There are many ways to stay in shape and be as healthy as you can. There are fitness programs, diets and personal trainers all available to help meet your goals. Martial arts is a great way to achieve many of the same results while also benefiting in a number of different ways that you may never would have considered.
Here, we will be exploring all of the aforementioned reasons why martial arts is so beneficial for your body, along with some other reasons as well!
Martial arts is a great way to tone and strengthen your muscles. You will improve your athletic performance and muscle strength. Martial arts is not just doing the moves you learn and applying them. You need to condition your body to execute these moves to be effective and to be able to defend yourself effectively.
Before class, you will be doing jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups and numerous different stretches that are all burning a great amount of calories; that is the same kind of workout routine you will see at a lot of places. The benefit of doing martial arts is you are burning calories while learning how to defend yourself and can be quite fun.
2. Flexibility and Agility
You can improve your flexibility and agility through martial arts as well. This will improve your coordination and balance as you are standing on one foot a lot while learning and executing kicks. Great balance and coordination is needed to properly execute a kick.
Stretches are done before, during and after class. They are done before class mostly to help prevent injury to a muscle that has not been properly warmed up. Stretching during class will help further your flexibility and help blood flow to your muscles.
3. Weight Loss
Weight loss is a great benefit of martial arts. The best way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you intake. One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. If you’re looking to burn a pound a week, you will need to burn 500 calories a day, and that is something that is very attainable with martial arts; the physical workouts alone will almost get you there!
The best part about martial arts is that while you are practicing and learning moves, you are burning calories while having fun, making your weight loss goals come much sooner.
4. Mental Health
Exercising on a regular basis has been proven to improve your mood and relieve stress. Utilizing martial arts for exercise is also a great way to let out built up frustrations in a controlled environment. Besides the physical side of martial arts, the mental exercises practiced are also great for the mind body.
Meditation is used to help center the mind, relieving stress and allowing the mind to think clearer. Meditation mixed with physical Martial Arts will give you greater confidence, mental state of mind and to help with concentration and focus. These traits will not only help you in Martial Arts, but your everyday life as well.
Proper posture is not only good for your health, but it will also make you look and feel better, while also helping to keep your confidence levels up. Every day, gravity is pushing weight on our heads and body, and the more aware we are of our body, the better posture we can maintain.
Doing martial arts will teach greater self awareness and stances that can help to improve your posture. And, learning how to execute proper punches and kicks also requires good posture for the moves to be the most effective. Martial arts requires taking the time to watch and monitor your form in mirrors while you are executing your moves to help to ensure that your form is good and that you have a proper stance.
Martial arts is proven to be effective in helping to improve your self-confidence. Setting goals, both small and large, allows a martial artist to grow their self-confidence by completing these tasks with positive encouragement. One of the greatest benefits reported by martial arts students is an improvement in their self-confidence.
Some of the smaller tasks, such as making it through a series of moves without forgetting any, all while doing this in front of a crowd, will help to build your self-confidence. Other things, for more advanced students, such as breaking boards or being attacked by more than one person and overcoming, are all self-confidence boosters.
Since you will be punching, kicking, and defending, it is very important to have fast reflexes in martial arts. Research has been conducted that has gone on to suggest that doing martial arts will greatly improve your reflexes. Daily training of defending attacks that are coming at you, will not only make your defense quicker, but will also help to improve your reflexes in everyday activities. One of the most important examples of the benefits of quick reflexes is that of driving.
Having a quicker reaction time will allow you to see things coming and being able to react faster. Quick reflexes also help to reduce injury. For instance, an average person might trip and fall straight to the ground, possibly causing a wrist injury. However, a martial artist with great reflexes is more likely able to react faster and use fall techniques to roll, thus softening the landing and avoiding injury.
Many people do not think of martial arts as a health benefit. However, martial arts is one of the best ways to improve your overall fitness and health at the same time. If you are considering joining a martial arts gym or dojo, be sure to put forth some research as to which one is going to provide you with the needs and desires that you require. And always remember to make sure you wear high quality martial arts safety equipment to avoid injuries!
Amy Koller is a published freelance writer and blogger. In her spare time she enjoys being in the outdoors or catching up on the latest MMA action. You can check out her blog.