Learning martial arts provides countless benefits for your physical and mental health. For starters, most martial arts give you a decent full-body workout that strengthens your body and improves mobility. Training also leads to the release of feel-good hormones in your brain, elevating your mood and reducing your stress levels.
Stress kills; there’s no question about it. It has been linked to severe health issues like strokes, high blood pressure, and depression. It can also take the fun out of things you typically enjoy and lower your quality of life.
Stress is linked to over 60% of known diseases and illnesses, leaving those with high-stress levels more likely to develop mental health disorders like anxiety. Not only that, they often have a hard time concentrating on tasks, and it doesn’t take much to make them feel overwhelmed. All these, impact their personal and professional lives.
Today, Evolve Daily shares 10 reasons why martial arts is the best stress reliever.
1) Training Makes You Feel Good
Training martial arts gives you an excellent full-body workout that triggers the release of endorphins in your body. These are feel-good hormones that regulate the mood in your brain and are responsible for that ‘Zen’ feeling you have after an intense workout. Training also improves blood flow throughout your body, meaning your organs and tissues get all the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay in an optimal state.
2) Improves Your Physical Health
Learning martial arts is an effective way to improve your physical health. It strengthens both your muscles and cardiovascular system, allowing you to exercise for longer periods, getting the most out of your workouts.
Getting regular physical exercise not only helps to reduce the adverse effects of stress but also helps to strengthen your digestive, immune, and cardiovascular systems, protecting your body against the effects of stress.
Intense exercises, in particular, can trigger flight or fight responses similar to stress, hence pushing through these training sessions teaches your body how to work through such emotions.
3) Serves As Destructive Therapy
Keeping negative emotions like the frustration and anger caused by bottled-up stress has been linked to serious health issues such as strokes. Not only does it affect you, but this may leave negative effects on those around you. Destructive therapy combats stress, allowing you to express your negative emotions in a safe, controlled way.
Martial arts training does the same. You get to punch, kick and vent all your frustration away by channeling your emotions on the mats, mitts, and punching bags. This way, you get to vent out your frustration instead of bottling it up inside until it explodes uncontrollably.
4) Improves Your Mental Health
Stress is also linked to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Martial arts provides relief from the symptoms of many mental health issues and is known to be on par with the effectiveness of taking medication. Learning martial arts is lots of fun, so training regularly won’t feel like an obligation.
In fact, it might even become the highlight of your day! Something you look forward to since there is always something new every session.
5) Reduces Muscle Tension
Stress gets all your muscles tensed up, often leading to physical symptoms such as fatigue. Martial art classes involve lots of stretching exercises that help reduce muscle tension and increase your flexibility. Many of the techniques used in martial arts also help stretch your muscles, reducing the tension in your body as you train.
6) Uses Up All Your Pent-Up Energy
Restlessness is often the result of unused energy. Most of the time, the reason you’re unable to relax is because of these unused energies, often turning into negative energy such as anxiety and stress.
This pent-up energy also results in frustration, leading to bouts of anger and outbursts. Martial art training exhausts out this pent-up energy and emotions in your body, releasing all this energy in the dojo as you drill techniques and spar with your training partners.
7) Improves Your Ability To Focus
Martial arts training teaches you how to focus while your entire body is engaged. Executing most martial arts techniques requires you to concentrate and focus on your body’s movements. Martial arts is all about the tiny details. That is often the difference between a successful and failed execution of a technique.
For example, throwing a proper punch requires you to move your hips and adjust the position of your feet simultaneously. By improving your focus, you’re able to be sharper, having clarity on how you can achieve your goals and objectives through these training sessions.
8) Improves Your Breathing
When we are stressed, our breathing is often affected. What most of us do not know is that coincidentally, proper breathing helps regulate stressful situations, by controlling the way we breathe. Learning martial arts teaches you how to control your breathing.
For example, you are taught to control your breathing while performing striking techniques, exhaling as your strikes make an impact. That’s why you often hear martial artists making all those crazy sounds while striking. Controlled breathing also happens to be an effective way to help reduce stress.
9) Trains Your Visualization
Martial arts training sometimes requires visualization techniques to help prepare you for various scenarios. It teaches you how to visualize positive outcomes and how to overcome obstacles along the way.
Not only does it help martial artists prepare for and during competitions, but you as well by planning and visualizing the various ways to overcome obstacles in your daily life.
10) Improves Your Self-Esteem
Martial arts help to build your confidence and self-esteem as you move through the ranks. Usually, when you’re stressed out, your self-esteem is affected, thoughts of doubts and other negative emotions start tearing you down.
Martial arts help you to regulate your emotions, by strengthening your mind. Through hard work and encouragement from your instructors and peers, you realize that certain techniques require more practice, teaching you to bounce back from failures and not letting your situation get the better of you.
Training often leads to the release of feel-good hormones in your brain, elevates your mood, reduces stress levels, and provides various physical and mental benefits.
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