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mental health Mindset Motivation Uncategorized

MENTAL BENEFITS OF BOXING Guest post by REAL

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As a buisness 12 Rounds is very much a supporter of mental health awareness.  Founder Kat has spoken and written about this a lot.

The post below is a guest post from Max Fraser, of REAL; High-performance sportswear, inspired by boxers and it clearly outlines the benefits of boxing on mental health.

 

Boxing is as much mental as it is physical. At the very highest level of competition, the difference between winning and losing is the fighter’s mentality. Both boxers will be physically primed to endure 10-12 rounds of explosive exertion. The physical conditioning and preparation for a fight is very much in the control of the boxer; this is the easy part. Preparing mentally is far harder. When the bell rings, can you control your adrenaline, retain composure under fire, with the confidence to resist intimidation or self-doubt, harness fear and project it on to your opponent, with the depth of desire to fight through the pain.
At any level, competitive and non-contact boxing training brings untold physical and mental benefits. This article focuses on the mental benefits of non-contact, recreational boxing.

1) Empowerment
Learning how to punch properly and unlocking your full power is an awakening. The moment you hear a full volume smack of your glove hitting the pads or bag, the exhilaration will have you hooked. Then learning how to harness your power while throwing bunches of punches gives your confidence a great lift and this transfers to daily life, boosting self-efficacy and the ability to deal with challenging situations better.

2) Uplifting
There are four things that can lift mood; a sense of achievement, enjoyment, closeness to others and somethings that’s beneficial to the body. Boxing has all four. It’s inclusive, social and something to look forward to. Whether it’s in a class, hitting the pads or holding someone’s feet while they do sit-ups, you’re never doing this alone.

3) Combat Depression and Anxiety
A spike in physical activity releases neurochemicals like endorphins and neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. Endorphins are nature’s pain killer and act like a blissful sedative; serotonin regulates mood, dopamine signals reward and noreprinephrine enhances alertness, helping you focus. This cocktail of neurochemicals and transmitters drives communication between brain cells to better regulate physical and emotional health.

4) Stress Relief
Boxing is a proven way to de-stress and ease tension – hitting things is both fun and therapeutic. Exercise releases norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter) improving cognition and clarity of thought clouded by stressful events. Central and sympathetic nervous systems work together, improving the body’s ability to respond to stress. Exercise further helps balance stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

5) Active Meditation
When your body is busy, your mind is distracted and free. Co-ordinating combinations while trying to hit a moving target, takes focus and one has to be entirely present. This distraction is a break from the outside world and clears the mind.
At whatever level you’re boxing, it will put you on the edge of your physical comfort zone and this is where we grow. Each time you push one more inch, there is a cascade of mental benefits. The body only achieves what the mind believes.

Article by Max Fraser, Founder of REAL
High-performance sportswear, inspired by boxers.

www.realpowerofone.com

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community Featured In lifestyle mental health Mindset

Why even businesses need communities

Community is something I talk about a lot at 12 Rounds

I believe that feeling part of a community is vital to our mental health.  Communities offer support, connection and help set healthy boundaries. Things that are important for our social functioning.  Prior to Covid we were even featured in Forbes magazine talking about how our community atmosphere has kept our members coming back year after year.

Last week i did a radio interview talking about being part of Clapham Junctions Business Improvement District (BID)

It made me realise that small businesses need supportive communities too particularly when dealing with a global pandemic.

Running a small business can be incredibly isolating.  And time consuming.  You are expected to be an expert in all areas, human resources, legal requirements, IT, management, marketing….as well as delivering your actual service.  It can be overwhelming trying to stay on top of everything. Add a global pandemic to the mix and it could be easy to go into stress overload.

From the initial corona outbreak and lockdown we’ve been fortunate to have been supported by Roz Lloyd Williams at Clapham’s Junction BID.  Throughout this crazy time, Roz has been on hand to offer advice and information on continuing to operate our business safely and applying for grants.  She has also helped advertise our online services on social media and the BIDs website.  As well as running 12 Rounds, I’m a busy mum it can be hard to keep up to date on the changing rules and information.  It’s been great to have someone on hand to answer my often frantic questions.

