Healthy lifestyle key for Laila Ali

Keeping in shape physically and spiritually seems to be the key to a healthier lifestyle. This goes for both the “average Joes” and the admired celebrities.

Many sports can help people achieve the physique they desire but some are trying boxing – knowing the benefits of the sport – as a primary alternative.

Boxing works as a complete body workout and requires a high endurance. In addition to the workout, boxers learn tolerance and self-defense.

Jimmithee Banks, an amateur boxer from Oakland, Calif., knows the benefits and risks of this physically demanding sport.

“Boxing doesn’t work just one aspect of your body, it’s a total body workout,” said Banks, who’s been boxing for five years. “If anything, boxing works your lungs the most.”

Boxing is not just for the physical well being – many believe it also works the spiritual soul. Just ask the boxing phenomenon Laila Ali.

“I believe in God and I know boxing is a sport, not a brawl”, Ali said.

With boxing being a brutal and violent sport, one would think a boxer would have to have to compromise their religion. But not Ali.

Though her religion was not stated, she boxes only as a sport.

“I know the difference between right and wrong. … I leave what’s in the ring in the ring,” Ali said.

Ali and Banks know the possible health risks involved in the sport of boxing.

Arthritis, head trauma, and broken bones are some of the major risks related to boxing. Banks said the “competitive edge” keeps these boxers going in the tough sport.

Unfortunately, FAMU does not offer boxing as a sport or as a fitness course.

But this university does offer students other ways to increase the body’s stamina.

Multiple classes like self-defense and Jujitsu are some boxing related classes that students can take in order to stay in shape.

FAMU has licensed trainers that teach these classes.

Danielle Jappa, a personal trainer at the FAMU Fitness Center, takes her job very seriously.

“Exercise is crucial and it helps you process information better,” said the 23-year-old education student from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Even though FAMU does not offer boxing classes, Florida State University’s fitness director Donnie Berger is conducting classes.

Berger said boxing is a good way for one to become physically and mentally strong. “There are no real health risks, there are health benefits,” Berger said.

Berger knows that there is no reason for anyone to be afraid.

The class is a safe and controlled environment to get in shape.