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The Role of Boxing in Stress Relief

The Role of Boxing in Stress Relief

By Boxing, Fitness, Spartans Mind


Boxing is a unique and effective way to relieve stress, combining physical exercise with a controlled outlet for emotional tension. This article will address the most frequently asked questions about the role of boxing in stress relief, exploring the mental and physical benefits of boxing for stress management.

How Does Boxing Help Reduce Stress?

Mindfulness and Focus

Boxing requires full attention, demanding that you stay in the present moment. When you’re focused on your movements, strategy, and your opponent or the bag, your mind doesn’t have space to dwell on stressors. This mindfulness aspect of boxing forces you to be in the moment, allowing your mind a break from daily worries. This practice of mindfulness during boxing sessions can lead to a reduction in overall stress levels and an increase in mental clarity.

Emotional Release

Boxing serves as a healthy emotional release valve, allowing individuals to let go of pent-up anger, frustration, and stress. The physical act of punching can be incredibly cathartic, helping to clear your mind and reduce overall stress levels. This release of negative emotions can lead to a more positive outlook and better emotional health.

Physical Benefits

Boxing classes offer a comprehensive workout that engages the entire body, releasing tension and improving overall physical health. This physical exertion helps release tension in the body and can significantly improve mood. Regular exercise is known to reduce stress hormones like cortisol while increasing endorphins, which boost your mood. The combination of cardiovascular, strength, and agility training in boxing helps to create a balanced fitness routine that can aid in stress reduction.

Is Boxing Suitable for Beginners Looking to Relieve Stress?

Beginner-Friendly Classes

Many boxing gyms, including Spartans Boxing Club, offer classes specifically designed for beginners. These classes provide a supportive environment to learn the basics of boxing, ensuring that everyone, regardless of experience, can participate and benefit from the workout. Beginner classes focus on foundational skills, safety, and building confidence, making boxing accessible to all.

Proper Technique

Learning proper boxing technique is essential for both physical and mental benefits. Ensuring you are using the correct form and movements helps prevent injuries and maximizes the effectiveness of the workout. Proper technique also enhances the mental focus required during boxing, contributing to stress relief. At Spartans Boxing Club, our experienced trainers guide you through each step, ensuring you gain the most from your sessions.

Community Support

Boxing gyms often foster a sense of community, providing a supportive network for individuals to share their experiences and motivate each other. This community aspect can be incredibly beneficial for stress relief, as it offers a space where individuals can connect, support one another, and build meaningful relationships. At Spartans Boxing Club, we pride ourselves on our inclusive and welcoming community that supports each member’s journey.

How Often Should One Box to Maintain Stress Relief Benefits?

Regular Workouts

Engaging in regular boxing workouts can lead to improved mental clarity, emotional resilience, and overall well-being. Consistency is key to maintaining these benefits, as regular exercise helps regulate stress hormones and promotes a sense of calm. Regular sessions at Spartans Boxing Club can help maintain the stress relief benefits that boxing provides.


To fully reap the stress-relief benefits of boxing, it’s important to maintain a consistent workout schedule. This consistency helps to regulate your body’s stress response, making it easier to manage daily stressors. At Spartans Boxing Club, our structured classes ensure you stay on track with your fitness and stress management goals.

Variety in Workouts

Incorporating different types of boxing workouts, such as bag work, sparring, and conditioning exercises, can help keep your mind and body engaged. This variety prevents workout monotony and keeps the experience fresh and exciting. Our diverse class offerings at Spartans Boxing Club cater to all fitness levels and preferences, ensuring you stay motivated and engaged.

Scientific Benefits of Boxing for Stress Relief

Endorphins and Mood Enhancement

Boxing stimulates the release of endorphins, natural mood-enhancing chemicals that help alleviate stress and promote a sense of well-being. These endorphins act as natural painkillers and mood boosters, making you feel happier and more relaxed after a workout.

Cortisol Regulation

Regular boxing workouts can help regulate cortisol levels, the body’s primary stress hormone. High levels of cortisol over prolonged periods can have negative effects on both the mind and body. Boxing helps keep these levels in check, reducing the impact of stress.

Improved Sleep

Boxing can improve sleep quality, which is essential for managing stress and maintaining overall health. Better sleep leads to better stress management, as a well-rested mind and body are more resilient to daily stressors. Joining Spartans Boxing Club can help improve your sleep patterns through regular, intense physical activity.

Incorporating Boxing into a Holistic Stress Management Approach

Combining with Other Activities

Boxing can be combined with other stress-relief activities, such as meditation and yoga, to create a comprehensive approach to managing stress. These complementary practices enhance the overall stress-relief benefits, promoting both physical and mental well-being.

Nutrition and Lifestyle

A balanced diet and healthy lifestyle choices can enhance the stress-relief benefits of boxing. Proper nutrition fuels your body, improves recovery, and supports overall health, making it easier to manage stress.

Seeking Professional Guidance

Working with a skilled boxing instructor or mental health professional can help tailor your boxing workouts to your specific stress management needs. Professional guidance ensures that you get the most out of your workouts and stay on track with your stress-relief goals.


Boxing offers a unique and effective way to relieve stress, combining physical exercise with a controlled outlet for emotional tension. By understanding the benefits of boxing for stress relief, beginners and experienced boxers alike can incorporate this powerful tool into their stress management routines. With regular practice, proper technique, and a supportive community, boxing can help you achieve better mental and physical health, making stress a thing of the past.

The Mental Health Benefits of Boxing

The Mental Health Benefits of Boxing

By Boxing, Spartans Mind

Boxing is more than just physical exercise; it’s a mental workout that offers profound benefits for your emotional and psychological well-being. At Spartans Boxing Club, we recognize the transformative power of boxing in enhancing mental health. This comprehensive guide delves into the various mental health benefits associated with the sport, backed by scientific research and real-life testimonials.

Introduction to Boxing and Mental Health

In recent years, the connection between physical exercise and mental health has garnered significant attention. Boxing, in particular, has emerged as a powerful tool in managing anxiety, boosting confidence, enhancing focus, managing stress, and triggering endorphin release. But how exactly does engaging in this high-intensity sport lead to improved mental well-being? Let’s explore.

Anxiety Reduction Through Physical Activity

Boxing is an intense form of exercise that demands both physical and mental attention. According to Psychology Today, the structured nature of a boxing workout provides a constructive outlet for tension and worries, allowing individuals to reduce anxiety levels significantly. The physical exertion involved in boxing, combined with the focus required, helps clear the mind and alleviate symptoms of anxiety.

Confidence Boost from Mastery and Achievement

One of the most notable mental health benefits of boxing is the confidence boost it provides. Learning new skills, improving technique, and seeing physical improvements can significantly enhance self-esteem. MindBodyGreen highlights how the discipline and resilience developed in boxing can translate into a more profound sense of self-assurance and confidence.