Clapham junction is such a vibrant area.  Prior to Covid a vast number of people would pass through travelling in and out of CJ station.  It’s been fantastic that we have the BID to make the most of this dynamic area.  How fantastic do the new Christmas lights look for one?  It’s also great having an app and website guiding visitors and residents through the local businesses.  As 12 Rounds doesn’t have an on street window people often don’t know we are there.  Yes there’s a huge graffiti logo on the building but we’ve learned most people don’t look up!

Our building which was precious Wessex House has always been a hub of activity in Wandsworth.  Gym members often tell me how they previously frequented Wessex House with some even meeting their partners there 🙂

As we move into hopefully a more social 2021, I def plan to def take a more active role in the community and get to know our neighbouring businesses better.  Who knows, all being well and when we are allowed to meet in groups again, 12 Rounds could host a meet up where local business could connect and discuss their challenges.  And of course have a go at boxing.  I’m sure there are a lot of business owners who would love to take the stress of 2020 out on our punch bags 🙂

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://12roundsboxing.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/fed13cc3-a01e-4cf5-850f-f04a63cc680b.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Kat Hamilton is founder of 12 Rounds Boxing. She in incredibly passionate about the effects of boxing in helping people improve all aspects of their life. She very much believes in community spirit! [/author_info] [/author]

 

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mental health Mindset Motivation Uncategorized

PTSD and how boxing can make you better

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Following our fundraiser for Help for Heros, Jake Duggan shares a bit of background and info on PTSD and how boxing is a fantastic tool in aiding recovery.
 
 
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
 
 
Here is the best example that shows how our minds cannot tell the difference between reality and what’s in our imagination.
 
If I asked you to imagine (in full detail) going into your kitchen, grabbing a lemon from your fridge, smelling it for a second, cutting out a wedge and then biting into that wedge.
 
 
I guarantee you, your mouth will start salivating and reacting as if it had just bitten into that lemon.
 
Now lets think about a traumatic event.
 
It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation.
Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it.
This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm.
 
For those suffering from PTSD however, this ‘flight-or-flight’ response doesn’t stop after the event.
 
One part of our brain is call the Amygdala, which is responsible for processing our short term memories to long term memories.
 
In the case of PTSD, that particular traumatic memory becomes stuck within our short term memory.
 
As a result of this whenever someone with PTSD experiences a ‘trigger’
 
For example:
– A soldier who has been in a firefight in the Middle East = A loud bang.
– A victim of sexual assault = the smell of a particular brand of deodorant that the offender had on.
– Someone who was in a horrific car crash = a specific song that may have been playing on the car radio at the time.
 
Instantly, their mind will take them back to that particular traumatic situation and make their body BELIEVE they are there again and trigger that ‘fight-or-flight’ response sending a massive amount of adrenaline throughout their body.
 
Now imagine that happening to them and they are at a restaurant or grocery shopping?
They know they aren’t in any danger but if they don’t even know they have PTSD this can be a very frightening and exhausting experience.
 
Having to deal with constant and frequent similar episodes, they can start to seem disinterested or distant as they try not to think or feel in order to block out these painful memories.
This is what leads them down the path towards depression and anxiety disorders.
Eventually causing them to stop participating in work, social & family life and ignore offers of help, leading to loved ones feeling shut out.
Or in the worst and saddest cases, leading them to taking their own lives to make it all stop.
 
Even though they may think they don’t need it, people with PTSD need the support of their friends and family.
 
It IS a battle that can be won team and there are treatments and support programs out there that can help and make a difference in these people’s lives.
 
Two steps forward & One step back is still ONE STEP FORWARD.
 
DEPRESSED VS DEPRESSION
 
The difference between being depressed and having depression is the difference between sadness and a mental illness and may be the most common misconception about mental illnesses.
 
Being Depressed Is Temporary.
 
