Punch Your Way to a Less Stressful Day: 7 Reasons to Box

Forget what you’ve seen in the movies. You don’t need to drink a glass of raw eggs, run through the streets of Philadelphia or practice your jabs on a side of beef to get into boxing. In fact, all across Michigan, everyday people are flocking to boxing gyms to try all kinds of workouts—sessions that push you both mentally and physically. Tempted to get in the ring? These seven surprising facts about the sport just might convince you.

  1. Anyone can do it. You don’t need to already be in amazing shape to try boxing, you just need to be willing to work hard. Trainers are there to teach you the right form and basic moves (they aren’t too complex!) and boxing gyms tend to be close-knit communities that welcome newcomers with open arms.
  2. It’s good for the heart. Boxing is a total package workout that gets you breathing fast in no time. You constantly move your body, which makes it a great aerobic activity that isn’t as repetitive or tough on your joints as running.
  3. All of those punches and kicks work your muscles. Boxing targets everything from your calves, quads and hamstrings to your shoulders, back, chest and arms. On top of all that, it strengthens your core, which is used to generate power and keep you stable. In fact, ESPN ranked boxing as one of the toughest sports because it requires so much strength and endurance. See for yourself with this video, which shows just a few of the moves you’re likely to do in a class.

  4. It’s a powerful stress reducer. Feeling frustrated or upset about something? Take it out on a punching bag. “Someone might come in and say they’re having a bad day, so we tell them to imagine that the bag is whoever is stressing them out,” says Derrick Holoman, a trainer at 9Round in Royal Oak. It sounds like a gimmick, but it does work. “You really feel a release when you punch or kick a heavy bag or a guy holding mitts,” says Chris Wisniewski, a trainer at Allegiance Gym in Warren.
  5. It boosts your confidence. Boxing is a tough workout, but it can also teach you self-defense skills that give you confidence. “It can take you from having the worst day ever to feeling like you can take on the world,” says Wisniewski.
  6. It’s a mental workout. Being able to mentally push yourself and stay focused is just as important as physical strength in boxing. “You get results by pushing yourself even when you’re tired,” explains Holoman. “That’s something you need in so many areas of life—how to keep going if you’re mentally fatigued.”
  7. It doesn’t hurt. Worried you’re going to walk out of the gym with a bloody nose? Don’t be! Although you can spar if you want, most boxing classes don’t involve you getting hit.

If your usual workout routine has become a bit stale, why not try boxing? You can punch your stress away and get fit doing it. In addition to 9round and Allegiance Gym, check these other Michigan spots out:

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