Enhancing Focus with Every Punch

Boxing requires a high level of concentration and mental stamina, translating into improved focus in daily life. As detailed by Verywell Fit, the sport teaches you to remain focused on your moves and strategies, enhancing your ability to concentrate and maintain attention outside the ring as well.

Stress Management: A Physical Solution to a Mental Problem

In our fast-paced world, stress has become a common ailment. Boxing offers a physical solution to this mental problem. Engaging in a high-intensity workout like boxing provides an outlet for stress relief, as the physical activity helps to lower stress hormones in the body. Active explains how the rigorous physical demands of boxing help in dissipating stress, providing a sense of calm and relaxation post-workout.

The Joy of Endorphin Release

The physical exertion in boxing stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators. This biological process, explained by WebMD, leads to what is often referred to as the “runner’s high,” but it’s just as achievable through boxing. These chemicals play a crucial role in improving mood and creating a positive feeling in the body.

Integrating Boxing into Your Mental Health Routine

Incorporating boxing into your lifestyle can be a game-changer for your mental health. But how can one integrate this powerful sport into their daily or weekly routine for maximum mental health benefits? Let’s explore practical ways to make boxing a part of your life and how Spartans Boxing Club supports this integration.

Building a Routine Around Boxing

Consistency is key when it comes to reaping the mental health benefits of boxing. Establishing a regular boxing routine can help create a sense of structure in your life, contributing to improved mental health. Start with sessions that fit your schedule and gradually increase the intensity and frequency. Remember, the goal is to make boxing a sustainable part of your lifestyle, not a source of additional stress.

Creating a Supportive Environment

Joining a community like Spartans Boxing Club can provide the supportive environment needed to thrive. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who are also on their mental health and fitness journeys can be incredibly motivating. A community can provide encouragement, share tips, and keep you accountable, all of which are essential for maintaining a consistent boxing routine.

The Therapeutic Aspects of Hitting the Bag

There’s something uniquely therapeutic about the physical act of hitting a bag. It’s a physical expression of letting go of stress, anger, and frustration. The rhythmic motion and focus required act as a form of mindfulness, keeping you anchored in the present moment. This can be particularly beneficial for those dealing with anxiety or stress, providing a healthy outlet for pent-up emotions.

Beyond Physical Exercise: Boxing as a Form of Meditation

While boxing is undoubtedly physical, it also requires a high degree of mental engagement. The concentration needed to execute combinations and maintain proper form can serve as a form of moving meditation, clearing the mind and reducing stress levels. This dual focus on mind and body enhances the overall benefits of the workout, elevating both physical and mental health.

The Role of Mindful Breathing in Boxing

Mindful breathing is a core component of boxing that often goes unnoticed. Proper breathing techniques are essential for performance in the ring, but they also play a significant role in mental health. Focusing on your breath during a workout can improve concentration, reduce stress, and enhance the meditative aspect of the sport. Spartans Boxing Club emphasizes the importance of breath control, teaching members how to harness this powerful tool both in and out of the gym.

Long-Term Mental Health Benefits and Transformative Impact of Boxing

The journey through boxing is not just a path to physical fitness but a transformative experience that can lead to profound mental and emotional growth. In this final section, we delve into the enduring mental health benefits of consistent boxing practice and how embracing the sport can lead to a more balanced, fulfilled life.

Sustained Mental Health Improvements

Regular participation in boxing has been shown to lead to long-term improvements in various aspects of mental health, including reduced levels of chronic stress, anxiety, and depression. The discipline and focus gained from consistent training can translate into other areas of life, leading to improved relationships, better stress management, and a more positive outlook on life. As individuals continue to train and grow within the sport, these benefits compound, leading to significant and lasting changes in mental well-being.

The Empowering Effect of Skill Advancement

As practitioners progress in their boxing journey, the continuous learning and skill advancement serve as powerful sources of personal empowerment. This growth can significantly impact self-esteem and self-worth, contributing to a stronger sense of identity and confidence. Spartans Boxing Club celebrates every member’s achievements, big or small, reinforcing the positive mental health effects of recognizing and celebrating personal progress.

The Ripple Effect of Boxing on Overall Well-being

The benefits of boxing extend beyond the individual, affecting their interactions, relationships, and approach to life challenges. The resilience, confidence, and calmness fostered in the ring can help individuals navigate life’s ups and downs more effectively. Members of Spartans Boxing Club often report improved personal and professional relationships, attributing these changes to the mental clarity and emotional balance gained through boxing.

A Community That Supports Mental Wellness

At Spartans Boxing Club, we understand that mental health is just as important as physical health. Our community is designed to support members in all aspects of their well-being. By fostering a supportive, non-judgmental environment, we help members feel understood, valued, and empowered. Our approach goes beyond boxing; we aim to create a space where individuals can find solace, strength, and support, contributing to their overall mental wellness.

Committing to a Healthier, Happier You

Choosing to incorporate boxing into your life is a commitment to your mental and physical health. The journey may be challenging, but the rewards are immeasurable. Spartans Boxing Club is here to guide and support you every step of the way. Together, we can break down barriers, overcome challenges, and build a stronger, more resilient you.

Conclusion: The Transformative Power of Boxing on Mental Health

The mental health benefits of boxing are vast and varied. From anxiety reduction and stress management to enhanced focus and confidence, the sport offers a holistic approach to mental wellness. At Spartans Boxing Club, we are committed to providing an environment where individuals can explore the mental health benefits of boxing in a supportive, empowering community. Join us, and discover how boxing can transform not only your body but your mind and life as well.

Whether you’re looking to manage stress, improve your mental clarity, or simply find a supportive community, boxing may be the answer. Embrace the challenge, and experience the profound mental health benefits that boxing has to offer.

Is Boxing Bad for Mental Health

Is Boxing Bad for Mental Health: An In-depth Analysis

By Spartans Mind

Boxing, a sport with deeply ingrained stereotypes and expectations, has often been under the microscope when it comes to the mental health of its athletes. With the question “Is boxing bad for mental health?” ringing in our ears, this article aims to delve into the complex relationship between boxing and mental health. With the aid of various research studies, testimonials, and the inspiring story of Spartans Boxing Club (SBC), we will unravel the hidden layers of this subject.

The Boxing Stereotype and Mental Health

Boxers are often associated with toughness and resilience, attributes that seemingly indicate immunity to emotional or psychological troubles. However, this stereotype might be doing more harm than good. Despite being hailed for their bravery in the ring, the loneliness and pressure that boxers often feel outside the ring can be detrimental to their mental health.

In fact, mental health issues are believed to be more prevalent in boxing than in many other sports. The expectation to be emotionally invulnerable can make it difficult for boxers to seek help and talk about their struggles, thereby amplifying the problem.

The Silent Struggle: Mental Health in Boxing

The mental health statistics in boxing are alarming. According to UK mental health charity, Mind, one in four people will struggle with mental health issues each year. In England, one in six people reports experiencing a common mental health problem, such as anxiety and depression, in any given week.

