This Workout Is Scientifically Proven to Reduce Stress

Deven Hopp

We bail on our previously scheduled workouts for a number of reasons. Lack of sleep (in the a.m.), hunger (in the p.m.), stress (any and all times we think about our mounting to-do list and/or overflowing inbox), and the list goes on. But one of the most commonly cited excuses for skipping the gym also happens be one of the top reasons you shouldn’t ditch your sweat session: stress. By now you know working out isn’t just good for your waistline. It also has real effects on your mood and mental health. So hop on the bike, go for a run, or try the workout that has all others beat in the stress relief department: boxing.  

Several studies have confirmed the positive effects boxing has on mood. One in particular, conducted by the Japan Society of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences, found that boxing programs significantly improved negative effects, produced positive engagement, and induced tranquility in both male and female participants. And participants showed significant decreases in their tension-anxiety, depression-dejection, anger-hostility, and confusion scores, along with a significant increase in their vigor score. Finally, their total mood disturbance score (a global measure that accounts for several emotion states) moved in a positive direction. The bottom line is throwing punches improves negative psychological markers and enhances pleasant and relaxed feelings. No wonder models are obsessed with boxing.

And you don’t have to be facing an opponent or making contact with a punching bag to reap the stress-reducing benefits. Another study investigated how kickboxing impacted mood for female college students, and found that it improved overall mood and significantly decreased frustration.

Ready to try your first boxing class? Read this first. If kickboxing is more your speed, we suggest investing in a pair of weighted gloves, like Nayoya’s Weighted Gloves ($20). They’re only one pound each, but they’ll up the arm-sculpting and calorie-burning benefits of every jab and hook.

What’s your workout of choice when you’re feeling stress? Comment below!

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