Daniel Earle who runs the fitnessfighters.co.uk website.shared with Healthy Lombard that boxing is becoming an increasingly popular way to keep fit amongst adults, however, it is slower to grow in popularity for children. Here are a few reasons why it should be growing faster among our youth.
Whilst this is possibly the most obvious advantage of boxing for kids, it is also one of the most important benefits. In today’s age of technology and video games, it is becoming increasingly difficult for our young people to maintain a healthy level of activity as, according to CDC Healthy Schools, only 21.6% of 6 to 19-year-olds in the United States are getting 60 or more minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on at least 5 days per week. Boxing provides an activity for kids to take part in which will give them a few hours of activity in their week and therefore will provide them with health benefits.
These health benefits of this physical activity include building strong bones and muscles, which is particularly important for young people to aid them in growing and providing a good foundation for the rest of their life. It also provides young people with hand-eye coordination, an important skill which many struggles with and is very difficult to develop later in life. Having good coordination will allow young people to have an advantage in other sports as well as improve their ability to carry our everyday tasks. Boxing at a young age also reduces the chances of becoming overweight in the future as this is a battle that many now face. Avoiding becoming overweight will help children to avoid many cardiovascular diseases that affect the overweight such as heart disease, strokes and type II diabetes.
For any parent, keeping their children safe is a priority. It is well-known amongst parents however, that it is impossible to keep an eye on your children 24/7. Therefore, boxing provides the perfect opportunity to give young people the ability to learn some self-defense should a situation arise where they may need to use it. It is important to know that boxing instructors never teach their students to use their abilities for force, they imply strict rules to ensure that boxing should not be used outside of the gym except for self-defense in extreme circumstances.
Boxing will provide children the abilities to develop a strong core and upper body whilst also improving cardiovascular fitness and speed. All of these are important for young people to develop, not only for their health and ability to complete everyday tasks but also for their own protection. As a result, boxing is becoming more popular amongst women as they are looking to improve strength and speed for their own safety. It is important that we give our children the opportunity to do this as well.
Stress is an increasingly common problem, particularly among young people. The American Psychological Association conducted a study that showed 31% of teens reported feeling overwhelmed as a result of stress. In order to counteract this, boxing is a great method of physical activity to relieve stress. When boxing and hitting the punching bag, your brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are a hormone, also known as the ‘feel-good pheromones’, that helps the person to have good thoughts and increases confidence which in turn, relieves stress.
The action of punching the bag also relieves muscle tension that may have built up in the body as a result of consistent stress and so after a boxing workout, muscles are more relaxed and stress is released. As little as two sessions a week can show drastically improved stress reduction in young people and so boxing is an activity that should be carried out from those children who suffer from high levels of stress.
There are a number of other mental benefits, not only stress-reduction, that can be seen from young people who take part in regular boxing session. For example, this is a great way for young people to meet new friends and develop social skills, which would benefit children who struggle to make friends at school. The massive increase in self-confidence is one of the main reasons for a lot of adults to begin boxing. This is the same for children and therefore, if a parent is concerned about their child’s confidence, boxing is the perfect activity they should encourage.
Boxing also helps to show benefits academically for children, as the American Psychology Association states, ‘Students who are physically active tend to have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance (e.g., memory), and classroom behaviors (e.g., on-task behavior)’, providing evidence that getting your child into boxing will not only improve them physically but will support them in school and keep them focused. The association also found that ‘Higher physical activity and physical fitness levels are associated with improved cognitive performance (e.g., concentration, memory) among students.’
Ease of Use/Cheap
One of the main draws of boxing for adults is that it is a cheap sport to take part in. There is not a massive fee to join a club nor is there a lot of expensive equipment that needs to be worn to take part in, unlike other sports. This is the same for kids, with most boxing gyms running child programs which are inexpensive, and they also provide the equipment. Also, if children would like to take part in additional boxing, it is very easy for a parent to purchase a free standing punching bag and place it in the garden or garage to allow their child to do extra practice.
The benefits of boxing are clear despite the sport often being overlooked for young people. This is an ideal activity to increase the active time of children as it is clear they are often not meeting the recommended amount of time that they should be active per week. It will support them mentally, increasing confidence and help them academically with focus and memory. There are also no financial restrictions on this sport as it does not require a lot of money to take part in, also making it a good option for low-income families. You can find more information on boxing for beginners at fitnessfighters.co.uk