Having Depression Is Something Else Entirely.
 
It can cause you to NOT do many things.
It can cause you to DO many unwanted things.
 
It can be very easy to say to someone ‘Just cheer up or just get over it’
 
But many don’t understand what’s happening within that person’s mind.
 
The effects of depression on the brain can result in structural and connective changes.
 
These include reduces functionality of:
 
– Hippocampus: can result in memory impairment.
 
– Prefrontal cortex: can result in preventing the person from getting things done (executive function) and affect their mood.
 
– Amygdala: Can directly affect their mood and emotional regulation.
 
But like all hardships, there is light at the end of the tunnel team, it doesn’t have to get sucked down in that never ending dark vortex.
If you are struggling or experiencing this or similar symptoms, the first step is always the hardest.
 
But you only have to do one thing – SPEAK
 
Once you speak, even if its just a few words then you are already on your road to recovery with the support from your family, friends and loved ones.
 
You are not a burden and you are not wasting anyone’s time.
 
Think of it this way, if your best friend was going through this, wouldn’t you want to know?
 
ANXIETY
 
It is a normal emotion. It’s your brain’s way of reacting to stress and alerting you of potential dangers ahead.
 
Everyone feels anxious now and then. You may worry about a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.
 
Occasional Anxiety is OK.
 
Anxiety Disorders are DIFFERENT.
 
They’re a group of mental illnesses that cause constant and overwhelming anxiety and fear.
It can be challenging and frustrating to live with an anxiety disorder.
The constant worry and fear can make you feel tired and scared.
It can make you start avoiding work, school, family get-togethers, and other social situations due to the fear that it might trigger or worsen your symptoms.
 
Let alone the embarrassment of people seeing you in public when these episodes occur.
 
But listen to this team,
It’s an obstacle that can be overcome, this doesn’t have to control you,
You can control IT.
 
Boxing is a fantastic way to start as it literally takes you out of your head and into the present moment.  It gives your brain a break from constantly being on high alert mode AND allows you to re-set.
 
That’s where talking comes in.  You NEED to talk.
 
Don’t feel that you are a burden and that this is not important.
See your GP or speak to any of the available counselling services and you will see how they can help.
 
If you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.
 
The pics below are from the medicine ball challenge I completed.  For 14 days straight I carried this 3kg bad boy around handcuffed to me to represent the very real challenge of living with PTSD.   I’m pleased to say I raised over £300 for Help for Hero’s in the process.
 
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://12roundsboxing.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/ff3d3027-3847-44d8-a3b5-a8156b4d17cc.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Jake Duggan is one of our trainee coaches and also works front of house. You can find him helping fundamentals drill the basics or behind the front desk. Beware, his enthusiasm is infectious![/author_info] [/author]

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Exercise Tips Fitness Regime mental health Mindset Motivation Uncategorized Weight Loss

Alex’s journey

Find something you love and get consistent with it – the physical results will come as a by product of feeling good

After battling with depression and piling on weight Alex decided it was time to make changes.  Last April he walked into 12 Rounds Boxing and started our boxing fundamentals programme.  18 months later he’s worked his way through our skills levels and is itching to get in the ring and have his first fight.  Oh and he’s lost over 4 stone in the process.  Check out his before and after pics below!

Results don’t always happen Instantly, they take time and commitment and Alex has certainly put in the work.  We are so proud and inspired by him that we interviewed him to hear his full story.  

Here’s what he had to say:

What got you into boxing? 

I’ve always been really interested in combat sports, boxing and MMA. What also interested me was the mental side of it, the chess game that you play with your opponent in the ring is unlike any other sport I’ve played.

What do you enjoy about training at 12 rounds?  

The atmosphere at 12 rounds is amazing, everyone is there to have a good time and really put in work, once you’ve been there more than a couple of times, the coaches know your name, they’re joking around with you and that laidback atmosphere couple with really focussed and high quality training is a winning combo.

What’s been your highlights/biggest achievements? 

