Finding What Works

With Dr. Cristina Bailey

Christina Bailey

Family Physician

Dr. Bailey sees patients at our Single Oak location in Temecula, CA. You can learn more about her by clicking the link below.

 I have always liked a challenge.  I love how it feels to overcome really difficult things or to conquer something I previously thought was impossible to achieve.  

When people ask me what I do for fun, sometimes I say “I fight”. Not every day, but definitely on days when I really want to challenge my mind and my body, I choose boxing. Not because I am angry or hostile, but because I love feeling powerful while I exercise and I love what it does to my body. Ranked by ESPN as the toughest sport in the world, boxing is by far my favorite workout.     

In one session, the constant movement of my feet, arms and legs burns massive number of calories quickly and places a moderate amount of stress on my heart and lungs—helping me build cardiovascular endurance.  During my “rest” sessions from hitting, my coach has me jump rope, squat, do pushups or lunges—all activities that push me to the utmost cardiovascular limit.  

Most professional punching bags weight at least 100 lbs. So, whether I am punching that large bag hundreds of times or I am sparring against my boxing coach, I am exerting massive power and building upper body, lower body and core strength. 

When I avoid being punched back and focus keenly on hitting my target, I can fine tune my hand-eye coordination; this allows me to have faster reflexes, reaction times and overall improved physical coordination and balance. Having this improved skill can be particularly important for aging individuals, as it may lessen the risk of falls. 

Boxing is also a great way to reshape the body and improve body composition, since it perfectly combines muscle-building with cardio. Additionally, It can help with weight loss and body contouring at the same time.

Nothing lowers my stress level more quickly than a good boxing session.  It’s a form of meditation for me—an hour of deep concentration and a release of all my frustrations.  I always leave the boxing gym exhausted, but I am always smiling on the way out.  

As a doctor, what I love about this sport is that it has special medical benefits for some of my patients.    Those with neurologic disorders which affect balance, or any medical conditions that impairs overall strength, may improve their condition with boxing. A special boxing program called “Rock Steady Boxing”, has been developed for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. This is the same disease that the great Muhammad Ali suffered from. The program (which is free of charge for patients suffering from Parkinson’s) has been shown to improve balance, endurance and overall quality of life for these patients.   

  You can find me training at North County MMA and Ultimate Fitness, and you can find the Rock Steady Boxing program there or potentially at a boxing gym near you.  I challenge you all—whether you are healthy or sick—to try boxing. 

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