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Kickboxing and Boxing Improved My Mental Health

By HERWriter
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mental health can benefit from kickboxing and boxing Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Jab, cross, hook, uppercut! You may be familiar with those terms -- they are examples of the types of punches used commonly in kickboxing and also boxing.

Over the past few months, I’ve taken several kickboxing classes, and just recently a trial boxing session. I am by no means an expert, but I wanted to share my experiences with you.

Most of us know how beneficial exercise is to mental health. When we exercise, we generally feel better about ourselves, and we are less likely to have other health issues if we exercise frequently.

For people with conditions like depression and anxiety, studies have proven exercise helps relieve at least some symptoms.

I have personally felt the benefits of kickboxing and now boxing. As a nearly lifelong sufferer of depression (and some anxiety), I have tried many forms of exercise to try and help my mental and physical health.

I have found kickboxing and boxing to be the best workout, and I’ve felt the most relief after engaging in these activities.

For me, besides depression and anxiety, I suffer from stress, anger, frustration and irritability sometimes on a daily basis, so having a workout that allows me to punch and kick is a great way to relieve all of those emotions and feelings in a positive outlet.

The mental boost I've experienced is matched by the strength I feel in my body. I've also been able to lose weight through kickboxing and other workouts -- the kickboxing classes I took gave me more motivation to take my fitness seriously, and allowed me to enjoy myself as well.

Besides being able to punch, kick and let out frustrations, the idea of doing group classes or one-on-one sessions (or even workout videos) on a consistent basis gives me a sense of accomplishment.

I have learned new skills and have a new passion to talk about with other people. It gives me something to look forward to, which is a mental boost in itself.

Also, doing a traditionally “masculine” workout is empowering to me. It makes me feel more powerful, strong, and able to defend myself if I ever had to.

I started my experience with kickboxing by doing TurboFire videos with a co-worker, which have different cardio workouts that include a lot of kickboxing and dance moves.

I then went to LA Fitness for a few months and did Zumba and kickbox cardio group sessions. I found that I enjoyed kickboxing more than Zumba, and felt a more intense workout with kickboxing.

According to the LA Fitness website http://www.lafitness.com/Pages/AerobicClasses.aspx?Source=3/ both forms of exercise burn up to 550 calories.

Although I ended my membership at LA Fitness due to work schedule conflicts, I recently just went to a trial boxing session at IronGloves in Tempe. My session was the most extreme workout I’ve had in a while.

The trainer was getting used to my fitness level, so he pushed me a little harder than I wanted, but sometimes that’s what is needed in order to get a good workout and to get in the best shape possible.

I felt exhausted after my session, but also felt extremely satisfied, and I’m coordinating my schedule so I can start taking consistent one-on-one sessions, and then group sessions when I get my form down.

I also have the opportunity to get in some kickboxing sessions as well, since IronGloves specializes in both boxing and kickboxing.

Although kickboxing and boxing have been the best forms of exercise for me, this doesn’t mean they are the best and most fun for everyone else. I suggest experimenting with all different types of exercise (running, dancing, swimming, yoga, pilates, step, kickboxing and boxing).

You can then make a decision on which workout makes you feel amazing, and stick with that and feel the improvements in your mental and physical health soon after.

What is your experience with kickboxing and boxing? What types of exercise make you feel the best physically and mentally? Share your stories in the comments.

Edited by Jody Smith

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EmpowHER Guest

Thanks for the article Rheyanne Weaver, interesting article on how to improve mental health through extreme martial arts. A good way to increase ones physical energy as well.

October 26, 2015 - 6:38pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.