Images of rubber-nosed old men with their faces bent and battered, morosely muttering away as they empty the spit-buckets and sweep the day’s gatherings from the dimly-lit boxing gym floor; leave us with a less than a romantic vision of the sweet sport of Boxing.

The stereotypical movieland boxer never ages well.

Yet the actual work of training to box is one of the more invigorating and effective anti-aging activities a body can do. The fallacy is that you have to start young. Which may be true if you want to be world champion, but if you want to be in better shape, more agile, more flexible, faster, quicker, have better balance, and on top of all that, have more confidence and be able to defend yourself; you can start boxing at any age.

My best advice, be authentic. Go to an actual boxing gym where actual fighters go to train. There are all kinds of “boxing” classes to be had at gyms and fitness centers but they almost always lack the very important skills training you get from learning the sport of boxing. It’s the skills and constant repetition of those precise skills that provide all of the benefits beyond general fitness.

Most people assume that when you train you are required to get in the ring and spar with someone. Full contact sparring is a lot of fun and a true test of your abilities, but it is not mandatory. It’s completely up to you.

The cost is minimal but don’t go cheap on your gear. A good pair of bag gloves will run between fifty and one hundred fifty dollars, and a pair of good hand wraps will cost less than ten bucks.

Those are the basics to get you started.

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