Boxing may not be the first choice for many women seeking an update to their exercise routine; however, for supermodels like Adriana Lima, Gisele Bündchen and Joan Smalls and professional athletes like Marlen Esparza, boxing is an essential and established part of their fitness and health regimen.
"I found [boxing] because I'm really an energetic person," Lima, a former Victoria's Secret Angel, told us in September 2013. "I love challenges, I love intensity, and I also like to challenge my mind. It's not boring. It's not repetitive, and that's one of the things I love about boxing."
Still not convinced? Here's why you should be exercising like a VS model:
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It's an alternative to stale cardio routines: First, the obvious: engaging in cardiovascular exercises can help protect you from heart disease and obesity. Don't want to hop on the treadmill or run every single day of the week? Try boxing, which Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine doctor, told TIME can burn around a thousand calories per session.
Pictured: Gisele Bündchen
You'll build full-body strength: Boxing isn't just good for burning calories; it can help you build muscle and get strong — really strong. "Boxing builds full-body strength, which is super helpful for both genders, but especially for women who want to do other sports," Dr. Metzl told TIME.
Pictured: Karlie Kloss
It's good for your bones: Studies show that female boxers have higher bone mineral density than their non-boxing peers. Building bone mass can be a huge benefit for women, who have a higher risk of osteoporosis.
Pictured: Adriana Lima
It's a great stress reliever: Ever seen Enough with Jennifer Lopez? Then you already know that boxing can whip you into kickass shape — all while acting as a natural stress reliever. Exercise pumps up your endorphins, your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters. However, boxing also gives you a concrete, tangible outlet for your frustration: the punching bag.
Pictured: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
It can help you achieve a lean, strong body composition: Training and practice sessions often include a variety of resistance training and cardio exercise — giving those Victoria's Secret model perfectly lean (and ridiculously strong) bodies.
Pictured: Joan Smalls