I Love Boxing! by Jackie Kallen

I fell in love with boxing over 40 years ago. Until I went to my first live fight, I had no idea how physically and mentally engaging this sport is for the competitors. This sport is no game. It’s serious. And it was there—at my first fight–that I realized how in shape these fighters had to be. It became apparent that if a person trained like a boxer, they could also be in tip-top shape.

What does a typical boxer do to get into fight shape? The methods vary from fighter to fighter, but the basics include running, jump rope, crunches, shadow boxing, hitting the heavy bag, mitt work with a coach, hitting the speed bag, and for some—sparring with another fighter. But this can be pared down to fit anyone’s level of fitness.

I owned and operated Galaxy Boxing in Detroit, a gym that was predominantly for pro and amateur boxers. But when the fighters weren’t there, I found that many of my female friends loved to come in and work out.

Running is a staple in most workouts. Its great for cardio health and it can be done outside or inside on a treadmill. You can jog, sprint, or run long-distance. It gets your heart rate up, helps your respiratory system, and aids in weight loss. It can also reduce cholesterol, strengthen bones and relieve stress. A runner can typically burn 100 calories for every mile run.

Crunches are also a sold part of a good boxing workout. Similar to traditional sit-ups, crunches tighten and firm-up the abdominal muscles. A stronger core also improves posture and overall flexibility. Crunches burn 300 calories for a 20-minute set and give you a slimmer, more compact waistline. This is also beneficial for balance and stability.

Females have always seemed to excel at jump rope. Even as kids, jump ropes were a part of an active little girl’s life. This is proven to elevate your heart rate, work your muscles, and release hormones that improve your mental health. On top of it, 20 minutes of jumping rope will burn 241 calories.

Hitting a heavy bag is another excellent form of exercise. Besides reducing stress, which is a given benefit, there are other pluses to adding this to your workout. Hitting a heavy bag greatly improves your balance and stability. This exercise is also good for building endurance.

The speedbag is excellent for burning fat. You’re constantly in motion and it burns calories and also improves your speed. It’s also helpful in improving balance and it works out your triceps, which is a tough area for women to tone up. Obviously, this is also the perfect exercise for improving hand-eye coordination.

Shadow boxing is another superior way to improve balance, boost coordination and effectively effect posture. This exercise also tightens the neck muscles as you’re constantly moving your head. Another benefit is that you gain the power of concentration and alertness. It’s also a great stress-reducer.

Give the boxing workout a try. You’ll be very pleased with the results.

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