthy pursuit, but if you can avoid being hit too often, training for boxing provides an effective workout. The tools used for boxing training such as heavy bags, jump ropes and hook and jab pads provide a fun, interesting and challenging workout that can increase many aspects of your fitness and positively affect your health.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Boxers fight for three-minute rounds interspersed with one-minute recoveries and often spar or do bag work for similar durations. This start-stop form of exercise is commonly called interval training. Interval training is an effective way to develop cardiovascular fitness, which is closely linked to cardiovascular health. The health benefits of boxing for the cardiovascular system include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced blood pressure and reduced risk of stroke.

Reduced Stress

Although a highly contested boxing match in itself may be stressful, training for boxing by hitting a heavy bag, doing pad work and working the speed ball provide a good outlet for stress. Intense exercise triggers the release of feel-good hormones called endorphins, which leave you feeling happy, confident and less stressed.

Increased Bone Density

Bone mass normally peaks when you are in your mid-30s to late 30s and then, if left unchecked, gradually declines as you age. Weight-bearing exercise and exercises that place a significant load through your bones can reduce bone loss and may even result in increased bone mass. If left untreated, low bone mass may develop into a serious medical condition called osteoporosis, which is normally associated with bones that fracture easily. As boxing loads all of your major bones, it can help prevent bone loss.

Healthy Weight Management

Boxing training is an energetic activity that burns a lot of calories. This calorie-burning effect can help prevent a calorific surplus and help with weight maintenance or weight loss. A 130-pound person who performs a 30-minute session on a punching bag will burn around 175 calories, and the same person would burn around 260 sparring. Combined with a calorie controlled diet, boxing training can help you maintain your ideal weight.

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