These issues are magnified in male-dominated sports like boxing. Men are far less likely to discuss mental health issues than women, creating a culture of silence that can exacerbate mental health problems. High-profile boxers like Tyson Fury and Ricky Hatton have openly discussed their mental health struggles, encouraging others to do the same.

The Connection: Boxing and Improved Mental Health

While boxing can pose mental health challenges, it can also serve as a therapeutic outlet. Non-contact boxing exercises have proven to be an effective intervention for various mental health difficulties. These exercises, often conducted in a high-intensity-interval training group setting, provide significant reduction in symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

Case Study: Spartans Boxing Club (SBC)

SBC, based in Singapore’s vibrant East Coast, was established in 2015. The club’s ethos is a blend of community spirit, inclusivity, professionalism, and fun. Their guiding mantra, “boxing without the bruises,” embodies their commitment to making boxing an enjoyable and accessible sport for all, irrespective of age, gender, or prior experience.

SBC’s Three Pillars of Business Excellence

  • Spartans Boxing Club: The heart of the franchising model, offering entrepreneurs a chance to replicate SBC’s success story in new geographies.
  • Spartans Boxing Academy: The sanctum of education where the torch of boxing knowledge is passed on to the next generation.
  • Spartans Boxing Events: The vibrant division that orchestrates electrifying boxing spectacles that captivate and enthrall audiences.

SBC’s Club Offerings: A Melange of Unique Features

SBC’s standout feature is its unparalleled inclusivity. The club provides a platform for members to forge indelible bonds, where local businesses find a collaborative platform, where grassroots boxing initiatives find nurturing support, and where the local community converges for health and camaraderie.

SBC’s Franchising Model: The Golden Gateway

SBC’s franchising model offers budding entrepreneurs a meticulously crafted business blueprint, unwavering organizational support, and a state-of-the-art online franchise management system. With judiciously calibrated setup and operational costs, franchisees can expect their profit trajectories to soar, ensuring a lucrative return on investment.

SBC’s Classes and Training Modules: A Pantheon of Choices

SBC’s offerings are a smorgasbord of choices. From traditional boxing to contemporary workouts, strength & conditioning, HIIT, yoga, and specialized modules for different age groups, there’s a treasure for everyone.

Moving Forward: Tackling Mental Health Issues in Boxing

While strides are being made to tackle mental health issues in boxing, more needs to be done. Initiatives like England Boxing’s ‘Box In Mind’ are a positive step forward, aiming to reduce the stigma associated with mental health, and encouraging people within the sport to open up and get help if they are struggling.

However, we all have a responsibility to help eradicate one of the most ignored issues in boxing. We need to start describing injury as more inclusive of mental health to further eradicate this stigma. A fractured arm, a torn bicep, or suicidal thoughts on the eve of fight night: all three could be just as detrimental to a fighter’s career and life if they chose to fight on.


The question, “Is boxing bad for mental health?” is not black and white. While boxing can pose mental health challenges, it can also serve as an effective therapeutic outlet. The key lies in creating an environment where athletes feel comfortable discussing their mental health struggles and seeking help when needed. With the right approach, boxing can be a powerful tool for improving mental health, fostering community, and promoting overall well-being.

Boxing for Mental Health

Boxing for Mental Health: A Knockout Solution for Mind and Body Wellness

By Spartans Mind

In the world of fitness, boxing often conjures up images of intense physical exertion, sweat-drenched athletes, and adrenaline-pumping action. However, beyond the physical benefits of strength, stamina, and agility, boxing offers a surprising yet powerful benefit: mental health enhancement. Embracing boxing for mental health presents a holistic approach to wellness, integrating the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of well-being. This article explores how boxing helps in promoting mental health, offering insights from various boxing clubs and fitness professionals.

The Intersection of Boxing and Mental Health

Boxing is not merely a physical activity; it’s a comprehensive workout for the mind. The sport’s unique combination of physical exertion and mental concentration makes it an ideal exercise for boosting mental health.

The Science Behind Boxing for Mental Health

Engaging in boxing triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters. These chemicals enhance mood, alleviate stress, and even act as natural painkillers. Further, the intense focus and concentration required in boxing help clear the mind, fostering mindfulness and boosting cognitive function.

Boxing: A Natural Antidote for Stress and Anxiety

Boxing serves as a powerful stress-buster. The rhythmic movements and focused attention involved in boxing help divert attention from daily stressors, promoting a state of calm and relaxation. Moreover, the physical act of punching allows for a healthy release of frustration and pent-up emotions, further alleviating anxiety.

Boosting Self-esteem and Confidence

Boxing is a sport that instills a sense of self-achievement and mastery. As individuals learn new skills, improve their technique, and experience physical progress, their self-esteem and confidence inevitably soar. This sense of accomplishment extends beyond the boxing ring, positively impacting various aspects of life.

Spartans Mind: A Paradigm Shift in Boxing for Mental Health

Spartans Boxing Club, a renowned fitness institution, has taken significant strides in integrating boxing and mental health. Under their innovative Spartans Mind initiative, they promote a holistic approach to fitness, focusing on the repair, optimization, and strengthening of MH.

Spartans Mind applies a data-driven approach, utilizing a dedicated app to track progress and measure the effectiveness of their interventions. Members can monitor their mood, stress, and energy levels, providing tangible proof of their mental health improvements. This data-centric methodology revolutionizes traditional fitness regimes, cementing the role of boxing in mental health enhancement.

Boxing at Spartans Boxing Club: An Empowering Journey

Spartans Boxing Club offers a diverse range of classes tailored to different skill levels and age groups. Their offerings range from beginner-friendly classes to advanced skill refinement sessions. Each class presents an opportunity to tap into the mental health benefits of boxing, promoting stress relief, mindfulness, resilience, and self-awareness.

In addition to their physical classes, Spartans Boxing Club also offers an online platform, Spartans In Gym XP@Home. This virtual boxing experience makes the MH benefits of boxing accessible to everyone, regardless of location or schedule.

Boxing for Mental Health: A Community Experience

Boxing is not a solitary sport. Whether in a boxing gym or a virtual class, it fosters a sense of community and camaraderie. This social aspect of boxing adds another layer to its mental health benefits, offering a support system, reducing feelings of loneliness, and enhancing social interaction skills.

Boxing for Mental Health: A Global Phenomenon

The fusion of boxing and mental health is not limited to a single locale or institution. Boxing clubs around the world, such as Rumble Boxing and Hayabusa Fight, echo similar sentiments about the MH benefits of boxing. These institutions recognize the transformative power of boxing, promoting it as a holistic solution for mind and body wellness.

Embracing Boxing for Mental Health: A Call to Action

The amalgamation of boxing and mental health presents a unique, effective, and enjoyable approach to wellness. It’s high time to challenge the conventional perception of boxing as merely a physical sport and embrace it as a holistic wellness solution. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or someone looking for a new way to boost MH, boxing might just be the knockout solution you need.

