Ever since I was a young lad my two favourite ways of exercising were running and boxing, and to this day that is still the case. For many years I assumed the reason I loved them so much was because I was actually pretty good at both. But as I grew older, I realised that it wasn’t just the physical benefits I enjoyed but more the mental benefits. Surprisingly both forms of exercise help me mentally in different ways.
When I run, I forget about everything going on in my life, my mind switches off. I would daydream and enjoy the scenery and surroundings. I guess you could say it’s my happy place. But when I box my mind goes to a different level, a level that helps me cope better mentally as a husband, a father, a friend, a fitness professional and a businessman.
I want to use this blog to share the mental benefits I find when I put on a pair of boxing gloves and start hitting a bag or focus pads.
Stress is a normal emotion that we all experience at certain times in our lives. The world we live in today is a lot more stressful than two years ago (pre covid), they key is to find healthy ways to relieve the buildup of stress. When I experience stressful times, I find boxing to be the best outlet in reducing mental tension, clearing the mind and after an hour of hitting the bag I usually forget why I was originally stressed in the first place.
Boxing is a sport that requires 100% focus and attention, not just when boxing competitively but boxing for fitness as well. Undertaking boxing combinations requires your brain to be switched on, remembering hand and feet positioning, movements and proper breathing all require a lot of concentration. This mind focused brain training, has helped me in other aspects of life outside of boxing.
I’ve lost count how many times a client has come to my boxing sessions in a bad mood. It may be due to a frustrating day at work, arguing with their partner or the kids have been running wild, and all they want to do is hit a punching bag. For many people boxing is the perfect way to channel that frustration and most importantly a healthy way to release that anger.
Learning boxing skills and technique helps build self-esteem and mental confidence. That feeling of being able to protect yourself in certain situations and building a fighting, never say die spirit. Boxing helps you get to know and understand yourself as a person and what you are capable of when gloves are on and off.
Finally, when I designed the Sub30 Boxing/Boxing for Fitness program it was to help people both physically and mentally. Improving their cardiovascular fitness, strength, co-ordination, and boxing technique as well mental wellbeing. In my experience Boxing is the best form of exercise that will do all those things, as well giving you skills to succeed in the real world.