Contribution from freelance writer Jackie
How Art Can Help Your Boxing Strategy
Physical activity has an important role in helping mental health conditions, but it also improves focus, discipline and the ability to strategize. Many people take up boxing for these reasons. Boxers like Caliente Koyasu also enjoy to relax and experience nature, which can be a good way to achieve focus before and after a fight. Boxing is a mental sport as much as it is a physical one;, therefore it is important to ensure the mind is trained and taken care of. Taking up art can be a way to improve the attention span and increase focus, both of which are required in boxing. Have a look at some of the art forms that you can try in order to become a better fighter.
Design For Clarity
Designing your home environment can help you reduce stress and optimize focus before every fight. Studies have shown that having a simple picture of nature on your wall can reduce stress levels and induce calm. This can also be achieved by adding color to your walls or ceilings. Greens help to mimic the calming effect, while colors like orange and yellow lift energy levels. Keeping your space open, with lots of natural light, can also help to prevent low mood. The presence of plants in the home can also alleviate feelings of anxiousness, according to a 2014 study, as can the presence of pets. A simple redesign can help your mind feel clearer before a fight.
Draw For Focus
Drawing to distract before a fight can improve your mood and increase your focus. It doesn’t matter if you have never drawn before or do not think you are a skilled artist: learning how to draw can help with discipline. Focusing on the finer details of a portrait, such as the muscles around the eyes, could help you to look out for signs that your opponent is about to make a certain move during a fight. Even simple doodling has been shown to help you focus, relieve stress and improve productivity according to a 2009 study. Drawing or painting can keep the brain active and help you to recall information more efficiently, which can be helpful in boxing.
Create For Calm
Many fighters quickly report physical injuries or issues, but mental health problems are often under reported. This is perhaps due to the perceived strength of boxers and the stigma that surrounds mental health problems. However, as one in four people are likely to have a mental health condition, it is likely that many boxers do too. Getting creative can help to soothe your mood before a fight. Creation comes in many forms: some people create a new piece of furniture; others prefer to try a little DIY around the home. Crafting can also be a new skill, and you can even customize your own boots and shorts with your brand.
Boxing is often seen to be an art-form in itself, but learning another skill can help you to regain focus and improve your strategy. As art requires concentration and thought, it could help you to apply the same principles to your boxing technique.
Contribution from freelance writer Jackie
On 9 May 2018, Muhammad Ali made history after becoming the first UK boxer with Type 1 diabetes to be granted a professional boxing license. Later that year, on 15 September, he entered the ring for the first professional fight of what has proven to be a very successful boxing career. This was a huge win for the fiercely-competitive Ali who initially had his application for a professional license rejected in 2015 due to his diagnosis. For his first pro fight, Ali came up against Lithuanian boxer Andrej Cepur, who he defeated by 40 to 36 points after four rounds. In December 2019 the undefeated Ali, who is affectionately known as ‘The Diabetic Kid’ won his sixth fight as a boxing pro, this time against Nathan Hardy at the University of Bolton Stadium.
The diagnoses came at a young age
Ali was only about 5 years old when he received his Type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Type 1 diabetes only affects approximately 8% of everyone living with the condition, making it considerably less prevalent than Type 2 diabetes. Ali started boxing at the age of 12 and by the time Ali was 16 years old, Ali began administering his own insulin. Today, he injects himself multiple times a day as a pump would not be a viable solution due to the risk of it getting damaged during training or a fight. He also makes use of a flash glucose monitor to monitor his condition. During his first fight, the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) insisted that he wore not one but two flash glucose monitors as proof that his glucose levels and subsequent health were not at risk during the fight.
A healthy lifestyle is imperative
Despite living with diabetes for more than 20 years, Ali has not relaxed his efforts to remain fit and healthy. Individuals living with diabetes face a unique set of challenges on a daily basis that need to be navigated. Following the correct diet is imperative for any diabetes patient. Ali eats fresh, home-cooked meals which he prepared himself and takes extra care to weigh his portions to know exactly how much insulin he will require. As a sportsman, it is also essential to take care of his feet, ensuring that his shoes do not cause any skin abrasions that can have devastating consequences for someone with diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy can be extremely painful but can, thankfully, be largely prevented through effective diabetic care.