Frequently Asked Questions About Boxing for Mental Health

1. How does boxing improve mental health?

Boxing improves MH by reducing stress, boosting mood, fostering mindfulness, improving self-esteem and confidence, and promoting a sense of belonging and community.

2. How often should I participate in boxing for optimal mental health benefits?

While the frequency may vary based on individual preferences and fitness levels, a general guideline is to participate in boxing two to three times a week.

3. Is boxing suitable for beginners or people with no prior experience?

Yes, boxing is suitable for individuals of all fitness levels and experiences. Many boxing clubs offer beginner-friendly classes that teach the basics of boxing.

4. Can I practice boxing at home?

Yes, with the advent of virtual fitness platforms, you can enjoy the benefits of boxing from the comfort of your home. Many boxing clubs offer online classes or boxing workout apps.

5. Is boxing safe?

Yes, when practiced correctly and under proper guidance, boxing is a safe and effective form of exercise. It’s always advisable to consult with a fitness professional or a boxing coach to ensure proper technique and safety.

Conclusion: Boxing for Mental Health – A Winning Combination

In conclusion, boxing for mental health presents a powerful and effective strategy for achieving holistic wellness. It’s more than a physical workout; it’s an all-encompassing fitness solution that benefits the mind, body, and soul. As we move towards a more inclusive and holistic understanding of health, the integration of physical fitness and mental well-being becomes increasingly crucial. And in this arena, boxing undoubtedly emerges as a champion.

Gym Motivation

Finding Your Drive: Unveiling the Secrets of Unstoppable Gym Motivation

By Spartans Mind

Embarking on a fitness journey can be exhilarating, but let’s face it – maintaining the enthusiasm to hit the gym regularly can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. We’ve all experienced those days when our motivation seems to have vanished, leaving us questioning our commitment. But fear not! In this blog post, we’ll explore the art of cultivating and sustaining gym motivation, helping you unveil the secrets to a consistent and successful fitness routine.


Set Clear Goals

The cornerstone of any successful endeavor is setting clear and achievable goals. Rather than vaguely aiming to “get fit,” outline specific targets like running a certain distance, lifting a particular weight, or achieving a specific body composition. These goals serve as beacons of motivation, reminding you of the purpose behind your sweat sessions.


Find Your “Why”

Dig deep and discover your “why” – the driving force behind your desire to improve your fitness. Whether it’s to enhance your health, boost your self-confidence, or set an example for loved ones, having a compelling reason will fuel your motivation even when the going gets tough.


Mix Up Your Routine

Monotony can be the nemesis of motivation. Spice up your routine by introducing variety. Incorporate different exercises, try new classes, or explore various fitness disciplines. The excitement of something new can rekindle your passion for working out.


Celebrate Small Wins

Recognize and celebrate your achievements, no matter how minor they seem. Every step forward is a triumph, and acknowledging these victories can reinforce your commitment. Whether it’s mastering a new technique or hitting a personal best, give yourself a pat on the back.


Create a Supportive Environment

Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share your fitness aspirations. Join a fitness group, find a workout buddy, or engage in online communities. Encouragement and accountability from others can significantly boost your motivation levels.


Visualize Success

Visualization is a powerful tool. Envision yourself achieving your goals – see the sweat, feel the energy, and relish the victory. By mentally preparing yourself for success, you’re more likely to stay motivated and committed to your fitness journey.


Prioritize Self-Care

Remember, your journey to optimal fitness isn’t solely about intense workouts. Prioritize rest, recovery, and self-care. A well-rested body and a calm mind are more motivated and eager to take on challenges.


Track Your Progress

Maintaining a record of your progress can be incredibly motivating. Keep a workout journal, take progress photos, or use fitness apps to track your achievements over time. Seeing how far you’ve come can reignite your determination to keep pushing forward.


Reward Yourself

Treat yourself to rewards as you hit milestones along the way. Whether it’s a new workout outfit, a massage, or a guilt-free indulgence, these rewards can be powerful incentives to stay motivated.


Embrace Setbacks

Struggles and setbacks are an inevitable part of any journey, including fitness. Instead of letting them deter you, view them as opportunities for growth. Learn from your challenges, adjust your approach, and use setbacks as stepping stones toward success.



Gym motivation isn’t an elusive concept reserved for the lucky few – it’s a mindset that anyone can cultivate. By setting clear goals, finding your “why,” staying open to new experiences, and nurturing a supportive environment, you can unlock the secrets to unwavering motivation. Remember, your fitness journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Embrace the highs and lows, and with determination, you’ll find yourself achieving milestones you never thought possible. So, lace up those sneakers, put on your game face, and let your newfound gym motivation propel you toward a healthier, happier you.


Become a Spartans Boxing Club Franchisee

Looking to own your own business and make a difference in your community? Look no further than Spartans Boxing Club!


Our fitness franchising opportunity is perfect for those looking to make a positive impact while earning a living. With low set up costs, fast payback periods, and a strong ROI, owning a Spartans Boxing Club franchise is a smart investment.


Plus, with our full SOPs and quality standards, you can trust that your franchise will be set up for success. We also offer full business and marketing support, so you can focus on building your community while we handle the rest.


Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about boxing or fitness – we provide everything you need to get started. Our inclusive environment welcomes people of all ages, races, genders, backgrounds, and skill levels.


So what are you waiting for? Build your own fitness community and join the Spartans Boxing Club family today! To learn more about our franchise opportunities, email us at

Spartan Mind Blog - Boxing and neurological disorders

Boxing and Neurological Disorders

By Spartans Mind

Boxing and Neurological Disorders

Boxing has often received a lot of negative press due to the propensity for head injuries through repeat exposure to punches. The poor publicity is warranted. Competitive boxing comes with risks. While most boxers are amateurs and hobbyists who do not sustain brain injury, the numbers are much higher with professional boxers. Moreover, the type of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s that affects boxers may be unique to boxing and not the same as normal Parkisons (Davie, Pirtosek, Barker, Kingsley., Miller, & Lees, (1995). Head injuries are common in many sports and boxing takes continual steps to make the sport safer for athletes (Jacko, 2002).

However, there exists a surprising exercise connection between non-contact boxing and the proactive treatment of neurological disorders. Boxing, through technique-based classes appears to have a positive impact on the treatment of neurological disorders, especially Parkinsons.

The link between Parkinson’s and non-contact boxing is well-documented (Combs, Diehl, Chrzastowski, Didrick, McCoin, Mox, Staples, & Wayman, 2013; Dawson, Sayadi, Kapust, Anderson, Lee, Latulippe, & Simon, 2020; Dibble, Hale, Marcus, Gerber, LaStayo, 2009). Programmes such as Rock steady boxing run out of New York (Horbinski, Zumpf, McCortney. et al., 2021) have long helped individuals delay the onset of Parkinson’s, a disease caused by a chronic deficiency in dopamine in the brain. The lack of dopamine triggers increased muscle stiffness, tremors, and decreased coordination and balance. Other symptoms include difficulties with speaking, fatigue, dizziness all of which precipitate mental decline and life satisfaction in people with Parkinson’s as they self-isolate from the community.

