In order to improve your cardio fitness in Dubai you have to take part in a physical activity that brings your heart rate up above at rest or light activity (like walking) levels.
You should feel your heart beating faster and your breathing should be harder. You then need to sustain this for a decent amount of time to see improvements.
The harder the activity, the higher the intensity of your workout.
So, all forms of boxing activity can improve cardio fitness, from shadow boxing to hitting pads and sparring. Heart rates at about 167bpm (beats per minute) have been found on average for boxing pad work and 170-180bpm for sparring.
To put that into perspective, a rough estimate of your max heart rate is 220 minus your age. Anything above 55% of that max can be classed as cardio fitness training.
Is your boxing workout in Dubai pushing your body? Is your breathing heavier and your heart rate up? If so, you are improving your cardio fitness.
Whether or not your boxing workout in Dubai is better than doing other forms of cardio is dependent on a few factors:
How hard are you pushing yourself (or getting pushed) during your workout? Compare 30 mins of light cycling on a stationary bike at 55% your max heart rate to 30 mins of hard boxing pad work at 80% of your max heart rate and, of course, the boxing routine is better for cardio fitness.
However, this also works in reverse. Some light shadow boxing is not going to be as good as hard interval training such as hill sprints.
You and your coach need to judge what level you are at, how hard you can push and for how long.
Enjoy Your Workouts
Do you enjoy boxing more than other forms of cardio? Getting results in fitness is all about consistency.
If you enjoy your workouts you are more likely to stick with it long-term and train more often.
There is no point in starting the best cardio fitness regime ever invented if you are only going to do it for a week because you hate it or find it boring.
Also, with boxing you have the added bonus of not just getting cardio fit but learning a skill, which leads to other benefits such as more confidence.
Plus, as many of my busy Personal Training Dubai clients have informed me, punching something is just great for stress relief. And it’s better to punch a pad than punch your boss.
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity.
So, if your cardio fitness regime consists of only boxing workouts I would recommend 2-3 sessions per week.
As with most things the more you do the faster you will see improvements as long as you are recovering well from your workouts.
But remember, if your schedule gets really busy all of a sudden, you can maintain your current cardio health on 1-2 sessions per week.
Once you find more time you can increase your volume of training to see cardio fitness improvements.
For beginners, you may feel like you can’t push hard for 2-3 sessions per week. Don’t worry, just do what you can and your fitness will increase soon enough.
Almost everyone can use boxing as a cardio fitness regime but you may have to tailor it for your current needs – a boxing coach or boxing for fitness PT in Dubai can give you advice.
Your Current Fitness Ability
If you have upper body joint problems, especially in the wrists or shoulders, you will want to avoid hitting pads until you have healed those issues.
This, however, does not stop you using shadowing boxing in the mean-time.
When you have not done any cardio fitness training for a long-time then going straight into a session of hard sparring would not be recommended – a good boxing coach will be able to recommend a starting place for your level and change things up when you are ready.
Take Your Time
Your workouts do not have to be all or nothing. Work around any injuries/issues, start from your own fitness level, don’t compare yourself to others and take the advice of your fitness coach when needed.
Whenever you start your workout it is a good idea to do a warm-up. This is simply just some light activity to get the blood flowing to the muscles you are about to work.
It will also help to lubricate the joints helping to prevent injury. Some examples are skipping, elliptical machine and bodyweight exercises such as jumping jacks.
When trying to build skill at boxing you can do pad work with a partner, punching bag drills and shadow boxing. Not only will these build skill but will also be a hard cardio fitness workout.
You can improve your technique against an opponent using different sparring sessions.
It is also a good idea to include some core and mobility work in your routine as well.
When boxing is your only form of exercise in Dubai it is recommended to add in some full-body strength training work to balance your body, helping with injury prevention and muscle strength.
Craig is the owner of Lapsley Fitness a Personal Training service transforming bodies and health in Dubai and online.
He is a specialist when it comes to helping you lose weight in Dubai with his personalised online and at home personal fitness plans.
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