Many people associate boxing with two people inside a boxing ring hitting each other in a vicious and uncontrolled manner until one of the opponents can not go on any longer and gives in, or gets knocked out and the fight is over. But it’s more than that. Boxing requires hard work, dedication, skill, technique, strength, and perseverance. It’s a beautiful sport.
I did boxing workouts in a boxing gym for many years which led me to my love and passion, as well as admiration and appreciation for the sport. It was also easy to see and feel how amazing and beneficial the workouts are, in so many ways. Whether the moves are done with an opponent, on a heavy bag, or just the moves through the air, the benefits can be felt. Boxing is especially beneficial for the senior population for so many reasons. Follow along as we explore the many benefits of boxing for seniors, including a video with specific exercises seniors can try at home!
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All Over Strengthening
The entire body gets a workout when you box, standing, or seated. When you stand, your boxing starts from the ground up. A strong foundation from your feet, up through the legs, to the core, and ultimately coming through the chest and upper body into the punch. The feet and ankles strengthen (help with balance), leading into the calves and quadriceps of the legs.
The core is a big part of boxing because the abdominals have to stay tight and rotation in the core strengthens the abs, lower back, spine, and hips. The chest and upper back engage as a punch is thrown also strengthening the shoulders, biceps, and triceps.
This goes for seated as well! The entire core and upper body engage to throw a punch. Leading to all over strengthening in the body!
Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
Fine motor skills tend to decline as we age. These are due to changes in brain structure and function. Reaching out for a target in front of you whether it is a bag, mitts, a person, or a target you create in the air makes the brain engage and think.
Further, listening for cues given as to what you do next as far as movements and punches make the brain think and tell the body what to do next. This all helps with reflexes and hand-eye coordination.
These are essential in everyday activities. Such as, if you drop something and need to pick it up or if you start to lose balance and need to remain upright. Or even if you need to move out of the way of something coming at you. Quick thinking and movements working together!
Low Impact on the Joints and Bones
Shadowboxing, or punching the air, is a great way to get both your cardiovascular and strength endurance. This method requires no impact on a bag, mitts, or a person and is perfect for those with osteoporosis or osteoarthritis.
There will also be no impact on the joints and bones, which can cause added pain and discomfort. The muscles around the joints and bones will be strengthened, leading to even more benefits. And even seated, those big movements and punches will get the heart rate up and get your cardiorespiratory workout in, along with muscle strengthening!
Sharpens the Brain with Immediate Memory and Recall Improvements
A 2014 study done on older adults with mild cognitive impairments found that if 60-minutes of shadowboxing was done once a week for six months, improvement of cognitive function (cognitive function refers to multiple mental abilities, including learning, thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem-solving, decision making, and attention), including memory and recall abilities, were highly improved.
The combination of the punches that can be thrown (jab, cross, hook, upper) is memorized by the body and mind and then thrown correctly when they are told to be thrown. This happens in a workout setting, or in anticipation of your opponent’s next move when boxing with someone or visualizing a scenario in shadowboxing.
It is YOUR Workout
Always remember this is your workout. That means you can choose how hard to hit, how fast you go, and how much intensity you give. Make sure you focus on form to avoid injury and to get the most from your workout. Finally, always have fun!
These are just a few of the many benefits you will achieve by adding boxing into your workout regimen. It is challenging, and that is a great part of it — to challenge yourself is to grow! Be mindful of your form to stay safe and start slow. Add intensity and speed as you get more comfortable. And feel empowered when you finish, feeling stronger with all the new abilities you have gained!
30 Minute Standing Boxing Cardio Workout for Seniors
In this exercise video, Meredith is taking you through a great standing cardio boxing workout. This workout is an intermediate level exercise, all standing and a great way to get a cardio burn in. This 30-minute exercise incorporates both shadowboxing and cardio movements. It’s is a great way to raise your heart rate and get your blood pumping!
As always make sure you drink lots of water and go at your own pace. All moves can be modified to your level and never do moves that cause any discomfort. We also have seated options available if you check the website,
www.SeniorFitnessWithMeredith.com, and search in our workouts. We hope you enjoy this workout!
For more videos by Meredith, check out Senior Fitness with Meredith.