Given boxings negative link to neurological functioning it is a counter intuitive idea that boxing could have such positive effect on those suffering from Parkinson’s. However, a link is appearing through multiple studies. The positive impacts include reduced falls in those who participate in non-contact boxing, increased psychological well being through improved social life and less fatigue.

A direct positive impact of boxing for those with Parkinson’s is reduced falls. (Horbinski, Zumpf, & McCortney, K. et al, 2021). In addition, psychological benefits were also noted such as an improved social life and a drop in fatigue.

The causal mechanism for why boxing benefits those suffering from Parkinson’s appears to be  improved balance and coordination while maintaining a wide stance (Horbinski, Zumpf, McCortney, et al., 2021). The wide stance ensures balance and the weight transfer improves the performance of balancing while not being static. The coordination comes from the hitting of pads or bags, with set routines.

The positive impact of boxing as part of treatment plan for Parkinson’s should be cautionary. The quality of the studies demonstrating positive impacts is generally poor and most do not met the standards for exercise reporting (Morris, Ellis, Jazayeri, Heng, Thomson,, Balasundaram, & Slade,  2019). Moreover, the positive impact of boxing may not be maintained after cessation of the exercise programme (Sangarapillai, Norman, & Almeida,(2021).

Limitations noted, there is evidence that boxing may indeed play a pivotal role in the treatment of neurological disorders by increasing the life satisfaction of those suffering form the likes of Parkinsons. As such, non-contact boxing may be a beneficial adjunct to any treatment plan for those with Parkinson’s who aim to improve their quality of life.


     Combs SA, Diehl MD, Chrzastowski C, Didrick N, McCoin B, Mox N, Staples WH, Wayman J. (2013).

     Community-based group exercise for persons with Parkinson disease: a randomized controlled trial. NeuroRehabilitation. 32(1):117-24.

     Davie, C. A., Pirtosek, Z., Barker, G. J., Kingsley, D. P., Miller, P. H., & Lees, A. J. (1995). Magnetic

     Resonance spectroscopic study of parkinsonism related to boxing. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry58(6), 688-691.

     Dawson, R. A., Sayadi, J., Kapust, L., Anderson, L., Lee, S., Latulippe, A., & Simon, D. K. (2020). Boxing

     Exercises as therapy for Parkinson disease. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation36(3), 160-165.

     Dibble LE, Hale TF, Marcus RL, Gerber JP, LaStayo PC. (2009) High intensity eccentric resistance

     Training decreases bradykinesia and improves Quality Of Life in persons with Parkinson’s

     Disease: a preliminary study. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. (10):752-7. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2009.04.009. Epub 2009 Jun 3. PMID: 19497777.

     Horbinski, C., Zumpf, K.B., McCortney, K. et al. (2021) Longitudinal observational study of boxing

     Therapy in Parkinson’s disease, including adverse impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown. BMC Neurol 21, 326 (2021).

     Jako, P. (2002). Safety measures in amateur boxing. British Journal of Sports Medicine36(6), 394-


     Morris, M. E., Ellis, T. D., Jazayeri, D., Heng, H., Thomson, A., Balasundaram, A. P., & Slade, S. C.

     (2019). Boxing for Parkinson’s disease: has implementation accelerated beyond current evidence?. Frontiers in neurology10, 1222.

     Sangarapillai, K., Norman, B. M., & Almeida, Q. J. (2021). Boxing vs sensory exercise for Parkinson’s

     Disease: A double-blinded randomized controlled trial. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair35(9), 769-777.

Spartans Mind Blog- Review of a Recent Study

Review of Recent Study – Boxing as an Intervention in Mental Health

By Spartans Mind

At Spartans Boxing Club, we have long championed the benefits of boxing for mental health. In previous blogs, we discussed the benefits of boxing for trauma, depression, and mental resilience. We have also reviewed studies examining the impact of exercise on general well-being, noting that boxing is one of the few modalities shown to benefit those recovering from mental health issues.

Just out is a recent study (Bozdarov, Jones, Daskalakis, and Husain, 2022) covering a review of research on boxing as an intervention for mental health. The author identified sixteen studies suitable for review, and in the following article, we will review the paper noting key findings.

The paper starts with a commentary on the benefits of exercise as an alternate treatment, especially for those who did not respond well to either therapy or pharmaceuticals. The paper notes that exercises involving breathing or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) are especially beneficial. The hypothesis is that boxing involves mindfulness and HIIT-based training, so it should be well suited to recovery from mental health issues. The author notes that the relationship between mental health and exercise is supported by a cross-sectional study of 1.2 million Americans conducted between 2011-2015, showing that those involved in physical exercise reduced the health burden by 20.1% (Chekroud, Gueorguieva, Zheutlin, et al., 2018).

The author decided on a scoping review as the most appropriate methodology for the study as there were too few papers to conduct a meta-analysis. The studies were strictly boxing, with other martial arts, such as Thai Boxing, excluded. Google Scholar, Medline and Psychinfo were used to source relevant studies. However, most sources identified for the review were rated as low-quality evidence.

The studies reviewed included qualitative, quasi-experimental, randomised control studies, case studies with pre-and-post measures, and mixed-method designs. Participants were from across the globe, New Zealand, Canada, China, the United States, Ireland and England. While the author identified 155 studies, 16 meet the stringent requirements for the review. 81% of the studies were journals, with the remainder reports and dissertations. 69% were with adults, 19% with youths and the remainder elderly with Parkinson’s 13%.

The boxing intervention was non-contact. A few studies included cognitive training. Typical routines included shadow work, pads and heavy bags and most interventions were in group settings (88%).

The positive impacts of boxing were apparent in all studies. A summary of findings is below:

“ As it relates to mental health, the majority of articles collectively included results that boxing reduced stress, and improved mood, self-esteem and quality of life (94%). Studies showed significant improvement in overall mood, reduced substance use, improvement in self-esteem and confidence, perceived physical ability, performance in school, and overall well-being and mental health. With the use of measurement-based care, a few articles reported a statistically significant reduction in specific symptoms burden post boxing intervention. These included symptoms of depression as per PHQ9, BDI-II and CES-D; symptoms of anxiety as per STAI; negative symptoms of schizophrenia as per PANSS; and symptoms of PTSD as per PCL-5. In addition, there was a statistically significant decrease in mental health distress and psychological symptoms as per BSi-18 and improvement in quality of life as per PDQ-39, WHOQOL and HRQoL.” (pg. 9). Other benefits noted in the study include an outlet for aggression, escape from rumination and negative emotions. Adverse effects were minimal and unrelated to mental health issues (e.g. muscle skeletal). Most importantly, there was no violence transfer from the training to the community.

