Padma Lakshmi Boxed the Baby Weight AwayPosted on May 24th 2010 2:00PM by Emily Shetler
That's right: The "Top Chef" hostess is an avid and longtime boxer. At the Endometriosis Foundation of America's Blossom Ball at the New York Public Library, Lakshmi told That's Fit that boxing has been a major part of her post-pregnancy fitness regime.
"I've been boxing for about seven years now," Lakshmi said. "I love it."
It turns out boxing can be an ideal workout for women looking to get fit and shed postpartum pounds, said Doug Werner, boxing coach and author of "Fighting Fit: Boxing Workouts, Techniques, and Sparring."
"The power punches work all parts of body," Werner said. "If you're training correctly, which means several three-minute rounds with no more than a minute rest in between, you get an aerobic workout second to none."
To lose pregnancy weight, many women turn to yoga for its calming and meditative aspects. Lakshmi has found that boxing has some of the very same focusing qualities. "It's a very meditative practice," she said. "You have to really concentrate. When someone is swinging at you, you don't really think about anything else."
Women's boxing has come a long way since its primitive beginnings in 18th century London, when opponents were allowed to kick, claw and throw each other across the ring. It wasn't until the 1970s that many states in the U.S. lifted bans against women's boxing. But now? For the first time, women's boxing will be an official sport at the 2012 Olympics in London.
And for the 70 million women like Lakshmi who are affected by endometriosis, a condition where uterine-like cells spread to other parts of the body, aerobic exercise like boxing is important for circulation and tissue oxygenation, which are key to minimizing symptoms of the disease. Exercise also can reduce estrogen levels, which may help slow the growth of endometriosis, and it also sparks the production of endorphins, our naturally-produced pain-blockers. "Vigorous exercise really helps to alleviate pain and discomfort," said Dr. Tamer Seckin, co-founder with Lakshmi of the Endometriosis Foundation of America.
Lakshmi's results are even more impressive considering that she has been filming "Top Chef: Washington, D.C." for six of the last 12 weeks. According to a New York Times story, she usually gains 10 to 15 pounds during the taping of the Bravo show. We'll be able to see for ourselves when it debuts June 16.
For more on boxing, check out our story on how to box yourself fit.