I have always been very much into boxing and kickboxing. I suffer from hypoglycemia and my dad has Type 2 diabetes, so I figured I would bring him into boxing to see if he enjoyed it and if it helped his blood sugar. He is already active, but boxing is fun and something we could do together. Of course, we did not fight each other, but helped each other on the punching bag. Boxing has a variety of benefits for those with diabetes. Plus, I can tell you that it is a great stress reliever too.
Boxing and Diabetic Heart Health
Heart disease is a threat that all diabetics have to contend with. Keeping our hearts strong can help to keep heart disease at bay. My dad does have high blood pressure and tachycardia, so it is very important that he keep his heart strong. I also have tachycardia, as it is associated with the mitral valve prolapse that runs in my family. Boxing is a great cardiovascular exercise as it is very intense. You really have no idea how hard you are working until you stop and check your heart rate. This sport will condition your heart and overall body.
Better Blood Sugar Levels
Exercising regularly is critical in keeping blood sugar levels stable. Boxing gives us a total body workout while also giving us the benefit of keeping blood sugar levels regulated. It is important to note, however, that diabetics should be checking their blood sugar levels not just after exercise, but before and during too. Boxing is a vigorous workout, so my dad checks his about every 30 minutes. If it is getting low, we always have orange juice and bananas nearby for him so that he does not suffer the effects of hypoglycemia. I also check mine about halfway through my workout for the same reason.
Neither of us really need to lose weight, but boxing is a very effective workout for those that do need to shed a few pounds. We also know that losing weight – specifically body fat – can help with keeping blood sugar levels stabilized. Excess fat causes issues with how insulin functions which makes it harder for it to control blood sugar. On average, a 155-pound person will burn about 335 calories with just 30 minutes of sparring. This is a good chunk of calories for such a short amount of physical activity.