While a critical review of studies indicates low quality, the general findings are difficult to dispute. Moreover, the causal mechanism for why boxing appears to be so effective for treating mental health appears tied to the unique focus on technique (mindfulness) and HIIT. At the same time, punching a bag has cathartic effects, and boxing reduces body fat and positively impacts cardiovascular health, two areas known to be impacted by depression. Boxing organically increases community involvement and social support. Music increases the enjoyment factor of members. The positive impacts do not appear to be affected by gender. The article also concludes that an optimal dosage may be as little as two 45-minute classes over a week.

Over the past three months, we have covered an extensive review of the benefits of boxing and mental health. Indeed, further evidence of the same findings would seemingly add little to the conversation. The jury is no longer out, and the judgement is in-boxing is a well-documented and well-supported intervention for mental health and recovery from mental health issues.


  1. Bozdarov J, Jones BDM, Daskalakis ZJ, Husain MI. Boxing as an Intervention in Mental Health: A Scoping Review. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2022;0(0). doi:10.1177/15598276221124095
  2. Chekroud SR, Gueorguieva R, Zheutlin AB, et al. Association between physical exercise and mental health in 12 million individuals in the USA between 2011 and 2015: A cross-sectional study. Lancet Psychiatr. 2018;5(9):739-746. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(18)30227-X
Mental Recovery

Lived experience perspectives of factors that influence mental health recovery in Singapore

By Spartans Mind

A recent study in Singapore has looked at how people recover from mental health setbacks (Kuek, Raeburn, Chow, & Wand, 2022). There is much research in the country on understanding mental health and information on the ability to diagnose mental health issues. However, the road back to recovery is far less understood. 

With this in mind, a review of the study is timely. Until recently, research investigating personal recovery is primarily from western countries (Leamy et al., 2011), with only a handful of studies published in the 2000s from Asian settings, primarily applying western conceptualisations of personal recovery.

I have uplifted directly from the recent study to provide a summary of key findings; plagiarism noted! The piece concludes by looking at how Spartans address many vital mental health needs for recovery.


Social Support for Mental Recovery

“ Nearly all participants identified the invaluable contribution and healing properties of social support from a variety of sources such as friends, family members, significant others and even colleagues at work in some cases. These important avenues provided a source of comfort, feelings of safety, encouragement, opportunities to talk through their challenges and other more pragmatic actions (e.g. helping them take a bath, etc.).

However, when social support was not present or considered unhelpful, there was a detrimental impact on the recovery of participants. Specifically, participants shared several negative experiences of family-related instances which contributed to the exacerbation of their mental health challenges”.


Affordability of Mental Recovery Interventions

“While formal mental health professional services were viewed to be important during the recovery process, participants also shared how it could be challenging to find the right type of support. Affordability of these services was one of the main concerns of participants”.


Locating Mental Recovery Interventions

“Another concern raised was the challenge of knowing where to find various mental health professionals where participants shared how difficult it was for them to navigate the mental health system”. 


Personalized Coping Strategies for Mental Recovery

“Participants shared a wide variety of different personalised coping strategies used to manage such as adopting techniques they learned in therapy, engaging in hobbies and finding new, enjoyable experiences”. 


Misperception of what mental health issues are in Singapore

“Some unique societal factors that influenced the recovery process that participants shared were the highly stressful Singaporean educational system, general acceptance and understanding of mental health issues and stigma and the comparison-oriented culture.

However, what was also apparent was the potential for negative impact should these relationships become soured. In some instances, family, a known protective factor of mental health conditions, perpetuated negative experiences. In Singapore, living with one’s family as an adult, even after marriage, is often less a function of choice and more a necessity given the high cost of living and other societal norms where there exists an expectation for a person to look after their parents as they age.

This need was due to the many societal influences that shaped recovery, such as the high paced and comparison-oriented culture in Singapore. Coupled with prevalent and stigmatising attitudes towards people with mental health conditions documented in other Singaporean studies (Tan et al., 2020; Yuan et al., 2016), mental health recovery became more challenging for participants. 

Consequently, the lack of knowledge about various available mental health services and their costs could make help-seeking challenging and prevent people from doing so, negatively impacting their recovery”.


Personalized Mental Recovery Strategies

“However, participants in our study also recognised that while help-seeking was necessary, the many personalised strategies they used to support themselves were central to their recovery. In some instances, it could be adopting what they learned in therapy, while in others, it could be reconciling with their innate personalities and learning how to move forward. These ideas echo the type of personal responsibility often espoused in personal recovery literature but should also be considered within the context of a broader societal view”. 


How Spartans aims to close the gap

At Spartans, a core value of our gyms is the concept of an inclusive community. We create an environment where people can come and are accepted. Spartans becomes the social support, an indirect lifeline for those going through difficult times. 

Rather than paying for individual sessions, members are encouraged to use the gym as much as possible. There are set times for classes and opportunities for self-paced training. As such, boxing at Spartans is a highly affordable psychotherapeutic intervention. 

Our coaches and GMs have basic instruction in mental first aid. The training includes understanding mental health conditions and what to look for if someone may be currently experiencing mental health issues when entering the gym. As a result, there is no stigma with mental health in gyms, quite the contrary. Coaches understand mental health issues and the road to recovery.

Spartans becomes part of a personalised strategy to cope with mental health issues. This blog series well-documented the benefits of physical fitness for mental health. Spartans becomes the hobby, the new interest, for the person working through mental health issues.

Finally, with gyms across Singapore, finding a gym close to the person’s place of residence is no issue. Access to exercise as part of a road to recovery is not hindered by location.

Spartans boxing club aims to address the factors influencing mental health recovery in Singapore directly. Our dedication to mental health is second-to-none in the fitness field. We have designed our repair programme directly to address the needs of those potentially suffering from mental health issues. Spartans is a suitable partner to any psychological intervention and one that may indeed make up for deficiencies in other treatment options.



Leamy, M., Bird, V., Le Boutillier, C., Williams, J. and Slade, M. (2011), “Conceptual framework for

personal recovery in mental health: systematic review and narrative synthesis”, British Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 199 No. 6, pp. 445-452.

Kuek, J. H. L., Raeburn, T., Chow, M. Y. Z., & Wand, T. (2022). Lived experience perspectives of factors that 

influence mental health recovery in Singapore: a thematic analysis. Mental Health and Social Inclusion, (ahead-of-print).

Tan, G.T.H., Shahwan, S., Goh, C.M.J., Ong, W.J., Wei, K.C., Verma, S.K., Chong, S.A. and

Subramaniam, M. (2020), “Mental illness stigma’s reasons and determinants (MISReaD) among Singapore’s lay public – a qualitative inquiry”, BMC Psychiatry, Vol. 20 No. 1, p. 422.

Yuan, Q., Abdin, E., Picco, L., Vaingankar, J.A., Shahwan, S., Jeyagurunathan, A., Sagayadevan, V.,

Shafie, S., Tay, J., Chong, S.A. and Subramaniam, M. (2016), “Attitudes to mental illness and its demographic correlates among general population in Singapore”, PlosOne, Vol. 11No. 11, p. e0167297.

