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When you think of boxing, some of the greatest boxers of all time spring to mind, such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson and Rocky Marciano. But boxing isn’t just a sport anymore. There are a number of reasons why boxing is an all-encompassing workout for the mind and body.

Relieves stress

Almost any type of exercise can increase the production of endorphins and boost mood, which helps to alleviate stress. Some choose to jog to sweat away frustrations and talk about a ‘runner’s high’, and boxing is no different. There are several studies in particular that have proven boxing has a positive effect on mood. A study conducted by the Japan Society of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences showed that promoted tranquillity, as well as decreased tension and anxiety. Training involves switching between moderate and high intensity exercise, and pushing yourself through minutes of punching and kicking leaves little mental power left to think about your stressors.

Enhances cardiovascular health

Boxing training can play a key role in good heart health, resulting in lower blood pressure and healthier cholesterol levels. The cardio involved in this physically demanding sport encourages your heart and lungs to work overtime, pumping blood containing oxygen all around the body.

Increases power and strength

Designed to enhance your punching power, boxing training provides the perfect opportunity to ensure every punch is thrown with the greatest force. Work a heavy bag or focus pads and unload your most powerful shots without fear of retaliation. The ultimate full-body workout, you’ll work as many main muscles during training as possible. The shoulders, back, chest, arms, core and legs are all engaged for improved body strength. Honing your power and strength with boxing training will make your overall boxing technique much more effective.

Improves boxing technique

As well as enhancing your raw power, boxing training works on refining your technique. Instead of just throwing punches at the bag, you can make sure all punches and movements are performed in the correct way. It gives you the opportunity to practice certain punches and combinations, as well as working on the correct stance. In order to improve your technique and build muscle memory, you’ll need to make sure you’re punching in exactly the same way you would if you were inside the ring with an actual opponent. 

Better balance and coordination

The importance of hand-eye coordination on your overall health is often underestimated, but it plays an important factor in your gross and fine motor skills. Those with good hand-eye coordination tend to have better physical coordination as a whole, which is particularly important as you age and coordination and balance become compromised. Boxing can help hone this hand-eye coordination. During a boxing training session, you won’t just be standing still and punching. You’ll be moving around the heavy bag and throwing punching combinations to help build coordination and balance. Incorporating footwork into training and staying on your toes will also develop core stability, excellent posture and a more graceful movement. Whether you’re sparring with a partner or working with a speed bag, your target continuously moves and changes position. By focusing on this, hand-eye coordination will improve substantially with practice.

Builds self-confidence

As well as building physical strength, boxing can benefit your mental health. Boxing will make you feel more powerful mentally and leave you with a fighting spirit that you can use in some of life’s more challenging situations. After a training session, you’ll feel a sense of achievement which in turn builds self-esteem and self-confidence.

Better sleep

A boxing session can reduce the amount of time it takes to get to sleep, increase the length of sleep people experience and enhance sleep quality. According to a study conducted by Bellarmine University assistant professor Paul Loprinzi, people who exercise for a minimum of 150 minutes a week sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day. More than 2600 adult men and women took part in the study, with over 65 percent experiencing an improvement in their quality of sleep.