I did my fundamentals last year in April and around that time I was about 19st 7lbs, I was able to work my way up through the programs, all th way to sparring which I love, and as off the last time I weighed myself I am now 15st on the dot. Losing all that weight is great, but the mental focus has had a huge impact on my mental health and my outlook on life. So really, I suppose my biggest highlight has been all of it, because it’s really helped to transform my health and life 😊

What’s been biggest challenge? 

The biggest challenge for me has been getting my head around footwork, anyone can throw a punch but it’s being able to move around and create angles and opportunities that also come with the mind games. It can be quite difficult to wrap your head around, but once you pull of your first pivot and angle out of a combination, it makes it all worth it.

What’s next for you? 

For me I’m preparing for when COVID restrictions are lifted and the fight school is back on, my goal has been to fight and before lockdown went into effect i was getting ready to sign up. Now that I’m down to a more natural weight for me, I’m hoping to continue working on my strength and do ruining to get in the best shape possible for a training camp.

What’s your fav class and why?

I have a real love/hate relationship with the bag and burn sessions 😅 if you want a good all body work out, those are the sessions for you; Rich and Chloe are always their to push you to your absolute limit. I also love the technical sessions, learning more about boxing and how to chain all the skills you’ve learned together is really satisfying.

 

We love Alex’s story and how boxing gives you the mental clarity, focus and feel good factor to keep going.  To get results in anything requires consistent practice.  Luckily boxing is something that’s easy to get addicted to 🙂

 

 

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Exercise At Home mental health Mindset Motivation Uncategorized

10 tips to stay healthy over lockdown

Being cooped up inside for weeks on end is enough to drive anyone to a tray of chocolate brownies washed down with a bottle of wine.  With many of us off work with no routine or schedule it’s very easy to sleep till noon and console yourself with food, booze and Netflix. 

At 12 Rounds we don’t just teach boxing skills we help our members to stay fit and healthy both mentally and physically.  Promoting positive mental well being is something we are known for.  We know that movement and connection are 2 things that keep us mentally well.  For anyone who suffers from stress and anxiety, movement is key to interrupting those negative thoughts patterns.  Boxing is particularly helpful as it involves putting complex patterns together so the brain is basically given a break from whatever it is that’s causing the stress.  Let’s face it who hasn’t experienced some level of anxiety during these current times? 

We also believe that having support and feeling connected make the brain feel safe and alleviate any stress.

If you’ve been struggling to stay sane these last few weeks and feel like you’re slipping into bad habits, here’s a few tips to take on these next few weeks like a champion fighter. 

Routinefind a routine that works for you and stick to it.  Maybe you’re off work just now and don’t have to set the alarm for 6.30am.  It’s still important to have a regular time to get up and get moving, otherwise it’s too easy to become lethargic and start to see negative effects on your mental health.  Set up a routine that works for you.  It could be getting out for a walk first thing or joining an online workout to get the endorphins flowing and start the day on a positive note.

Move oftenwe all know we need to move for both mental and physical health.  Exercise doesn’t have to mean traditional gym workouts.  Do something you enjoy rather than punishing yourself. Get out walking, cycling or just put your fav music on and dance around your kitchen.  Boxing enthusiasts practice your shadow boxing in front on the mirror.  With all the free online sessions at the moment, there’s never been a better time to try something new.

 Experiment in the kitchen and try new foods and ways of cooking.  Try adding colour and spice to your meals for nutrient density.  What you want to avoid is the ‘table of beige” Beige food screams processed.  Cakes, biscuits, bread, pastries will all give you a sugar hit and leave you feeling rubbish and piling on the pounds.  I’m not saying don’t have any but just make sure you’ve got a balance of colour on your table. 

Get some sunlight.  Vitamin D is essential for not just our bones but overall health.  We absorb vitamin D from sunlight via our skin so try and get at least 20 mins a day outdoors without sunblock.  If you struggle to get enough sun time, you can take as a supplement too.

