By Chris Pregony

Some of the best forms of exercise are the ones where you do not feel like you are exercising at all, ones that work your body as well as your mind and push you to your limits. We have all had days where we just feel like punching something, and unfortunately civilized societies tend to frown upon that sort of behavior. That is where the disciplines of boxing and kickboxing come in to play. A kickboxing or boxing routine is one of the most strenuous forms of exercise as it works every part of your body, both mentally and physically.

What are kickboxing and boxing?
The obvious answer to the difference between boxing and kickboxing is that in kickboxing you can use your legs while in boxing you cannot. Although this is true, that subtle change makes all the difference. In boxing you know that there are no kicks coming your way, so you do not need to fear a knee or foot to the face while you duck a punch. On the other hand, kick-boxers can use knees, shins and feet in addition to their fists against their opponents.

What are the benefits?
The health benefits are innumerable for both sports. Kickboxing and boxing provide an unmatched high-intensity cardio workout that burns anywhere between 750 to 1000 calories per hour. Kick-boxers and boxers must stay light on their feet and continually move while staying focused on their task: defeating their opponent. Not only are they attempting to land hits against their opponent, but they must defend themselves. Part of that defense involves constantly clenching the abs to protect their core from any potential strikes from an opponent while continuing to breathe. Having to defend and deliver hits results in a workout of the core, arms, legs and back.

How can you try it out?
It can be difficult to spend the time and effort learning the craft of boxing or kickboxing, so many gyms offer versions that focus on just the exercise portion. The primary difference between learning the sport and using it as a form of exercise is that there is a large focus on the cardio component and a reduction of the strengthening component. Also, when using boxing and kickboxing as a workout, you typically hit bags or mitts instead of people. So, if you are not big into the idea of being punched, this may be the best route for you. If you truly want to learn the craft of either sport, I would suggest a private instructor, or a small group where you can get proper instruction.

Where To Go Around Town
Gainesville Dojo
Boxing and Kickboxing. Private instruction and classes.
(352) 378-3070
727 SW Fourth Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
Gainesvilledojo.org

Beast Mode Boxing and Fitness Gym
Boxing only. Private instruction and classes.
(352) 535-0896
250 SE 10th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
Beastmodeboxingandfitness.com

Global MMA Academy
Muay Thai (another form of kickboxing). Private instruction and classes.
(352) 371-1007
4000 W Newberry road Suite F, Gainesville, FL 32607
Globalmmaacademy.com