We know that we need to be completing 150 minutes of light to moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity every week according to the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines. When most of us hear this, we tend to think of walking on the treadmill or riding the stationary bike. However, there are other ways to reach these guidelines including circuit training, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and my personal favourite, boxing.

 

 

I am a big believer of incorporating boxing into the cardiovascular training component of someone’s workout as it is great for cardiovascular fitness but also has benefits for mental health, coordination, and balance. This makes it fantastic for individuals of all ages and with varying conditions.

 

‘…Boxing is great for cardiovascular fitness, however, it also has mental health benefits, improves coordination and improves balance’.

 

Boxing is generally completed in rounds of 30 seconds to 2 minutes in length, with a variety of work to rest ratios. Similar to other forms of cardiovascular training there is no set parameters that you must follow, it is best to discuss this with your Exercise Physiologist.

 

3 basic combos I always like to use are 1. Jab-Cross, 2. Jab-Cross-Hook-Hook & 3. Jab-Cross-Uppercut-Uppercut. However, there are endless combinations you can create, as well as incorporating foot work to create a new workout each time you train. This can lead to decreased boredom when compared to other forms of cardiovascular training.

 

When boxing, it is important to consider your balance and coordination. This is because when you punch your centre of mass moves around. This can lead to loss of balance and potentially a fall, so ensure you have a secure base of support. If you have a condition that affects your coordination and/or balance, such as Parkinson’s Disease, boxing can be modified to a seated position. A paper by Morris, M.E and colleagues (2019), found boxing beneficial to those who are going through the early to middle stages of Parkinson’s disease progression. It can also be a great way to ensure your cardiovascular system doesn’t become deconditioned as allows for a workout without the need to leave your chair.

 

 

Lastly, mental health benefits are not exclusive to boxing training, however, from personal experience and from discussions with  clients, boxing can be great for stress and anxiety relief. There have even been studies to prove this with Bozdarov, J and colleagues (2022), finding that non-contact boxing exercises, usually in a high-intensity-interval training group setting, provided significant reduction in symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Furthermore, another study suggests that shadow boxing together coupled with psychosomatic relaxation, has a beneficial effect on depression and anxiety among people with Type 2 Diabetes (Zheng, Y. 2015).

 

‘Boxing has proven benefits for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, and has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression’.

 

So, when you’re next in the gym have a chat to your Exercise Physiologist about incorporating boxing training into your workouts and exercise plan. It can be a fun way to work your cardiovascular system and whilst also reaping the mental health benefits.

 

Give Longevity Exercise Physiology a call today on 1300 964 002  to get started!

 

References:

  1. Morris, M.E., Ellis, T.D., Jazayeri, D., Heng, H., Thomson, A., Balasundaram, A.P. and Slade, S.C., 2019. Boxing for Parkinson’s disease: has implementation accelerated beyond current evidence?. Frontiers in neurology10, p.1222.
  2. Bozdarov, J., Jones, B.D., Daskalakis, Z.J. and Husain, M.I., 2022. Boxing as an intervention in mental health: A scoping review. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, p.15598276221124095.
  3. Zheng, Y., Zhou, Y. and Lai, Q., 2015. Effects of twenty-four move shadow boxing combined with psychosomatic relaxation on depression and anxiety in patients with type-2 diabetes. Psychiatria Danubina27(2), pp.0-179.