A high protein diet can boost a hunger suppressing hormone PPY, helping you “feel full” longer.

Protein consumed with carbohydrates will slow down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream which will stop your blood sugar from spiking and help cut-down future cravings.

Protein has a higher thermal effect than carbohydrates or fats.  In other words, your body burns more calories digesting protein than carbs or fats and protein preserves calorie burning muscle.

Protein is needed for muscle repair and growth.  After strength training or intense exercising a high protein snack is recommended to supply your body with the necessary nutrients needed for repair and growth.

Protein should supply you with 15 – 20% of your total daily caloric intake.  Too much protein can lead to weight gain, just like too many carbohydrates or fats. Excess protein can lead to kidney problems over the long term.

A balanced diet should always be your goal.


The Fundamentals of Boxing

The most highly conditioned athletes in the world are professional boxers because their sport demands that they be in supreme physical condition. When a boxer is in the ring with their opponent, they have no place to hide and any conditioning weakness they have will be exposed for all the world to see during the bout.

Very few of us aspire to become a professional boxer, or for that matter, an amateur boxer.  However, that does not mean you cannot utilizing the fundamentals of boxing. Boxing training is high-intensity interval training  (HITT), providing you with the exercise of sustained intensity, followed by easier “rest” periods. During your boxing session, you will improve your hand-eye coordination as you learn how to defend yourself.  Most people do not stick with an exercise program because they find forms of exercise such as running or lifting weights boring and feel as if they are going to a job. This is not true of a boxing workout.  You are learning a skill!

Along with learning a useful skill, you are getting a calorie – burning, complete body workout of all your muscle groups. The workout is aerobic and anaerobic, benefiting your cardiovascular system, while toning and building your muscles.  You will also find that hitting a bag is a great way to relieve stress.  Another great thing about a boxing workout… anyone can do it!!

working out together

The advantages of having a workout partner are many.  However, when choosing your partner you want to most importantly make sure he/she is someone you like; someone you want to spend time with.

Having a workout buddy will increase your commitment to working out, making you much less likely to “blow off” your trip to the gym, knowing that your partner will be waiting for you.  You and your buddy planned a time and place to workout in advance and you will hold yourself accountable to show up, knowing someone is depending on you.

Your workouts will be more enjoyable with a partner and you will find yourself more motivated, working out harder and longer.  With longer and more intense workouts you will reach your workout goals faster, which will motivate you further.
With two heads you are more apt to change up your workout routine, staving off boredom, while shocking your body for further gain.  You are less likely to hurt yourself when you workout with a partner,  as you check each other for correct form.  If your workout involves lifting weights, you will always have a spotter.

So, if you find yourself “blowing off” workouts, find a workout partner. If you are taking classes and you are not able to find a partner outside of the gym, find a friend inside the gym.  Make a commitment to someone in the class and plan to meet them at the next class!  Now you will have a time and a place to be at a certain time.  A commitment!

Why Boxing Is One Of The Best Ways To Work Out

Keeping fit is essential, which is why finding a way to make it more engaging or fun is important. Boxing is a world famous sport, but it also serves as a practical way to work out and stay fit. By practicing boxing in a fitness gym, you can hit the sandbags and practice with mitts that allow you to feel the thrill that comes with being inside the squared circle, without the risk of head injury.

What It Shares With Other Workouts

Fitness boxing starts with the basics of ordinary boxing. You perform traditional stamina building exercises like running and weightlifting that are meant to build endurance. In this way, you’re already given the incentive to perform regular exercises necessary to a normal workout routine, but with the added motivation that comes with knowing you’re training for the more unique workouts that come with boxing training later.

Once you’re done with your running or sprinting drills and head back to the gym, the most common next step is to work with either a trainer using punching mitts or a sandbag. These drills require more than simple speed or strength. Instead, they encourage you to practice timing and pattern recognition as you work out, which can increase hand-eye coordination and overall reflex. Plus, hitting mitts allows you to work out with others to generate a sense of community.

Learning The Motions

These drills also have a dual nature, as they serve to teach you the punching and swinging motions of professional boxers. Many exercises can be used to teach you important self-defense techniques. But fitness boxing allows you to exercise properly while learning not only the sport of boxing but also how to protect yourself and others under threat of physical violence in an emergency.

It’s Less Aggressive Than You Think 

Doing this inside of a gym or fitness center with trainers also allows you to avoid the most dangerous part of boxing; the part where someone hits you back! Though sparring inside of a ring with practice gloves is always an option, professionals usually spar to learn the punching patterns of their opponents and practice dodging or guarding against specific timing.

Practicing with a punching bag still teaches you to strike properly, and provides a full body workout that requires learning careful footwork and deftly placed punches. But the risk of concussion or head trauma is minimized since no one is swinging back. Real boxers practice defense because their opponents have to follow the rules in their bouts. Learning to bob and weave is less useful in a real-life scenario, where attackers are more than capable of fighting dirty.

Boxing can be many things depending on who uses it. It can be a sport and profession for some, while for others it can serve as a way to learn self-defense to protect themselves in a worst-case scenario. But it’s also a way to stay fit and keep your body in shape without the need to ever throw a punch at a real person. That’s why learning to box can help to fulfill your fitness needs, no matter what they are.

