Women’s fitness: Get lean, mean results with boxing
Since the mid 90's, boxing classes have been a mainstay phenomena in women's fitness. With the success of female fighters Laila Ali and Christy Martin along with the popularity of films such as the Oscar Award-winning Million Dollar Baby, boxing has visibly become more popular amongst the female audience. And for good reason: Boxing shreds calories, delivers ultra-fast results compared to low intensity workouts, and is a superior stress buster.
Looking for a fun fitness challenge?No matter how much you love that 8am spin class or zoning out on the elliptical after a particularly brain smashing day, any workout done repeatedly gets stale.
Worse, by sticking with the same routine for weeks on end, you are destined to hit a fitness plateau – you're bored, your body is simply going through the motions, you are working out but have reached the point of (yawn) maintenance.
If you are less than enthused with your workouts or your bod, boxing may be just what you need to up your motivation and get far more fit than your current workout monotony. Not only does boxing burn fat and up to 800 to 1,000 calories an hour, it makes you fast on your feet, gives you a full-body workout and doubles as a way to learn the art of self-defense.
Boxing doesn't get boringIf you dread the mere thought of repetitively beating a bag or the air for an hour, don't despair. Boxing is much more dynamic that that.
Benji Radach, professional MMA fighter and director of instructor training at LA Boxing, says "We aren't just throwing punches. We add lunges, push ups, and sit ups in the middle of our workouts, so we actually hit every muscle in the body. [And because] our boxing workout changes throughout the hour, it doesn't get monotonous."
Radach adds that though workouts are only an hour, they are intense enough to get 10 times the results of conventional aerobics. And results speak for themselves. LA Boxing, a boxing and kickboxing franchise, was listed in July 2008 as one of 25 fastest-growing fitness companies by the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), and the company reports that in 2006 and 2007 it expanded its number of locations by a whopping 80 percent.
You can also get fit with boxing at homeWith the current economy, whether you are bored with your workouts or not, you may be faced with having to forgo your current gym membership. Boxing at home can be a financially-savvy choice.
Andy Slate, director of marketing for Everlast, a leader in boxing equipment, says "Boxing is a great way for anyone, no matter their level of experience, to get fit on a budget. For those who are questioning their pricey gym membership in a tough economy, you can spend $200 or less on Everlast equipment such as a free standing heavy bag, pro style training gloves or weighted gloves and get an intense full body workout right in the privacy of your own home."
Most gym memberships cost $30 to $60 per month, plus initiation fee and possibly more if members have to pay for popular specialty classes. Once you buy boxing equipment for home use, it's yours for no additional monthly fees and no class time constraints. However, if you have never boxed or taken a class, consider purchasing boxing fitness DVDs or make an appointment with a trainer who specializes in boxing to get the basic techniques so you can safely and effectively box yourself fit.
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