5 Unexpected Ways Boxing Changed My Body
For the most part, I've always been pretty active. High school in China was intense, so when the national college exam was ahead of me, it became the best excuse not to do anything . . . except to eat and sit. That was when things went downhill: I gained 40 pounds in a year.
After graduation, I told my mother that I had decided to get my old body back. My plan included hours of cardio and cutting half of my carbs. By the end of the Summer, I lost 50 pounds. But throughout those years of being active, I still considered myself as skinny-fat. No matter how much exercise I did, I still had fat around my lower belly. Thinking that I would carry that chunk of fat for the rest of my life, I was hopeless . . . until I got into boxing.
A jab, a cross, and a duck . . . oh, boy — your shirt will be soaked, your arms and legs will burn, and you'll be red with all that blood pumping. The goal isn't to look cute while you're boxing; it's to feel good when you're done. Boxing has brought nothing but positivity into my life. After only a month of boxing, I felt like a new person, confident and happy for all of these reasons.
Goodbye, Little Pouch
Boxing puts a huge emphasis on using your core. Whenever you move, whether it's a punch or a kick, you need to focus on holding your abs tight. I'd often forget about this, but my trainer constantly reminded me throughout my workouts. Over time, engaging my abs became a habit. I do it in the shower, when I'm eating — even when having sex!
To be honest, my skin was in good condition . . . until it met the California sun. But thanks to my new workout routine, my skin is glowing. Thanks to the increased blood flow during my workouts, more oxygen and nutrients were reaching my skin than ever before. Just don't forget to drink plenty of water during your workouts to keep your body — and skin — hydrated.
A Healthy Appetite
Garlic bread? Nope.
Kale salad? Yep.
The last time I mentioned how much I wanted to eat like Gisele Bündchen, my husband's reaction destroyed me. "But you love food so much, don't you?"
He is right. I'm an aggressive foodie. My stomach seems to be able to contain twice the amount of food than most people. Believe me that I have tried every method to control my superhuman appetite. But boxing makes me realize how much I need to eat — and what kinds of food best support my workouts. If I don't eat that chunk of chicken breast, my arms are going to be feeble and the punching bag is definitely going to get me tonight.
A 60-minute boxing session can burn over 500 calories. If you wear gloves, the calorie burn increases. Now, tell me you're not hungry.
Boxing isn't about violence, if you use it right. It lowers your level of stress and makes you stronger and healthier. When you're constantly stressed out, sickness occurs, both physically and mentally. Stress is a type of negative energy that burns away our health. Now imagine yourself raining sweat while swinging those huge boxing gloves; think of that release! Put simply: boxing makes you feel good.
Strength (in More Ways Than One)
When I introduced boxing to my female friends, most of them wondered if it was a good workout for women. My answer? Absolutely.
Women have the potential to become incredibly strong and confident, two things boxing can bring. It also can protect you in scary situations. Remember when Gigi Hadid hit her attacker with that powerful elbow punch? She's been vocal about the training she received in boxing classes playing a huge part in protecting her. When bad things happen, your fists will sometimes save you in a good way.