The Commonwealth Games are just around the corner and here at Greenbelt we couldn’t be more excited. Whether you’re into high-octane athletics or slower-paced lawn bowls, the Glasgow event is the perfect opportunity to be inspired, go outdoors and get fighting fit.
While we’re nature lovers, not fighters, the thrill of a competitive boxing match should never be underestimated – the good news is you don’t need to be the next to enjoy the buzz that boxing brings.
It’s no secret boxers whip themselves into peak physical condition for fights, and training regimes are seriously rigorous and comprehensive. But if the thought of going 12 rounds with a super heavyweight leaves you weak at the knees, don’t panic: you don’t even need to set foot near a ring to enjoy the benefits of boxing training.
Boxing is all about endurance, so being in tip-top cardiovascular condition is key. Enjoy the fine summer weather and head to the park for a light jog. Start off at a comfortable pace, gradually increasing your distance and speed as you progress.
And if you find your motivation dwindling, take a friend – yes even the dog – along for company. There are plenty of green spaces to enjoy this summer, from your local park to meandering forestry tracks, so why not look out your running shoes and go explore?
Another key exercise all boxers swear by is skipping. Who can forget Rocky’s nifty footwork?
Skipping is a brilliant way to get the heart pumping, while simultaneously working all the main muscle groups. Whether done indoors or out, learning to navigate a skipping rope correctly is sure to sharpen your body and mind.
While you’d be forgiven for thinking boxing is all about brawn and brute-strength, this simply isn’t the case. Optimum core-strength is the perfect preparation for sparring. And best of all? No equipment is required!
All you need is a small space to comfortably move in – the back garden is ideal for this. Leg raises, planks, crunches and push-ups will improve your core strength and condition the muscles, while some basic yoga postures will help soothe away aches and pains, and increase stamina and flexibility.
Now for today’s secret ingredient!
Boxers’ diets are notoriously strict in the run-up to fights – and the correct proteins are the key to a good fighter’s diet.
Quinoa is a wonder grain that’s not only high in protein but also low in cholesterol and a good source of iron and fibre. Eating quinoa often is a good idea for anyone starting exercise, especially vegetarians. Plus, some varieties only take 20 minutes to cook – you’ll know it’s done when it turns slightly translucent.
You can make quinoa salads, or use it as a substitute for rice.
So now you’re sorted for body fuel, seconds out, ding , ding . . . get ready for round one!