Punching Up: The Benefits of Boxing


by Nate Widom

You’ve seen it in movies like Rocky or perhaps while watching famous figures like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, or Floyd Mayweather. Competitive boxing may be stereotyped as an intense fight with gloves, power, and emotion. But even the average Joe or Jane can take up boxing as a fiery, fun fitness outlet.

The sport’s kicking, punching, and evasive movements can translate into a valuable full-body workout with many mental and physical health benefits. And the beauty of it is that you don’t need an opponent or experience to receive all those perks. Whether you choose to conduct boxing exercises competitively or casually, you’re in for a fat-burning treat. All you need is gloves, a bag, motivation, and most crucially, a mindset to improve your health.

I spoke to HAC Premier Personal Trainer Jo Jo Riccardi, an experienced boxer. Jo Jo’s innate capacity to box was natural from the beginning. Now as a trainer, she is the friendly face behind HAC’s
confidence-building IBOX and IBOD SGPT classes.

According to Jo Jo, the benefits of boxing are lengthy and cover both mental and physical realms. “You can get shredded,” she mentions. “You can melt fat faster. You’re sculpting your arms, your legs, your abs,
and core.”

Regarding mental health, boxing provides an outlet to reduce stress and take out frustration. It can also improve your posture, boost your energy, and provide many aerobic benefits. Not to mention, boxing offers the foundations of self-defense and provides a team-effort environment for those who choose to box with partners.

Additionally, boxing can be tailored to different goals depending on your power output. However, you can still reap many health benefits and receive a fantastic workout without putting 100 percent into every swing and kick. Jo Jo strongly believes that you don’t need to be a boxing superstar to take up the sport. Pacing yourself is key to getting the most valuable boxing experience.

“You may not think that you can box or that you can learn, but I have seen people who could not box for nothing, and now they are pretty damn good,” Jo Jo concludes. And for an excellent full-body workout, stop by for one of Jo Jo’s IBOD and IBOX small group personal training classes.

Gateway Garden Center


Boxing provides many excellent physical and mental benefits, including:

  • Movements to burn fat, gain muscle, and tone your entire body
  • A reduction in stress
  • An appropriate outlet to take out frustration
  • Foundations of self-defense
  • An improvement in posture and balance
  • A boost of energy
  • Building stamina

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