Pulling the Punches

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Better Life Boxing founder Andrew Deming (left) with some of his students | Photo by Ryan Murray

Better Life Boxing hosts classes for seniors in downtown Laguna Beach.

By Jessie Dax-Setkus

 

While there are plenty of things you may feel too old to do, boxing should not be one of them. Wander down to the Laguna Beach Community & Susi Q Senior Center, where you can sign up for classes through Better Life Boxing—no experience required.

The class isn’t overwhelming in the least: All walks of life are welcome, and everyone is encouraged to have a good time while getting their sweat on.

Boxing is a wonderful full-body workout that impacts everything from balance to mental health while offering a ton of fun in the process. We caught up with Andrew Deming, the founder and head trainer of Better Life Boxing, to get the full scoop on what the group is all about and why its classes are ideal for seniors.

 

Laguna Beach Magazine: Is any experience needed for Better Life Boxing?

Andrew Deming: No experience is needed for [the] class. All ability and experience levels are welcome, from beginner to advanced.

 

What should you expect as a first timer at the boxing class?

AD: You should expect a full-body exercise that works your brain as much as your body. It is also lots of fun and always changing.

 

Who typically takes part?

AD: It is pretty evenly mixed between women and men in the class. It is a senior boxing class, so anyone 50 years … [or older]. All fitness levels are welcome.

 

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These boxing classes are for older residents. | Photo by Ryan Murray

Tell us about a typical session.

AD: Every class, we begin with a dynamic warmup to get the blood flowing. That is always followed up by various exercises such as squats, planks, et cetera. Then we put the gloves on and [we] start boxing. Each athlete has an opportunity to do “mitt work,” which is a time where the instructor has pads on their hands and the participant punches the pads and follows various boxing combinations. Between rounds, we work on balance and coordination as well. Each class ends with a time of recovery stretches to round out the exercise.

 

What are the health benefits of boxing?

AD: Boxing is a very intense exercise for your body, but is also a great mental exercise for the brain. Research has shown that exercises like boxing can be very beneficial in preventing challenges such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s [disease]. You will leave class stronger, more coordinated and balanced, and more mentally sharp.

 

How does this class improve balance, coordination and strength?

AD: Boxing strengthens the upper body and improves coordination and balance. The various boxing combinations also challenge the brain and work the control of balance as you punch. The warmups and stretches help improve flexibility and lessen stiffness.

 

What items should you bring to class?

AD: Each participant must bring 12- to 16-ounce boxing gloves, a yoga [or] exercise mat and a water bottle.


Boxing Basics

These items are essential to making the most of your class.

 

Ensure you have everything you need to nourish your mind and body during your workout with this locally available gear.

Everlast Core2 Training Glove
Having the right pair of boxing gloves when you enter the ring is essential, so consider the Everlast CORE2 TRAINING GLOVE, which offers a special stabilization system to protect the wrists, foam cushioning and a design that promotes airflow to regular hand temperature, $29.99, at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Laguna Hills. (949-472-8180; dickssportinggoods.com)
Vuori Daily Bra
With full coverage, medium support and a quick-drying material, Vuori’s DAILY BRA is the perfect choice for comfort and flexibility while throwing punches, $48, at Hobie Surf Shop. (949-497-3304; hobiesurfshop.com)
LS&S shirt
Another item that will aid in the range of motion necessary for boxing is the stylish BROOKS STREET MEN’S CASUAL TANK, which offers a breathable cotton fabric, $24.95, at Laguna Surf & Sport. (949-497-7000; surfandsport.com)
WSL Finals Hydroflask
It’s no secret that boxing requires a wealth of energy; keep yourself refreshed with the WSL FINALS HYDRO FLASK, which will keep your water cool throughout your workout, $48.95, at Rip Curl. (949-715-4885; ripcurl.com)
Lululemon Track That Mid-Rise Lined Short 5_
Find ultimate comfort with lululemon’s TRACK THAT MID-RISE LINED SHORT, which features a lightweight fabric that allows for a wide range of movement—and, with a zippered pocket on the side, they can easily transition from the gym to on-the-go, from $58, at lululemon, Fashion Island. (949-644-9642; lululemon.com)
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