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Throwing punches…getting fit

Boxing — an awesome workout for the body & the mind

boxing-glovesMy new favorite fitness routine is boxing. I love it! Surprisingly so.

Yep, this girl who far prefers outdoor cardiovascular exercise — hiking, trail running and power walking — and who couldn’t do jumping jacks in fitness boot camp two and half years ago, doesn’t really like gyms, and definitely doesn’t believe in “hitting people” LOVES a fitness routine that involves punching and jabbing stuff…hard, jumping/dancing around, and doing so indoors. Go figure.

hilary-swank-million-dollar-baby-boxing-ring-maggie-fitzgeraldBoxing is a blast and one of the best full body high intensity workouts — for the body and the mind. Many of us, women especially, have preconceived notions about boxing being a sport for men or the rough and tough. Think Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby. But boxing is fast becoming one of the most popular fitness routines and more women are doing it and loving it – just like me. “Google” it and you’ll see what I mean. As I’m learning first-hand, boxing is one of the best and most fun ways to a lean, toned and strong body.

How I got started punching stuff!

I started boxing with a trainer one day on a whim earlier this month. I’ll admit, it was largely an impulsive decision to help relieve some temporary emotional stress. I just wanted to try it. Well, it did help with my emotional stress and overall mindset – and my confidence. I found it empowering. It got me pumped up — both my heart (rate) and my head (mindset).

When I send a good, hard punch or jab consistently for a long duration, I feel awesome both inside and out. For me, it is mind “freeing” as well as being a fantastic workout. My routine is to crank the workout tunes, concentrate on the punches, my core movement, and the coordination needed to do it well. Boxing is not only good for fat loss (weight loss), but it provides increased agility and coordination, and overall muscle tone. It’s an awesome workout for the whole body.

Be careful and safe.

I have a rotator cuff injury from skiing earlier this year. So I have to concentrate on my movements and pay close attention to my shoulder/arm, and if it’s bothering me, I stop.  That’s why I have a skilled trainer who knows boxing both teaching and working with me. He pushes me hard and I love it. Since boxing is a high repetition work-out, it is likely you’ll see more tone than muscle. But, ladies, let’s not be afraid of being strong and having a little muscle either. I love how I can see the difference in my upper body definition already in just a couple of weeks, and feel it in my lower body and core.

When I first boxed a couple of years ago (in pink gloves) with my transformation coach, Leif Anderson, for a video he was shooting, I had no idea what I was doing. I truly “punched like a girl” and was fearful of it. As we reviewed the video footage, Leif suggested in a very polite way that we had better not use the boxing video clip — meaning my form sucked and we didn’t want others to emulate that! 😉 Well, I’m now nailing my jabs and punches, working to perfect my form on the upper cut, and excited to incorporate more footwork (dancing, jumping!) and kickboxing next. And I only hit my trainer in the gut occasionally!

The goal

For me, the long-term goal is to become my strongest, leanest, happiest self and maintain this for a lifetime. A healthy, fit, active and happy girl! So I’m always looking for new activities that I love and will enjoy doing consistently. Boxing now makes the list. And it made my lists of firsts, check!

In the short-term, my goal is to box solid for 45 minutes, including the proper warm-up and cool-down, so 30 minutes of straight cardio boxing by the end of my 28-day personal challenge (about 1.5 weeks). I’ll let you know how I do.

In the meantime, I would love to hear what some of your favorite high intensity workouts are? Has anyone else tried boxing? Do you love it or hate it? What gets your heart rate up and helps your head (mindset) at the same time?!

Some links on the benefits of boxing and workouts you can do at home:

Boxing workout: Hit like a girl

Home Boxing Workout

 

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