Martial arts are not just about kicking butt or defending yourself from would-be attackers. There are numerous ways that martial arts practice impacts your physical and mental health. Martial arts can help improve fitness, coordination, self-esteem, discipline, and of course self defense skills. If nothing else, a rigorous kickboxing class is a great cardiovascular addition to your weekly workout schedule.
Here are six ways to improve your life by adding martial arts training to your routine.
As social creatures, we need a sense of community to feel confident and nurtured. As busy adults, this can be a hard thing to find, especially if you find yourself in a new town. A few years back my family and I spent a couple of years living in Australia. Soon after we arrived, I joined a fabulous Krav Maga gym in Melbourne and developed friendships that I still maintain to this day. This kind of social interaction can give you the community and positive support that humans innately need.
No, this isn’t just feeling like you could win a fight if you had to. When you set goals and achieve them, you feel capable and more confident of taking on sterner challenges. Martial arts and goal-setting can improve your focus both on and off the mat. The sense of accomplishment you feel when meeting your training goals fuels your drive to keep achieving. This fervor can flow into other areas in which it is desperately needed, such as work and home life.
By joining a gym, you are given a safe, appropriate space to relieve pent-up aggression. Dumping your excess negative energy in the gym takes the weight off your shoulders, leaving you less likely to bark at family or coworkers. There are few better ways of coping with a stressful day in the office than pounding the bags, instead of holding it in and causing harm to your mind and body. Some psychologists even recommend Martial Arts Therapy for those suffering from anger management issues or other disorders.
Total Body Workout
Unlike strength training that works isolated muscle groups, martial arts constantly involves your whole body. Even simple punches work all muscle groups to deliver the biggest hit. No need to worry about forgetting “leg day.” Whether you are looking for increased muscle tone, weight loss, flexibility, or better balance, you can be confident with martial arts you are doing your body good.
By practicing martial arts, you can decrease your reaction times and feel sharp to respond. This may not seem like that big a deal. However, sharp reflexes could come in handy to avoid that accident on the road, catch your child when they fall or a host of other potential dangers.
As with any exercise regime, the more you work at it, the easier it becomes. Most martial arts are a serious aerobic workout that will build up your endurance over time. The constantly changing difficulty and varied activities will prevent boredom from creeping in to kill the passion. It is important to note that it isn’t just physical endurance you can gain. The discipline of martial arts imparts an emotional grit that keeps you persevering if at first, you don’t succeed. Read how martial arts kept this entrepreneur fighting his way to success.
The health benefits offered by martial arts stretch farther than just increased muscle tone and burning calories. Your gains span into the emotional, mental, and of course physical realms to a healthier, happier way of life. If you feel stuck with your workout routine, think about giving martial arts a shot. It could be the perfect activity to get you fighting for better fitness.