Zen & M’s: Boxing

This week, Caitlin recommends boxing as a great new work out.

Last Friday during my cardio workout, I couldn’t help but realize how bored I was. I was bored because my workout was easy — my body had gotten used to my current routine, and I knew I had to make a change. If I was going to cure boredom and continue to help my fitness improve, I would need to find a new way to challenge myself.

Coincidentally, I went to a boxing class the very next day with two of my friends. Boxing provided exactly the kind of exercise I was looking for to challenge my body and my mind. The class provided a fast paced, interval based workout. From the very beginning, I felt like a pro as I wrapped my hands and threw on a pair boxing gloves. After the class actually started, we did three minute sets, splitting a minute in various ways (20-40, 30-30, 40-20 seconds), the first fraction we spent doing a combination with the heavy bag, and the second fraction we spent doing pushups, burpees, or some other kind of cardio like jumps or jumping jacks.

The pace of the class, as well as the variety of the combinations at the bag and off the bag made it difficult to be bored. I found that the sets were long enough to be a muscular and cardiovascular challenge, but short enough that they weren’t demoralizing — I always knew that I could make it. Also, there is an actual technique required in boxing, and focusing on correct technique kept my brain occupied.

The class was difficult for me, but by no means impossible, and I recommend it to any fitness junkie looking for a new way to spice up their routine. Boxing is a great way to release aggression and build focus. Also, boxing is like an exercise mashup, activating all muscle groups, your aerobic and anaerobic respiration, and many other elements of fitness such as power and coordination. Boxing can also be a great core workout, as it requires a lot of support from the core and requires more twisting than I was expecting. My obliques definitely were feeling it as much as my arms the next day.

Although boxing was a challenge, I would recommend it to fitness beginners or those who aren’t as excited about exercise as me, as well. Although it is a very intense workout, you can go at your own pace, and I think that the challenge of completing a difficult class would be a great way to show yourself that you can accomplish your health goals or make boxing the goal. If you aren’t confident in your training abilities, use the promise of taking yourself to a boxing class as motivation to continue your training.

If you hate working out, this isn’t for you. But, if you are a self-described couch potato, I urge you to keep an open mind. True, you will sweat, your lungs will work, your muscles will ask you to stop, and you will be sore the next day, but you will also receive a rush of endorphins that will keep you happy all day, and you will feel the strongest you’ve ever felt, and that is what working out is all about.

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