The Undiscovered Sport - Boxing

Date July 31, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Author Julie Lueking

Publication SantaFe.com

Categories Health & Beauty

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There are three types of exercisers in this day and age. The first one is the person that is at the gym everyday and looks at exercise as their first love. The second type is the person who goes to the gym at the beginning of the year to start their New Year's resolution and only lasts a few months. The third type is sitting on their couch not reading this article. People who exercise say that they do it for various reasons, from feeling good, to weight loss, health reasons or because their doctor said so. If you ask most of them if they enjoy it, the majority would say no! Most of us exercise because we have to. As a personal trainer, I have worked with many people who say they would not exercise without having a trainer. That is why I have a job. Have you ever thought of exercise as fun? Well, I have found the undiscovered sport that will make you answer yes to that question and want to exercise!

This undiscovered sport is BOXING! Most people think boxing is a violent sport that is inhumane. If you watch boxing on TV with an untrained eye, you see two people trying to knock the other opponent out. What you don't see is the art and extensive training they go through in the gym. It is the best work out (without feeling that you're working out!). Boxing is a cardiovascular sport that burns an extreme amount of calories. The technical side to boxing will keep you mentally focused while you gain self esteem, confidence, and self-defense skills. I saved the best for last: boxing will allow you to release your aggression and melt your stress away!

Boxing is the most rewarding cardiovascular exercise that a person can do. It is a mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is when your body allows oxygen to flow through your muscles and work without fatigue. Anaerobic exercise is when there is a lack of oxygen to the muscles and you fatigue quickly. In boxing, you use both aerobic and anaerobic exercises to train the body. There are many types of boxing classes. There are aerobic classes, technique classes, and sparring classes (better known as anaerobic exercise). Aerobic classes are designed to keep your heart rate up for the entire class. There might be jumping, hopping, or strength moves incorporated with boxing moves. A technique class focuses on how the punches are thrown, footwork, and offensive/defensive moves. A sparring class allows you to take what you have learned in the technique class and put it to use inside the ring. The sparring class is a contact class that gives you an opponent to learn from. Boxing can burn up to 500 calories per hour.

The technical portion of boxing is what I believe to be the difference in motivating people. As you start taking these classes, you are engulfed in learning all the different punches, the correct form, the footwork, and the offensive and defensive moves. As you focus on all of these techniques, you forget that you are working out. What an extraordinary thought-working out without knowing it. I am a firm believer, that if you find something you love, you will never think of it as work. Passion and dedication work for a lot of things in life, but let's stick to working out.

Last, but not least, this undiscovered sport builds self confidence, self esteem, and teaches you self-defense skills along the way. As you learn the art of boxing, you start to feel that you are mentally and physically stronger. Your self confidence increases as you learn the sport. You might walk a little taller, knowing that your workout is one of the most challenging in the world. If boxing was easy, don't you think everyone would do it? Your self esteem grows with the health benefits you gain from working out. You might start to lose weight, gain muscle tone, and build cardiovascular endurance. As for self defense, boxing will provide you with the tools to feel safe and confident should you ever need to protect yourself. Of course, even though you are learning a specific fighting style, you shouldn't use your new skills to instigate fights or show off.

As you know, exercise increases endorphins in your body. Increasing your endorphins is called a "natural high."€ You might have heard of the "runner's high."€ This is when the runner is at a point in their exercise that they are enjoying the run and feel like they're on top of the world. You can experience the same thing, but with boxing! As you start to work out, you feel great, and see an increase in energy (not to mention all the health benefits). The thing I like most about boxing is it helps me to let go of stress and life's frustrations. I know for a fact, that as you read this article, you can name a few people, situations, and/or things that have you blowing steam out of your ears. Using your knowledge of throwing punches and making contact to a heavy bag is the best way to release that stress. You will be amazed to find that- after throwing a few punches- you are calmer, saner and unflappable.

All in all, boxing is truly the undiscovered sport. It has so many benefits that I consider it a complete package in the exercise world. I hope that, after reading this article, you can try out a boxing class and see what I mean. You will benefit by losing weight, toning muscle, improving your overall health, increasing your self confidence, and learning how to make exercise fun!

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