It's no secret that exercise benefits mood and how we feel. And it's not just a heavy Boxing session that will help you see results – everything from long walks to calming therapeutic sessions could see an improvement in how you feel.
Why boxing? "Boxing helps people experiencing difficulties with mental health in many ways. Firstly, the exercise provides a rush of endorphins – a natural mood booster. Classes can help to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression by focusing the mind and body in the present moment and taking people away from ruminating thoughts or worries. It provides a source of distraction as individuals engage with a fun activity that they look forward to and make new friends in the sociable and supportive group setting. Boxing instils a sense of achievement, building confidence and self-esteem. Classes provide a controlled and safe environment to release any frustration, stress and anger. Boxing encourages a healthier lifestyle, which benefits physical and mental wellbeing, sleep, eating, self-care and compassion."
The inspiration "Working with clients who have both physical and mental health concerns highlighted the direct relationship between the two and how improvements in one can have positive effects on the other. This, along with the psychological and physical benefits I felt from boxing myself, inspired me to set up boxing classes for people experiences mental health difficulties”. I have experienced PTSD myself and boxing helps me control this by keeping me grounded and motivated.
What does a class entail?
"The classes start with 15 minutes warm up followed by 35 minutes of boxing exercises on the bags and circuits run by Andy Young who checks how everyone is doing and encourages and reassures anyone needing support. There's no sparring or contact involved - we are mindful that vulnerable individuals could find that triggering or distressing. We then have a 15 - 20 minutes 'wind-down' at the end.
"We try to motivate people to push themselves to get as much out of the class as they can. However, we are also careful to provide a safe space and atmosphere of trust and openness - we encourage anyone to let us know their limits, if they need space or breaks, or if there is anything, they are unhappy about. I facilitate the 'wind down' part of the class where we come together as a group to share and reflect on the class, the past week, how we're feeling, how the boxing made us feel, and anything else anyone is open to sharing. We incorporate elements of mindfulness, relaxation and breathing exercises into this part, depending on what the group would like to try. We are not providing therapy or treatment, rather a space for people to share their feelings, practise ways of coping with anxiety or depression and to benefit from group support. Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health concerns among those who attend, and classes are designed to try and help with that”.
Your Support in Referring Patients
"We are now set up to take up to 20 patients who would benefit from our classes that will culminate with them being helped to write their own “Wellness Recovery Action Plan”. Your support in referring those patients you believe would benefit from our courses will provide another avenue to relieve depression and anxiety. Don’t delay, contact us today.
Classes are 16:00-17:00 every Friday at Aldershot ABC Gym. They are designed for beginners of all abilities and everyone is welcome. If you'd like to hear more about the classes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org