Diabetes won’t determine his boxing future
When Ali received the news in 2015 that his application for a pro license was declined, he was devastated, stating that he felt both ‘discriminated against and alienated’. He realized he had to make a difficult choice. He could either accept the Board’s decision or he could fight it. The former was never an option as Ali realized that his diagnosis did not have to stand in the way of his boxing dreams. Together with his team, who included trainer Ale Matvienko, manager Asad Shamim, and his endocrinologist Dr. Ian Gallen, Ali provided all the documentation required to prove that his diabetes would not affect his boxing ability and vice versa. With that amount of dedication, the future looks very bright for The Diabetic Kid.
Diabetes affects people from all walks of life, including those who go on to become some of the biggest stars in sporting history. As long as every effort is made to stay healthy, no diabetes diagnosis needs to stand between you and your dreams.
Athletes from all sports take supplements to boost everything from endurance to vitality, but for boxers, supplements that have the potential to guard the brain against the effect of repetitive concussive and subconcussive impact can be vital. A 2018 study published in the journal Sports Medicine found that, unlike medication, nutritional supplements such as creatine and Omega-3 essential fatty acids can boost brain health in multiple ways. If you are a boxer wishing to obtain this type of protection, a consultation with your doctor is always key to ensure you are taking the right supplements in the right amount. It may be particularly beneficial to discuss the following supplements with them, since a small group has been found to help stave off the effects of impacts to the head.
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
This supplement, also sourced from foods such as fatty fish, walnuts, and extra-virgin olive oil, has been found in various studies to maintain the structure and function of the brain. Since it possesses anti-inflammatory effects, it is often used as a supplement to protect the brain and preserve memory. Omega-3s (EFAs) can also play an important role in preserving boxers’ brain health, In the Sports Medicine study mentioned above, scientists pointed to the loss of key Omega-3 fatty acids following injury. In lab studies, having low levels of these crucial acids is linked to greater cell death, slower recovery of motor function, cognitive deficits, and greater anxiety. By contrast, Omega-3 supplementation has been found to enhance resilience to traumatic brain injury, making it an important ally for boxers to have around.
Curcumin and Cognitive Functioning
In the same study, lab tests showed that mice supplemented with curcumin performed better at post-traumatic brain injury maze tests than control mice. Another study showed that the protective benefits of both Omega-3 fatty acids and curcumin could be enhanced by combining both. In the study, this combination of nutrients and nutraceuticals resulted in higher levels of DHA (a long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids). DHA is not only linked to better brain health, but also to improved heart health and vision, and a reduction in inflammation. Many people enjoy curcumin as a fragrant spice to add to their meal. This ingredient works wonders in curry, soup, and stew dishes.
Phosphatidylserine for Brain Cell Protection
It is vital for boxers to take a proactive stance when it comes to their brain health, since having brain injuries increases the risk of dementia and other long-term mental concerns. As stated in the book Nature's Brain Booster, having just one concussion injury can increase the risk of dementia fourfold. Moreover, in a review on repetitive brain trauma published in the journal Brain Pathology, one small study in which phosphatidylserine was combined with other supplements (including ginkgo to enhance blood flow and Omega-3 for memory and mood), there was better circulation in the brain.
Creatine Against Traumatic Injury
A study published in the Wiley Online Library showed that creatine — one of the most relied upon supplements by athletes of all types — provides significant neuroprotection after traumatic brain injury. Lab tests showed that this compound could reduce damage by around 36% in mice and 50% in rats. The mitochondrial (energy powerhouse) membrane of cells were increased and harmful oxygen species were reduced. The scientists concluded that the supplement may be useful against both acute and delayed brain issues following an injury.
Any boxer wishing to protect their brain against the effects of impacts and injury should see their doctor first to obtain whether or not they can obtain the nutrients they need through a healthy diet. Studies indicate that some nutrients and nutraceuticals can be of aid in preserving brain health and memory following head injuries. These include Omega-3 essential fatty acids, phosphatidylserine, curcumin, and creatine. Some studies suggest, in fact, that combining Omega-3s and curcumin could enhance the ‘power’ of both. Many of these nutrients and nutraceuticals can be sourced naturally from food. Salmon and other fatty fish, for instance, are optimal sources of Omega-3s, as are walnuts and extra-virgin olive oil. Testing should indicate the extent to which your doctor may deem you a good candidate for supplementation.
These articles are submitted by guest writers and sites. They aren't submitted by the usual folk behind Asian Boxing and don't fall in line with our editorial stance, giving a fresh view on various boxing issues from the Asian boxing scene.