It used to be a man’s world, a domain where two opponents don some gloves and beat the hell out of one another. Well, that is what it looks like in the ring and on television. But in fact, boxing as an alternative to exercise is more than throwing a punch, it is a collective of intense exercise regimes designed to impact the whole body, to become fighting fit, so to speak. It’s more than working out, too, as so many film narratives have shared. Boxing has a significant emotional impact, and you don’t have to be a prize fighter to benefit from this. Women are increasingly drawn to boxing as a workout alternative, too.
The film Chick Fight, starring Malin Akerman and Alec Baldwin, now on DSTV’s Box Office, shows how the sport can positively impact an individual across the emotional and lifestyle spectrum. It tells the story of an emotionally not-okay character that joins an underground female fight club and punches her way to change. Boxing site Gloveworks highlights the benefits of boxing for women, noting that participation acts as a stress releaser while allowing for negative emotions like anger and frustration to be diluted while jabbing the punching bag.
About 60% of his clients are women these days says personal boxing instructor Chunky Phiri. “Women are attracted to the sport as it does not only provide a great form of exercise, but the emotional release that boxing affords is incredible.” He says that many first-timers start off intimidated by the perceived violence of the sport, but, in a relatively short time, take to it like a duck to water. “I always tell them to imagine the punching bag is someone responsible for anger or frustration, to imagine this, and release the negativity. Transformation over time is inspiring to observe.”
In the film, Akerman’s character follows a similar emotional path with themes of courage and determination, emotional growth, love, and friendship along with a wellness transformation. “I believe that boxing delivers physical health as well as benefit participants emotionally. Discipline and teamwork with your sparring partner or ever your opponent is key, too,” adds Phiri. “Where doing a gym circuit or working weights focuses on a single part of the body, boxing is intense. It exercises almost everything.” Gloveworks claims that boxing also benefits hormonal health due to its intensity activating hormonal recovery phases.
Model and boxing enthusiast Keasha Werner says that as a form of exercise, boxing feels as if it has purpose. “Just doing normal exercise in a gym, like stair climbing or cycling on a stationary bike, for example, is beneficial but there is no real sense of achievement like one gets from even a short thirty-minute boxing workout. It is intense, but it is a release like no other.” Werner’s enthusiasm for the sport led her to installing a boxing bag at home. “Even without a trainer present, sometimes just laying a punch or two into it feels really, really good.
Gloveworks sums it up beautifully: “Boxing is one of the most holistic and comprehensive workouts out there. It works every muscle group and is just as much mental as it is physical. It provides you with plenty of skills that you will undoubtedly take with you outside of the ring.”
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