A National Health and Nutrition Survey by the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that 2 in 3 people are overweight or obese. For these individuals, shedding those extra pounds usually involves going from one boring gym to another. However, weight loss exercises do not have to be boring.
Martial arts makes it easier for you to learn self-defense while kicking those pesky pounds to the curb. If you often lack motivation for your workouts and regularly look for excuses to skip your exercise routines, then martial arts may be your ideal weight-loss and fitness solution.
The following are some of the reasons martial arts training is the ultimate workout:
1) Warm-ups and drills
Anyone who practices martial arts knows that you need to warm up before you start learning techniques. The warm-ups usually involve jogging, push-ups, and even sprints. The purpose of the warm-ups is to get your body ready for the class, but these also help you lose a few inches around your waistline.
Drills are an important part of any martial arts class. These routines focus on repetitions to fully ingrain a particular technique into the student’s repertoire. The instructor may ask you to repeat a specific routine more than ten times until you fully understand it. These drills build endurance and coordination while burning lots of calories.
2) There is something for everyone
Martial arts are vast, and there is something for everyone. Whether you are a child or a 90-year old, there is a martial arts activity that can help you get fit and lose weight. These martial arts can be practiced by people of all ages and sexes, though the level of intensity varies depending on your goals and your health.
The best part is that you do not have to be in shape to start martial arts. Your progress will probably be slow at first, but eventually, you will learn new techniques that will tone your body and make you fit.
If you need to get into shape first, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai are some of the arts you could try. These martial arts help to tone the muscles and help you get into shape without putting undue pressure on your knees or your back. They are excellent starting points for people who are not physically fit but who would like to try martial arts for weight loss.
A lot of people do not have the discipline to stick with a diet or an exercise routine. Martial arts helps you become more disciplined and challenges you to stick with a goal until you achieve it. This level of discipline translates into other areas of your life, and you may be encouraged to eat a healthy diet and exercise more in order to lose weight.
4) Cardio and burning calories
Cardiovascular training is an excellent way to lose weight. Cardio routines burn calories, promote fat loss, and increase your metabolism. Martial arts training give you a great cardio workout as it involves lots of upper body and lower body movements. At the end of the session, you would have burned a lot more calories than someone who simply went to the gym, and you would have had a lot more fun.
If you want to burn a lot of calories, you can choose an art that requires intense physical training. Examples of these martial arts include Muay Thai and other striking arts. Grappling arts such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu are also quite intense as it gives your core a proper workout. Depending on the intensity of your training, you can burn between 500 and 1,000 calories per session.
5) Strength-training exercises
Strength training is a great way to build muscles and increase your resting metabolic rate. Some of the resistance workouts involved in martial arts, including boxing and bag drills, help boost strength and build muscle. If you are consistent with your martial arts training, you will eventually lose weight and become stronger.
6) Martial arts is not boring
Another reason why most people have a hard time sticking to their exercise routine is that their workouts are boring. This is not the case with martial arts. Unlike exercise routines that consist of highly-repetitive moves, martial arts are very dynamic. There’s always something new to learn during each class.
Unlike working out at home or at your local gym where you do the exercises alone, martial arts promotes social interactions with like-minded individuals. You will find a lot of people who love martial arts just as much as you do, who are passionate and energetic. You are likely to make many friends at your martial arts gym. These social interactions will encourage you to attend classes, and you will look forward to training and sparring with your friends.
7) You become more conscious about your diet
Martial arts requires a lot of energy, which means that you have to be careful about what you eat. If you stuff yourself with burgers and carbonated soft drinks, you might become tired and sluggish while training or sparring. If you are very competitive, this could encourage you to eat better so that you can maintain your performance level. This will help you lose weight, as you are not taking the calorie-dense meals that made you gain weight in the first place.
8) You become used to setting goals and achieving them
One of the things that set martial arts apart is the different training levels and the ranking system. Everyone starts as a beginner and receives a white belt when they join any style. To move on to the next level, you have to master certain techniques. This can motivate you to train harder in order to get a promotion.
The level of determination you show in class often carries over to other areas of your life.
The best thing about martial arts training is how fun it is. It is a form of exercise, but it never feels like working out at all. If you train hard, you will burn a lot of calories while gaining many other benefits like improved self-confidence, focus, and self-discipline.
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