Self-esteem and Mental Health

Self-esteem and Mental Health: The Foundation of the Psychologically Healthy Mind

By Spartans Mind

In a previous blog, we introduced the concept of optimal performance, the alignment between ones lived reality and a sense of well-being. In response to the blog, many people asked whether the model advocated an elitist view of life, the idea that one can only be optimal if one reaches their perfect existence. Optimal performance is not elitist, nor is it about perfection. It is about the journey toward the best version of you, recognising that road will be rocky. Underpinning this journey is one’s sense of self-esteem and mental health. 

People who are only happy when they have obtained their goals or live a life of misery due to envy lack self-esteem. Self-esteem is at the foundation of mental health and is one’s opinion of oneself, independent of external achievement or rewards. You have an appropriate level of self-esteem when you trust your mind and believe that you deserve happiness due to your inherent worth. For many people, however, self-esteem is dependent on the external, dependant on others’ judgement. However, the psychological model of self-esteem depends not on others’ judgement but one’s judgement of themselves. 

Psychology has many models of self-esteem. Often psychologists define self-esteem as one’s sense of global self-worth or how much value one believes they have. Self-esteem is more than self-belief; to be practical, we need to have models that describe self-esteem and prescribe how to cultivate self-esteem. One such model is the model developed by Nathaniel Branden, the famous Objectivist psychologist who practised psychotherapy up to his death in 2014. Below I review Branden’s model of self-esteem, known as the six pillars and discuss how to practise the pillars through Boxing, which results in developing a deep sense of self-esteem, the psychological foundation of the optimal self.

Pillar 1: Live With Awareness of Your Self-Esteem and Mental Health

Ironically, the starting point for self-esteem is not the self. Self-esteem starts with respect for reality. The definition of well-being discussed last week is a link between the internal state and respect for reality. Self-esteem is not a means of escaping reality. While pseudo-self-esteem involves escaping reality to keep a notion of the self in tack, genuine self-esteem reflects respect for reality. People who ignore reality are choosing ignorance rather than wisdom to protect what is a fragile sense of sense.

Individuals with high self-esteem will attempt to confirm reality or the truth when the truth is unknown; they will test themselves and their ideas about what is real. They will not distort reality because it is comforting to do so. Their sense of self is not affected by this reality, but the reality is essential for gathering information on what behaviours to continue and those behaviours to cease.

One of the greatest gifts from Boxing is learning respect for reality quickly. Many times, someone comes into a gym believing they know how to fight only to quickly be humbled and, from there, be able to appreciate the sweet science. The same is true for those that want to learn techniques and engage in Boxing without bruises. Often they will think that Boxing is a simple and brutal sport only to find that the coordination of feet and hands is far more sophisticated than they realised. 

In Boxing, there is no faking reality. Respect for reality is guaranteed. There are few moments in life where one can not cheat reality, where some intelligent talker can not distort the truth. Boxing does not allow this to happen and is such a great environment to fully appreciate the first pillar of genuine self-esteem.

The second pillar is to be able to accept yourself

Aligned with the first pillar are self-acceptance and the ability to accept one’s limitations while simultaneously being one’s best advocate. Self-esteem means being willing to experience all one’s emotions and behaviours, for by accepting one’s strengths and weaknesses, one will know areas one wishes to improve. Accepting oneself also means accepting that one is human and treating oneself with kindness by accepting poor behaviour and then empathetically questioning the gap between the desired and actual behaviour. 

Again Boxing is a great teacher in this regard. People can improve only when they move past their ego and into self-acceptance. They accept the need to make improvements. They accept that their error created the opportunity for the opponents to overhand the right to land. They accept that they don’t know how to bob and weave correctly. Acceptance is the catalyst for the third pillar of taking responsibility for one’s life.

The third pillar is to take responsibility for your life

Self-acceptance does not mean that one accepts their failings. We need to differentiate what can be changed from what is fixed and look to fix what can be changed. Having accepted oneself, one must then take responsibility for their life. You think independently. You analyse others’ opinions, only repeating them if you believe and understand them. You are responsible for reaching your goals. You understand that only you can develop and implement a plan to be your optimal self. People are not there to save you, but self-esteem means you take responsibility for developing and ultimately saving yourself.

Only you can take responsibility for learning to bob and weave correctly. Only you can take responsibility to keep your hands up when in the fight, and only you can learn to dig deep when the situation demands that the only way through is to find an inner self you did not know.

The fourth pillar is to assert yourself in order to improve your self-esteem and mental health

Self-esteem will invariably mean asserting one’s needs in a world of committing demands. Self-esteem does not mean taking a back seat or railroading through one’s point of view. Self-esteem means asserting oneself and recognising that others also have the right to assert their needs. The need for assertiveness as a measure of self-esteem can best be recognised by those who lack self-esteem and will often let others’ needs take priority or those who aggressively want their way without considering the needs of others.  

Self-assertiveness is again naturally practised in Boxing. In training, it is self-assertiveness, which means that questions are directed at coaches to improve your technique. In sparring, self-assertiveness means communicating how hard you wish to fight, not allowing your partner to push you into deep waters beyond your comfort level. In fighting, a core tenet is to assert your will on the opponent, not be a victim of their self-assertion. When it comes to self-assertiveness, Boxing is a great teacher.

The fifth pillar is to have intentionality in regards to your self-esteem and mental health

Intentionality concerning self-esteem means goal-setting. The ability to set goals is to create an intent. Those with self-esteem are clear on the goals that they set for themselves. They live their life in line with their goals, and they move toward the accomplishment of these goals.

No one improves in Boxing without clarity of goals. Short-term goals are stepping stones to longer-term goals. Many trainees engage in an 8 or 12-week challenge to achieve their goals; Boxing is a goal factory, which is why it is such a powerful exercise modality.

The sixth pillar is to live with integrity in order to support your self-esteem and mental health

The final pillar of Branden’s model of self-esteem is integrity. Concerning self-esteem, integrity means being integral or whole and consistent. Integrity means that one’s actions match one values and the words that one speaks.  

Integrity creates a virtuous cycle, Branden, as your self-esteem will drive and depend on your behaviour in a never-ending cycle: Your actions align with your expectations. Your behaviours inevitably affect your self-esteem—you can’t avoid feeling some way about how you choose to behave, and these feelings affect your opinion of yourself.

Integrity is a core part of the boxing lifestyle, especially at Spartans Boxing. Integrity means living the life of a boxer, respecting others in the gym independent of their sexuality, nationality or any other demographic variable you wish to choose. Integrity means recognising that everyone is on their journey of self-improvement. Integrity means committing to the FIGHT code of Spartans. Integrity means living your life in line with the person you wish to become.

How to Improve Your Self-Esteem Boxing

One of the strengths of Branden’s model is that it provides a template for how one would improve their self-esteem. Branden explains that by practising these pillars, you behave in ways that foster and improve your self-esteem. Since behaviours both cause and are effects of self-esteempractising the pillars creates a virtuous cycle: The more you accept yourself, the more you’ll raise your self-worth—and thus your self-esteem. The higher your self-esteem, the more self-worth you have, and the more you’ll accept yourself. 

