Aeroboxing, or aerobic boxing, is an aerobic activity that blends martial arts with an intense aerobics workout. It is a non-combat, non-contact exercise that mimics many of the actions performed in boxing but removes them from the context of martial arts. The purpose of aeroboxing is building and maintaining physical fitness; it tones muscles and can greatly improve one's cardiovascular fitness. Most gyms that offer aeroboxing courses place no emphasis on self-defense, but some claim that the exercise can improve an individual's ability to defend himself if necessary. In general, more women practice aerobic boxing than men; it is, however, open to people of both genders and of all ages.
The origins of aeroboxing can likely be found in shadowboxing, a pre-workout or pre-fight activity practiced by many boxers. Shadowboxing involves, at its core, fighting an imaginary opponent; there is no contact and there is only one person involved. Such an exercise helps stretch out muscles that will be used in the upcoming fight; it also helps mentally prepare the fighter. While the goals of aeroboxing are quite different, the specific motions and actions are quite similar. The exerciser throws a series of punches, sometimes coordinated to music or some other rhythm, with no intent of hitting anything.
The key aspect of aeroboxing is nonstop motion; the workouts are not particularly long and they do not place an emphasis on specific, strenuous exercises. Those who participate in aerobics classes are, in most cases, working adults; they usually do not have hours each day to spend exercising. Many aerobic boxing sessions last for an hour or less; there are, however, no breaks. This nonstop motion ensures that those who practice aeroboxing get an intense workout in a relatively short period of time, making it easier to fit a workout routine into their busy lives.
The benefits of aeroboxing are not limited to an improvement in cardiovascular and muscular fitness. Aerobic boxing can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol, resulting in overall better health. Additionally, it can help improve one's overall mental sense of well-being; strenuous exercise causes endorphins to be released into the brain, resulting in an overall improvement of mood and a decrease in stress. Aeroboxing, like other aerobic exercise, tends to stimulate the immune system, improving the body's natural abilities to fight off illness. One of the most noticeable benefits of aeroboxing is a general improvement in stamina; engaging in aerobic activity allows one to stay active for longer periods of time without becoming tired.