Kickboxing & Boxing for improved cardio.
BOXING AND KICKBOXING FOR IMPROVED CARDIO
With cardiovascular fitness now considered the fifth vital sign of medicine by many in the medical community, sports scientist Dr Luke Del Vecchio looks at why cardio is so important for health.
Cardiovascular or cardiorespiratory fitness, commonly known as cardio, is a crucial component of good health. Multiple longitudinal research studies have confirmed that individuals with good cardio fitness and aerobic capacity tend to live longer than those who don’t.
Traditionally, exercises like running, swimming, or cycling have been utilised to improve cardio fitness. However, recent research has shown that interval training sessions lasting just 10 minutes can yield similar results. Interval training consists of alternating periods of high-intensity and low-intensity effort, and any form of interval training can effectively increase fitness. For instance, repeated bouts of punching or kicking, interspersed with rest breaks, during a boxing or kickboxing session can be as effective at increasing cardio fitness as traditional cardio exercises.
Furthermore, research indicates that goal-focused, skill-based exercise, such as boxing or kickboxing, increases engagement and adherence to exercise regimes. Metabolic charts demonstrate that boxing and kickboxing are effective for improving cardio fitness. Even a boxing session focusing more on technique than going all-out guarantees a significant cardio workout.
During a boxing or kickboxing workout, the average heart rate response approaches 85-95% of its maximum level, which is much higher than the minimum threshold required for an exercise to benefit cardio fitness. therefore, if you want to enhance your cardio fitness while developing skills and increasing the likelihood of sticking with exercise, boxing and kickboxing are excellent alternatives to traditional forms of cardio exercise like running, swimming, or cycling.
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