Over the past few decades we have seen an explosion in the obesity rates in the United States, and a corresponding reduction in cardiovascular health, due to the amount of “added” sugars in our diets. The AMA recommends that we consume no more than the following amounts of sugar daily:
  • 9 teaspoons
  • 36 grams
  • 150 calories
  • 6 teaspoons
  • 25 grams
  • 100 calories

There are two types of carbohydrates; simple or complex, and they both contain sugar. The difference between simple and complex carbs is that complex carbs contain the added nutrients of fiber and starch. Complex carbs are digested slower, where simple sugars carbs (sugars) are quickly digested and have no other nutrients, which make them “empty” calories. When you overload your body with sugar, it is more than your liver can handle and your body ends up storing the extra sugar as fat.

So, if you are serious about eating healthy and need to lose weight, make your diet one of natural, non-processed foods to get the body you want.  And… always include exercise in your daily life.

Remember – You can’t out-exercise a bad diet!

In today’s busy world, it often is a struggle to find the time, several times a week, to perform separate strength training workouts and separate cardio workouts. So, why not engage in a total body, high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, that combines both strength training and cardio in the same one hour session? Not only is a boxing/kickboxing workout fun; you will get in great shape as you look better and feel better.

Better Body Composition – Combining muscle-building strength training with calorie torching cardio will change your body, as you add lean muscle mass and lose fat, all while building your self-confidence.

Cardiovascular Health – You will burn anywhere from 700-1,200 calories in your one hour workout, as you help protect yourself against heart disease. If you are looking to lose weight or maintain your weight, there is no better workout!

Increase Total Body Strength – During your boxing workout you will be hitting or kicking a heavy bag hundreds of times. With each strike you engage your core and you will also be performing other strength training exercises such as push-ups, planks, squats, etc. With an instructor pushing you, you will push yourself harder than if you were working out alone.

Improved Hand-Eye Coordination – Striking a bag or focus pads will improve your fine motor skills and lead to better overall coordination and balance. It is important as you age, that you maintain your coordination and balance to help prevent falling.

Lower Stress – A boxing workout engages your brain and takes your thoughts away from your everyday problems, unlike lifting weights or running on a treadmill. When you engage in moderate or intense exercise, your brain releases endorphins, boosting your mood as you punch away your stress.

Recently, The Ring did a profile on Champion Boxing & Fitness trainer William Joppy. A familiar face to all of you, Joppy has been with us since November 2011 with a unique training style that mixes cardio and boxing technique.

From the article: “His first recollection of boxing came in 1976 when, along with his father, he watched the Montreal Olympics which spawned the careers of Leon and Michael Spinks, Sugar Ray Leonard and Howard Davis.”

Read the full post here.

too busy to work out

Too Busy To Keep Fit?

Americans are busy, really busy. In fact, there’s a busyness epidemic in America at the moment with research showing that more and more Americans value being busy ahead of their own leisure time. There are still compelling reasons to workout but a reduction in leisure time means less opportunity to exercise, which is a contributing factor to the continual rise in American obesity, with 29.9% of Maryland inhabitants being obese in 2016. How can you find time to workout and stay fit when you have a busy life?

Make Every Workout Count

When you are short on time, efficiency is key so find exercise which gives you the most bang for your buck. For example High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) consists of intense workout periods with short recoveries and has proven fitness benefits.  Boxing is an efficient exercise as it is a full body workout and a great balance between cardio and resistance training burning a lot of calories in a short time. Or keep it really simple and go for a bicycle ride in your lunch break or combine your regular dog walk with a run to make efficient use of your time.

Keeping Fit At Work

With Americans spending more hours at work than in most other countries, keeping fit whilst at work is key. If time and location allows, walk, run or cycle to work instead of driving. When at work, walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator and make time over lunch to workout, or at the very least go for a walk. Workplace competitions may also help. For example, challenge your co-workers to see who takes the most steps in a day or climbs the most stairs.

Plan Ahead But Be Realistic

A key element when setting a fitness objective is to be realistic about how often you can workout and when. Plan ahead to ensure you know when you are due to be exercising so you can eat at the right times and have the correct gear to hand. Try to choose only workouts which you really love as you will be more likely to achieve your aims. For example, don’t set yourself the aim of going swimming over lunchtime if you really only have time for a short, intense boxing workout. Importantly, if you have even less time than usual, choose to do something, regardless of what it is, instead of doing nothing.

By changing how you exercise, being efficient and planning ahead, it is still possible to keep fit, even when you are struggling to find spare time.

One of the best ways to improve one’s mental health is exercise. Studies show that moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, five times a week, can treat mild to moderate depression as well as any anti-depressant medication without the side-effects. This is true no matter what your age or fitness level is.

Exercise causes your brain to release powerful chemicals called endorphins that energize and improves one’s sense of well-being and self-confidence while helping with depression and anxiety.  Other benefits include a boost to your immune system, better sleep, better brain power, and better social interaction.

Some exercise is better than none! If you are not able to get five days of exercise in, do what you can to help relieve your tension and stress while you promote your physical and mental health.

shadow boxing

All of us have observed athletes shadow boxing. Shadow boxing is the art of moving around by yourself as if you are in a boxing match; throwing punches in the air, moving in and out, and fending off imaginary punches thrown by an opponent that is not there. It is as old as boxing, with fighters honing their skills as they warm up to begin training, or shadow boxing to cool down after an intense training session. Fighters also shadow box before a match to prepare themselves mentally.

When done properly, shadow boxing will improve one’s overall boxing skills, endurance, footwork, flow, quickness, and strength.  One can shadow box anywhere to work on specific punches and combinations, as well as work on footwork and defensive moves.  It is most helpful if performed in front of a mirror, as you will receive immediate feedback.