My first winter break home from college, as wonderful and carefree as it was, came with its own revelations, the major one being I needed to start working out again. I went into college saying "I'm going to go to the gym every single day!" and came out of exam week wondering when I'd last seen any building other than a library. Feeling sluggish and lacking energy is no fun, so my goal this past break was to jumpstart my exercise routine by trying a boxing class.

In came GloveUp, a boutique boxing gym just 10 minutes from my house, where I would spend many mornings of my four-week break. Going to a boxing class has shown me a new definition of what it means to exercise and get fit. With boutique fitness's growing popularity in the workout world, here are a few reasons why you should start boxing too:

1. Crush workout boredom with a variety of movements

The boxing class that I attended, as well as most group boxing classes, included a wide variety of movements, from straight up cardio, like jumping rope and burpees, to strength, like planks, to heavy bag punching combinations, which combined the two.

Classes switch up the movements every few minutes so that you never spend too much time doing any one thing. The punching combos themselves also change each class, so you'll start to learn how to put different moves together.

2. You'll increase your explosiveness and muscle speed

In order for a boxer to throw effective punches, they must have explosive strength — that is, they have to use quick muscle movements to generate maximum force. Most of this punching and kicking power comes from the hips, and developing a high range of motion in the hips as well the ability to generate this power is essential to any type of athlete — from regular exerciser to olympic sprinter — in maintaining mobility, stability, and speed.

3. Your coordination and mental sharpness will improve

While this may not fall under the category of body changes you can see, you may notice that your coordination and ability to react quickly will increase as you continue to box. During a boxing class, you will start out simply learning different punching combinations and then work towards being able to hit and dodge a fast moving target without stumbling or having to think.

In addition, if you decide to step into the ring for a real match, you'll become mentally tougher as you overcome your fear of being hit and focus on fighting.

4. You'll strengthen your core

While I can't promise you'll look like Michael B. Jordan after his Creed training, taking a boxing class is still a crazy core workout. While instructors often will include ab-specific moves throughout your workout — there will be planks and sit-ups galore — just boxing itself requires athletes to engage their core in order to achieve a low center of gravity and put power behind their punches. With every kick, punch and pivot, you'll notice your abs tightening and working with you.

5. Many super fit people swear by boxing

Boxing is a popular workout choice among many supermodels right now, and while I'm not suggesting you aspire to look like them, it's hard to not feel accomplished knowing you're doing the same workout Victoria's Secret Angels use to whip themselves in shape for the runway. I mean, damn, those are some incredible results.

6. You'll develop self-defense skills

It's no surprise that the reflexes, strength and muscle memory gained from boxing class can come in handy if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation. Gigi Hadid advocated recently for girls to learn self-defense skills after she found herself being assaulted by a man in Milan and used her elbow to fight him off. You never know when being able to throw a good punch could potentially save your life.

7. It's the perfect way to mix up your cardio workouts

For many people, running is simply a drag. If you're one of those people who find most forms of cardio incredibly boring and monotonous, a boxing class is definitely something to try.

Jumping rope is generally included at the beginning of the class to help improve footwork, timing, and stamina, but the heavy bag work and sparring will get you breathing just as hard. You'll be using your whole body to generate fast, constant, and powerful movements while being able to focus on something other than simply how tired you feel.

8. You'll feel like a badass

How can you not watch someone like Mike Tyson or Ronda Rousey in the ring and think "wow, that is possibly the most badass thing I've ever seen?" Once you experience being in the middle of a heavy bag set and feeling like you're about to pass out, vomit, die, or all three, all that adrenaline pumping through you will make you punch even faster and angrier. You'll want to work yourself to limits you didn't know you had for that insane gratification that comes once your instructor says time is up.

Taking up a boxing class has truly changed the one-dimensional view I previously had of exercise. I've realized it's not just something you do to burn calories or gain muscle. It can be an activity that improves many aspects of both your mental and physical health as well as giving you goals to work towards along the way. It's the most rewarding hour, or two hours, or 10 minutes of your day where you get to remind yourself what your body is capable of and how far you can push it.