The Top 10 health benefits of Martial Arts
Taking part in Martial Arts can bring along a variety of health benefits, both physically and mentally. The health benefits of a physically active lifestyle are well documented and there is a large amount of evidence to suggest regular activity is related to reduced incidence of many chronic conditions. Martial arts like boxing, kickboxing and MMA are a great form of exercise and can help to improve a person’s everyday health in many ways whilst they learn a new skill, self-discipline, improve their confidence and make new friends. Below we have listed the top 10 health benefits that martial arts can have on those who regularly take part.
Helps build muscle
Martial Arts are great for helping to build up muscle and tone your body overall. Kicking, punching, ducking and sparring all require a lot of strength, working a variety of muscles in your arms, legs, and core. Boxing, kickboxing and MMA classes train your muscles hard helping you to build up muscle mass over time. Muscle mass and metabolism are connected, so the more muscle you have the higher your metabolic rate, meaning your body will burn more calories, even whilst you rest.
Encourages weight loss
We all know exercise can help you to lose weight. As mentioned above, building up your muscle mass and tone can help to increase your metabolism, which can help you to lose weight. Martial Arts like boxing, kickboxing and MMA are a great form of exercise and can burn a lot of calories in just one short session. Practicing a martial art regularly, two or three times a week can really help you to shed those extra pounds.
Improves cardiovascular health
Research states that regular physical activity can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 35%. Cardiovascular health is closely linked to heart health and is incredibly important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and lowering your risk of developing heart problems. According to research by the British Heart Foundation, 39% of UK adults – around 20 million people – are failing to meet Government recommendations for physical activity. Martial Arts classes and training can really help get your heart racing, helping to build up cardiovascular endurance. Regular Martial Arts training can therefore improve cardiovascular health and help to lower your risk of heart problems.
Lower blood pressure
Martial arts require rigorous training that helps to improve fitness. The repetitive movements involved in martial arts such as fast punches and kicks can behave like high intensity interval training (HIIT), which helps to increase your heart rate whilst training. HIIT can help to improve your cardiovascular strength which, as mentioned previously, can be very beneficial. It helps to slow down your resting heart rate and lower your blood pressure to a healthier level.
Helps you to become stronger and more powerful
For an effective punch or kick in boxing and kickboxing, you need a lot of strength to ensure your attack is powerful. By practicing these martial arts you’ll be able to train your body to become stronger and deliver more powerful blows. Some techniques require a lot of strength so over time your whole body will become stronger as you build up muscle.
Improve your reflexes
To do well in martial arts you need to have fast reflexes. Sparring and fighting your opponent and blocking and dodging attacks, all require good reflexes and an important part of martial arts is learning how to anticipate your opponent’s moves and react quickly. Through regular training your reflexes will improve, and you’ll benefit from faster reaction times in all parts of your life.
You may not realise it, but a lot of martial arts require flexibility. Executing high kicks in kickboxing and dodging attacks effectively requires a person to be not just fast and powerful, but flexible too. The more you train, the more flexible your body will become which can help to reduce your likelihood of injuries. Certain disciplines such as MMA can help you improve your flexibility massively, because the moves involved require that from your body.
Practicing martial arts like boxing and kickboxing is a great way to improve your body’s ability to move faster. Ideal for those who just can’t stand cardio because there’s no tedious running or sprinting involved. When taking part in martial arts, you’ll soon notice how much quicker and more agile your movements are thanks to all that fancy footwork.
Every martial art requires good co-ordination and stability. To effectively execute moves and block or avoid attacks, you need a high level of co-ordination and have to remain stable to prevent you from falling, tripping or throwing yourself off balance. The more you train more you will improve, soon it’ll come naturally to you and your co-ordination and stability will improve in all areas of your life.
Improve your mental health
Regular exercise can not only help improve your physical health but can have a positive impact on your mental health too. Physical activity, such as martial arts, triggers the body to release endorphins, which trigger the opiate receptors in your brain to bring about a feeling of euphoria and make you feel happier. Martial arts can help to relieve you of stress after a long hard day, allowing you to feel more relaxed afterwards. Plus, is there anything more therapeutic than taking out all your stress and anger on a punching bag?
Martial arts can further help people mentally by promoting self-discipline, healthy competition and teaching people to set goals and work towards them. Taking part in a martial arts class is also a great way to meet new people with similar interests so you can feel you are more a part of a community and make new friends along the way.
Now you know all the health benefits that taking part in Martial Arts can bring, why not book yourself in for a class? Use our online directory to search for a boxing, kickboxing, MMA or Wrestling club in your area!
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