Boxing is the practice ground for the development of self-esteem. Boxing naturally results in developing a true sense of self, a deep appreciation of individuality, and an acceptance of your worth. Boxing is where everyone is on their journey of self-improvement and at the heart of the psychological journey is self-esteem. I know of no better exercise regiment than Boxing to build strong, healthy individuals with the self-esteem required to take on the world.

boxing and depression

Boxing your way out of depression

By Spartans Mind

This article tackles boxing and depression, in order to understand this interaction, we need to know more about depression before explaining how it interelates with boxing. Depression is the world’s most prominent non-communicable disease. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability in the US and Canada, ahead of coronary heart disease, cancer and AIDS. Not surprisingly, mood disorders are a focal point for psychiatric work.

People often have difficulty distinguishing depression from simply feeling down. Many symptoms of depression are felt by those who are not clinically depressed but are experiencing an off day. Many of the symptoms can be opposites making diagnosis even more complicated. Those suffering from depression may show symptoms of sleeping too little or too much, eating very little or overeating, severe outbursts or becoming sullen. 

Clinically, the difference between depression and a bad mood is the number of presenting symptoms. According to the DSM 5 (the manual used by psychiatrists and clinical psychologists to diagnose), one needs a collection of symptoms to be considered depressed. In reality, most people know whether the mood they are feeling is more than a passing state and is pervasive enough to be more than just a bout of the blues. 

Pharmaceutical intervention for depression focuses on increasing three related neuromodulators in the brain known as monoamines; norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin (see last week’s blog). In particular, the majority of drugs used to treat depression slow receptive uptake of neurotransmitters in the brain, the net effect being that you have more of the chemical circulating than would otherwise be the case. SSRIs (selective serotonin receptor inhibitors), such as Prozac and Lexapro, are effective in treating depression but also have a range of side effects, such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and withdrawal effects. Similar effects are found for the drugs that inhibit the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine (NDRIs). Moreover, anti-depressants don’t work for everyone. For some poor unlucky people, the SSRIs and NDRIs result in side effects for no gain. 

Depression can be considered a form of pain. Depression is a hibernation response to keep still and stay out of harm’s way during a painful psychological disturbance. The impact is primarily an inability of the brain to adapt. The impact is on areas like the hippocampus, becoming locked into negative memories. The brain can’t reach alternate conclusions about the cause of depression that it is trying to process. 

Boxing and depression, how exercise is benfecial in the treatment of depression

Given the prevalence of depression, its debilitating effects and the ineffectiveness of medication for some, we need alternative treatments. One such treatment is exercise. Exercise not only positively impacts the production of monoamines but also the brain’s natural painkillers, the endorphins. We have opiate receptors in the brain specifically for endorphins, and it is the link between exercise and a mental high, known as the runner high, which is, for many people, the introduction to the benefits of exercise for mental health. Endorphins are, however, not simply a natural high. Endorphins calm the brain and relieve muscle pain, lessening the mental anguish of depression.

Exercise, however, does more than increase the production of feel-good chemicals in the brain. Exercise protects the neurons by increasing what is known as brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF). Amongst other things, BDNFs protect neurons from the adverse effects of cortisol covered in last week’s blog and increase neuromodulator uptake. BDNFs help neurons communicate, grow and aid neuroplasticity, which is central to the brain’s capacity to adapt and develop new thoughts. BDNFs are vital for executive functioning (think high reasoning); therefore, exercise is likely to play a facilitative role in psychotherapy (Ratey and Hagerman, 2008).

Given the positive effects of exercise on mental health, why is its role in mental health treatment not discussed more? The reality is that the scientific community has long known the positive effects of exercise on preventing or limiting the effects of depression. In a study dating back to 1974, people with no sign of depression which became inactive were 1.5 times as likely to develop depression (Housman, & Dorman, 2005). In this same study, those that were inactive and became active were no more likely to have depression than those with a history of poor mental health.

The findings of the 1974 study are not unique. A Dutch study of nearly 20,000 twins demonstrated that exercise reduced anxiety and depression (Willemsen., Vink., Abdellaoui, Den Braber., Van Beek., Draisma., … & Boomsma, (2013). Furthermore, Blumenthal and colleagues (2007), in their examination of exercise and medication, concluded that exercise was as effective as medicine in treating depression. More accurately, exercise was the most significant predictor of whether someone felt better, including psychotherapy. While exercise is not a replacement for medicine, there is a strong case that exercise be part of a treatment protocol. Exercise works as a prevention and cure and is effective for those for whom medication is unhelpful (Rethorst. & Trivedi, 2013).

Trivedi and his lab have developed protocols for the prescription of exercise for the treatment of depression. Protocols for exercise are very much in their infancy, but intensive workouts over an extended period (30-60 minutes) 3 times a week, burning up to 14,000 calories per week, seems adequate. Exercise is effective and intensive exercise over an extended period is very effective.

Boxing and depression: How does Boxing Help with Depression

High-intensity workouts are where boxing comes in. Boxing as an exercise modality positively impacts neurotransmitters, BDNFs, plasticity and executive functioning. A typical 45-60 minute class, run by Spartans, hits the prescribed exercise intensity without depletion. Workouts are designed to energy, focus, and recovery, leading to increased calmness. 

Recognising how difficult it is for people to start an exercise programme often when experiencing depression, Spartans have developed a dedicated programme for psychological repair. The 12-week programme starts with minimal intensity, using our InGymXperience@home, slowly but methodically progressing a person to in-gym training and finally to class interaction.

With our commitment to science, we monitor our clients’ progress through our Spartans Mind app. We hope to have publishable results that track the effectiveness of the various protocols we implement.  

Pound-for-pound, it is hard to find a better exercise than boxing to integrate with psychotherapy to treat depression. Spartans are incredibly excited to be leading the way in furthering exercise science to treat depression. 


Blumenthal, J. A., Babyak, M. A., Doraiswamy, P. M., Watkins, L., Hoffman, B. M., Barbour, K. A., … & 

Sherwood, A. (2007). Exercise and pharmacotherapy in the treatment of major depressive disorder. Psychosomatic Medicine, 69(7), 587.

Housman, J., & Dorman, S. (2005). The Alameda County study: a systematic, chronological 

review. Journal of health education, 36(5), 302-308.

Ratey J., & Hagerman, E. (2008). Spark. Little Brown and Company.

Rethorst, C. D., & Trivedi, M. H. (2013). Evidence-based recommendations for the prescription of 

exercise for major depressive disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 19(3), 204-212.

Willemsen, G., Vink, J. M., Abdellaoui, A., Den Braber, A., Van Beek, J. H., Draisma, H. H., … & 

Boomsma, D. I. (2013). The Adult Netherlands Twin Register: twenty-five years of survey and biological data collection. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 16(1), 271-281.