If you dread the treadmill, or if you loathe the repetitiveness of curling a dumbbell over and over again, take heart that you are hardly the only one. Countless people dislike the mundane nature of gym workouts! Not just you. Fortunately, there are other routes to a more toned body that don’t involve laps of any kind. If you haven’t considered martial arts as a way to build muscle and shed fat, here are 5 reasons why you should:
1) Martial Arts Is A Lot More Social Than The Gym
Unlike weights-centred gyms where solitude is the focus, martial arts lessons are group activities that encourage trust and bonding. After sweating it out on the mats, martial artists often reward themselves with a refueling session together of their favorite foods. Don’t be shy to mix with your instructors too – they are wells of exercise and dietary knowledge, which will help you reach your fitness goals faster.
2) You Learn Practical Life Skills
Disciplines like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai are based on real-world scenarios. This means that you will know more than one way of getting out of a heated situation. Martial arts focus on the functionality of the whole body much more than other sports, which practitioners experience in terms of mobility and flexibility in their daily lives. Not only will you benefit from the physical advancements you will make training martial arts, but if the situation ever arises where you have to defend yourself, you will know how! The learning of practical skills will keep you engaged and coming back for more.
3) Your Body Becomes Tougher
Martial arts training encourages the development of stronger tissue, especially in crucial areas like one’s joints and skeletal structure. As we continue to train we become stronger in all areas that can help with everyday ailments that sedentary people suffer from. Our bodies are intuitive and adaptable works-in-progress, so if you make the best of yours in your youth, you will enjoy much better health and fitness in your middle age and senior years. Our bodies are all very different from one another, and training martial arts is a great opportunity for us to learn more about our individual bodies. The feeling you get as your body becomes tougher will encourage you to keep up your training.
4) Martial Arts Develops a Better Metabolism
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Besides shedding fat during class, a good martial arts session also piques your metabolism, which encourages your body to burn fat for the rest of the day. Not only does this burn more fat than the calories you actually burn during class, but this also encourages a healthier metabolism that supplies you with a steady stream of energy. Do you find yourself often reliant on high-carbohydrate pick-me-ups? Challenging martial arts lessons just might curb this unhealthy sugar addiction and endow you with better mental and physical energy throughout the day. Exercise always has to push you to your limits, but only experienced trainers can advise you on how you can achieve this correctly. Furthermore, instructors who lead and supervise your training can fine-tune the intensity your workout to optimize the results that you reap, while keeping you safe from over-exercise. This lasting effect of training is something that you are going to want to keep going!
5) And Your Mental Faculties Will Be Heightened Too
Martial arts training has even more mental benefits than physiological. Within the first month of training, a new inductee will already feel and move significantly better. In the event of an emergency, don’t be surprised if you manage to catch a falling item or dodge danger – you can thank new connections in your peripheral nervous system and your new muscle memory for that. Martial arts indisputably encourages critical thinking, peripheral awareness, and keen reflexes.
If anyone were to know the benefits of martial arts, it would be a martial arts World Champion. “Martial arts is such a unique physical activity, as you are not only exercising your body but also your mind and spirit,” says multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Petchboonchu FA Group. “Because there is so much to learn in martial arts, such as all the different techniques, you are always trying to find a way to get better and challenging yourself mentally. The emotional side comes into it when you are pushing yourself hard to not give up at the end of a round when your body is nearing its limit. Martial arts training is special as it challenges you and makes you stronger in so many ways.”
An important value inculcated by all martial arts is a continual thirst for knowledge, which encourages continual growth of a person in all aspects of his or her life. The martial artist is taught to always listen to his or her body, and concentrate on flexibility and health, more than physical appearance.
So what are you waiting for? Kick start your martial arts journey today!