Punching Up the Fitness Regimen, From the November 2015 Harvard Health Letter

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Fitness boxing is a great aerobic activity. It also helps improve muscle strength, endurance, balance, and possibly eye-hand coordination.

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Boxing isn’t just a sport anymore. It’s also a popular way to stay fit — even among older adults — through a version known as fitness boxing, reports the November 2015 Harvard Health Letter. “This kind of boxing has many health benefits, because it constantly requires you to think, change your position, and change your posture,” says physical therapist Linda Arslanian, director of rehabilitation services at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Unlike traditional boxing that requires each boxer to spar with a partner, fitness boxing for older adults involves throwing punches at the air or at a punching bag, usually in a class. There are two main types of these exercise classes. In one, the class follows a leader and completes a series of boxing moves choreographed to bouncy music, similar to an aerobics class. The other type of exercise class involves strength training, stretching, and hitting a punching bag.

Don’t have the strength to stand and do boxing moves? Both types of classes are available for people who wish to remain seated while punching at the air or at a punching bag.

There’s no proof that fitness boxing is superior to any other types of exercise, but it does have many health benefits. It’s a great aerobic workout, it builds upper body strength, and it improves balance.

Read the full-length article: "Punch up your exercise routine with fitness boxing"

Also in the November 2015 issue of the Harvard Health Letter:

  •     Which blood pressure medication is the right one for you?
  •     How to tell if your medications are making you depressed
  •     Avoiding foodborne illness at home and at the holiday buffet

The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/health or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

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