Having worked as a health journalist for many years now, you could say I’ve tried my fair share of workouts. While you’ll most definitely find me in a sweaty HIIT class or stretching it out at reformer Pilates, one thing I’ll never get bored of (and always go back to) is boxing.

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If you’re looking to shake up your usual fitness routine, here are just some reasons as to why you should incorporate boxing into your workout plan, according to Tim West, founder of 12RND Fitness.

1. Your cardio will improve
“Boxing is naturally high intensity, it requires quick, explosive full-body movements to create power and force behind each strike, and regular high-intensity exercise is known to provide rapid results and significantly boost cardiovascular health and fitness,” West tells Sporteluxe. “This is because the short, sharp bursts cause your body to adapt quickly in response to the physical demands of the movements.”

West explains that high-intensity exercise also means that you don’t have to be working hard for too long. “Most boxing sessions typically last 45 minutes based on intervals, and the enjoyment of boxing means you’ll barely notice the time flying by.”2. It’ll boost your confidence
“Mentally, developing the technique and skills of boxing and learning to move like a fighter is a major self-confidence boost,” says West. “Boxing is the kind of sport where you can start at any skill level and continue to improve long-term because there’s no limit to your progression. You can continue to get faster, sharper and stronger with every single workout, and each time you do it feels amazing.” West explains that boxing provides a great foundation and structure that women enjoy in their fitness routines where you can simply “get to work” and know exactly what you need to do to smash your goals.

3. You’ll tone up (and fast)
“Women will tend to see greater results not only in getting significantly stronger and fitter, but also in achieving lean muscle mass; building a slimmer, toned body as a result of the full-body movements, a combination of strength and conditioning, and the incorporation of cardio,” says West. A bonus is also that the progressions happen a lot faster because of the sheer variety in the training—moving from upper body exercises into lower body and core all in one workout.

4. It’s perfect for those struggling with work/life balance
“One of the greatest challenges in juggling a work/life balance is finding time for yourself and the things you love, or simply the things you need, and health and fitness is an absolute necessity for a happy, positive life,” says West.

“The beauty of boxing is that it is essentially like taking up a new hobby, it’s a sport that anyone can do and that’s super addictive. When you love doing something, you learn to make time for it and are more motivated to keep going. Boxing is a great way for those who lead busy lives to not only get fitter but to make time for themselves and learn something new.”

5. It’s a form of stress-management
No doubt your familiar with that feeling of “unleashing” on a boxing bag—placing all of your force, energy and focus into every punch, and it’s this alone that can stimulate a great sense of release, explains West. “On top of the fact that by simply being active you are increasing the production of endorphins and getting the adrenaline rush from the fast-paced motions of boxing, that feeling of being “in the zone” you get when you box also has the ability to stimulate your brain in creating potent neurochemicals that flush out stress-causing hormones.”

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