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Boxing: A movement in promoting health and giving back

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Ding!

Mary DeCamp, dressed in a camouflage baseball cap, a wireless headset, yellow T-shirt, black leggings and blue hand wraps, trots onto the rubber floor.

Wide leg squats. Lunges. Curtsy squats. Side jumps. Leg swings. High knee jog. Jabs. Crosses. Hooks. Uppercuts. Sweaty bodies. Racing hearts. Heavy breathing. And that’s just the 15-minute warm-up.

Ding! Round one.

“Good job! Keep it moving!” she says over the blaring dance music as she paces between wobbling punching bags observing everyone’s jab-jab-cross technique. Three minutes elapse. “On your ropes!”

They pause, jogging in place. And for the next 27 minutes, she leads them in seven three-minute rounds of intense jab-cross-hook-uppercut combinations followed by 15 minutes of core exercises.

“I just love boxing,” says DeCamp, a personal trainer at TITLE Boxing Club Ayrsley, a health club in Charlotte, North Carolina. ”It's a phenomenal workout. It's challenging. It's different.”

According to DeCamp, boxing is a full-body workout that conditions the heart through cardiovascular exercise, engages the muscles through resistance training by hitting the bag, which also helps relieve stress, and sharpens the mind through performing different combinations.

And despite working in a group setting, members can set their own pace and intensity level. “You hit the bag as hard as you want,” says DeCamp. “As trainers, we're here to push you to your limit,” adding that she modifies workouts for those who have injuries or are obese.

For DeCamp, the workout isn’t the only thing that’s different at TITLE Boxing Club Ayrsley. It’s the family environment. “That’s why we call it a club versus a gym,” she says. “Everyone feels it. It's not just the trainers. Everybody gets to know one another so there's that support system.”

It’s also watching members lose weight and eventually come off their medications. “It's almost like [being] a parent where you're so proud of your kids. I feel like I'm losing the weight. It's just an accomplishment for them. For me.”

And mostly, it’s working at a health club that’s not a trend but a movement that helps to raise awareness about women’s health and gives back to the community. The club, whose membership is 75 percent women, recently hosted a fundraiser for a local women’s shelter and will host another for ovarian cancer awareness on September 27.

“I'm excited and honored to be part of this movement,” says DeCamp. “The club atmosphere itself is awesome and combine that with the fitness and success stories, it's priceless.”

TITLE Boxing Club Ayrsley: 704-588-3391

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