#MIOlympics: The benefits of boxing

BoxingWhen boxing comes to mind, you might think of two extremely strong men duking it out in the ring until there remains only one standing. I know this is what I usually picture when I think of a boxing match.

However, if you think boxing is a sport only for men like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, think again! Despite being a traditionally male sport, it has gained significant popularity among women over the past century. In fact, for the first time in history, women’s boxing will be featured in the London 2012 Olympics.

It is certainly a physically demanding sport, anyone who has watched a boxing match knows that – but it is one that can also serve as a beneficial workout for both men and women of all ages. If you’re willing to put in the time and physical effort, while also experiencing a form of exercise that is a little less conventional, you will see some great benefits:

  • Improved heart health
  • Greater flexibility
  • Increased muscle strength
  • Improved agility
  • Form of stress relief

Many gyms have boxing equipment and offer classes, so you might consider heading to your closest gym for a physically rewarding boxing session. However, the gym is surely not the only place to go if you’re looking to practice this sport. You could purchase a punching bag for the garage or basement and exercise at your leisure, moving at your own pace instead of the pace of an instructor. If you’re looking for a boxing workout that’s a little less intense but will still benefit your health, think about checking for free videos online or investing in some boxing games for your Nintendo Wii.

Whether exercising alone or with some friends, for sport or for fun, boxing can be a great form of exercise for just about everyone!

Photo credit abolotnov

Have you been training like an Olympian lately?  If so, put your routine on video and enter the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Train Like An Olympian contest for your chance to ride on a float in the 2012 America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

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