Kids martial arts classes can get your child into the best shape of their lives. Children today tend to be preoccupied with electronic devices that keep them distracted all day long, limiting the amount of physical activity they get daily. Childhood obesity continues to be a growing problem worldwide as children spend less and less time engaged in physical activities.
Don’t want your child to be a couch potato? Signing them for martial arts classes is one of the easiest ways to get them to be more active. It’s fun, so most children enjoy being at the dojo, and they get lots of physical exercise while they’re there. It never feels like a chore to the child; it becomes the highlight of their day, something they look forward to.
Improving Your Child’s Fitness With Martial Arts
Learning martial arts provides various physical and mental benefits. It makes the child physically stronger, improves balance, and increases cardiovascular endurance. Martial arts also provide many mental benefits like improved problem-solving skills. It teaches practitioners attributes that will benefit their lives such as patience, perseverance, discipline, and dedication.
This article will focus mainly on the ways martial arts get children into optimal physical fitness.
1) Build Stronger Bones, Joints, And Muscles
Martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Muay Thai give children a full-body workout. Calisthenic exercises are typically incorporated into drills to ensure students get a good workout during each class. Training regularly gives muscles the stimulation to grow bigger and stronger. It also leads to stronger bones and joints.
Having stronger, more defined muscles reminds students that their hard work on the mat is paying off.
2) Combats Obesity
Martial arts training helps to burn excess fat in a child’s body. Some martial arts like Muay Thai, Wrestling, and BJJ can burn close to 1,000 calories every hour spent training. It provides an ideal mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
Burning this many calories helps to maintain a lean physique. It burns fat and makes it easier to reach and maintain a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit is needed to burn fat off your body. This means you consume fewer calories than your body expends daily, forcing it to get energy from fat stores in your body.
3) Increases Cardiovascular Endurance
Martial arts training raises your heart rate and increases your lung capacity. This increases the child’s ability to exert themselves on a physical level. The longer the child trains consistently, the stronger their heart and lungs become. This protects the child from health issues like heart disease and high blood pressure.
It also makes the child more athletic as it allows them to engage in intense physical activities for longer periods.
4) It Improves Sleep Quality
You might be wondering why improved sleep quality might be on a list about how martial arts classes get children to optimal physical fitness, but getting lots of rest is critical for optimal fitness. Your body does most of its repairs during sleep, and sleep deprivation directly impacts physical and mental performance.
Martial arts help to improve sleep quality in various ways. For starters, it reduces a child’s stress levels by serving as a form of destructive therapy. The child gets to take out any pent-up emotions they have on heavy bags and mitts during sleep.
Second, the physical activity that takes place during training gets the child’s body tired by bedtime. Third, training leads to dopamine release in the brain, lowering stress and increasing relaxation. These three things work together to help improve sleep quality.
5) Improves Flexibility And Mobility
Martial arts training involves performing techniques and drills that improve a child’s flexibility and mobility. For example, executing a roundhouse kick requires a certain amount of mobility and flexibility.
The terms “flexibility” and “mobility” are often used interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same thing. Mobility refers to how well you can move a part of your body, while flexibility refers to its range of motion. Using the roundhouse example, flexibility refers to the person’s ability to straighten their legs, while mobility refers to the person’s ability to move their legs high enough to reach an opponent’s face without any assistance.
Learning martial arts involves learning techniques that require using multiple muscle groups to perform precise movements. Martial arts students learn techniques by repeatedly drilling them until they become part of their muscle memory. This repetitive drilling leads to new neural pathways being created in the student’s brain.
As a result, their movements become more graceful, and their motor skills are improved. This improves the child’s athleticism.
7) Sharper Reflexes
Martial arts training typically leads to sharper reflexes. This comes from drills and sparring with training partners. Many martial arts like Muay Thai require students to block, parry and evade attacks while trying to land their own attacks.
The training leads to improved reflexes and reaction time. This carries over to all aspects of a child’s life and improves their ability to excel at other sports.
8) Improved Problem Solving Skills
Talk to any successful athlete, and they’ll tell you sports is primarily a mental game. Basketball legend Michael Jordan once said success as a basketball player is 90 percent mental.
Martial arts training involves learning to solve problems on the fly. A sparring match is like a chess match. You’re constantly scanning your opponent, looking for openings, weaknesses, or mistakes. Likewise, your opponent is also scanning for the same things.
You’re trying to land effective attacks while avoiding your opponent’s attacks. You do all this as you move around while executing techniques that require multiple parts of your body to work together. It’s problem solving under physical duress. The improved problem solving skills will pay off handsomely when the child is engaged in other sports as they can make better decisions on the fly.
Explore Martial Arts
Bring your child to one of Evolve MMA’s complimentary introductory martial arts classes to give them a taste of what training looks like.
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