Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Exercise is not just beneficial for your body, but also for your mind. When you exercise, you release endorphins; the release of endorphins can give you a mood boost. Exercise also can help reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression. It is even recommended in some therapy treatments of anxiety and depression.
Taking a cardio boxing class or boxing against a punching bag promotes mindfulness. This present moment awareness helps get you out of cycles of worry. Your attention is shifted to being present with what you are doing in the room. Healing Mitts Intentional Boxing Training™ workouts are unique in their focus on breathing, which you don’t typically see paired with cardio workouts. Learning to slow your breathing and feel in control of your breathing is incredibly beneficial. You can implement the skill of slowing your breathing when you are stressed or anxious as a way to help you calm down.
This type of workout may also lead to improved body image and self-esteem. The journey of watching your body get stronger and technique continue to improve can shift your focus from appearance to functionality of your body. The focus on what your body can do instead of what it looks like may lead to more positive overall feelings about your body. Feeling strong also tends to be very empowering.
I am recommending this form of movement based on personal reasons as well. I moved to Chicago for my doctoral internship at Northwestern’s counseling center where I would see many clients everyday in this new city. Soon after moving, I began to take a cardio kickboxing class. This class truly felt therapeutic; it was an incredible stress release. It gave me an entire hour break where my mind was centered and focused. It allowed me a space to fully center my energy and stress from the day in a constructive way. On the rare weeks where I could not make the workout, I even saw the impact on my stress level. I feel honored to be able to write an article about something that was so helpful to me and has the potential to help others as well.
*Note: If you are struggling with an eating disorder, it is important to speak with your therapist or physician before beginning an exercise program.
Dr. Rebecca Leslie, Psy.D.