 Stay connectedtoo much alone time can be too much time in our heads for some of us.  To combat this schedule regular video calls with family and friends.  There are also a lot of online support groups that offer regular virtual meet ups. If you are someone who is shy and struggles with meeting new people, challenge yourself to move out of your comfort zone and make contact with old friends.  You may just find that you rekindle lapsed relationships through this difficult time.

Limit your sugar intakealthough it may be comforting to reach for the chocolate right now but too much sugar has a direct effect on your mood.  With so much uncertainty we want to remain as upbeat as possible right? I’m not saying don’t have treats, just be mindful of how much sugar you are consuming and chose healthier options.  eg 70% or above Dark chocolate contains much less sugar and even has a higher protein content than confectionary bars. Try and get your sweet fix from natural source like fruit or raw honey which have a nutritional advantage too.  Also processed sugar has a negative effect on your immune system.  Something we definitely don’t want right now. 

Switch off your devices in the evening  do you find that your struggle to sleep, wake up feeling tired and un-rested? It may be that the EMF (electro magnetic frequency) of your lighting and devices is interfering with your sleep.  Our bodies need darkness to stimulate melatonin needed for sleep.  When we fall asleep with TV, laptops, phones and lighting still on the electro magnetic frequency causes us to release stress hormones cortisol which interferes with the quality of our sleep.  It also stops our bodies doing their jobs and fully repairing us as we sleep.  Turn off your devices, lower the lighting and relax before bed to get the most out of your 8 hours.

Sleep more – most of us generally don’t sleep enough and the benefits of sleep are endless.  All your bodies systems regenerate during sleep, including your immune system.  Getting a good nights sleep is also essential if you are trying to stay in shape.  What better way to spend time than to catch up on those extra zzzz’s Try just getting to bed an hour earlier to reap the benefits.

Plan your food shop  Ever went food shopping hungry and come out the supermarket with no actual meals but a lot of treats?  It’s easy done!  If you want to successfully eat well over lockdown it’s essential to plan your meals.  Choose some new recipes and then go to the supermarket intentionally to get those ingredients.  Get in and out avoiding the biscuit aisle and you’re on to a winner. After all who really wants to spend any longer than necessary in supermarket at the moment anyway. 

Laugh – research shows that laughter is good for the immune system and of course promotes positive mental health.  Again get intentional with it.  Start your day with your favourite comedy podcast, watch re-runs of all your old fav funny movies.  Get those laughter endorphins flowing to get yourself in the best mindset to stay positive through this strange time.

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Boxing tips Exercise Tips Latest mental health Mindset Motivation Weight Loss

Join our Open Day for World Mental Health Day

At 12 Rounds Boxing, we’re a small boxing gym with big dreams of showing everyone how boxing can make us all better at dealing with life’s inevitable punches.
Our #BoxingMakesYouBetter Campaign launches on World Mental Health Day (10th October 2019) and encourages people to share their experiences of what boxing has done for them.

Our aim is to encourage more people (especially those who would never normally consider it) to find a club and give it a go.

To help you get involved and try us out we are holding an OPEN EVENING on Thursday 10th October from 6-9pm

6pm-6.45pm – Come along and meet the team and hear our member stories of how boxing has helped them cope with different life situations.

7pm-8.30pm – Join a beginner level boxing session and experience for yourself how a boxing session will boost your mood instantly. The session is suitable for both new and experienced boxers and will finish with a cool down and short talk on mindset strategies to boost mental well-being.

8.30pm-9pm – Join us in the bar for smoothies and win prizes in our raffle to raise money for The Frank Bruno Foundation, a charity that provides boxing sessions for people experiencing mental illness.

To book a space on the boxing session head to the link below. You just need to make a small donation The Frank Bruno Foundation on the night

https://goteamup.com/p/68830-12-rounds-boxing/e/20577529-open-day-beginners-class/

We hope you can make it along to experience the magic of boxing

To hear our member stories on how ‘boxing has made them better’ follow our insta campaign at link below or search the hashtag #boxingmakesyoubetter

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