7 Reasons Why Practicing Martial Arts Is Good for Your Body and Mind
Physical activity is great for humans for many reasons, however, not every activity is created the same. While some target only your body and others exercise your mind, martial arts do both—they are the most comprehensive of activities out there pushing your body and mind to improve. If you’re just looking for a reason to take up martial arts, here are seven that might get you to start:
It provides you with a full-body workout
If you want to be more active and exercise to lose weight or gain muscles, martial arts can do both since they provide a full-body workout during every practice. As you kick, punch, grapple and throw, you will improve your mobility and stamina and increase muscle, while also burning a lot of calories. Some martial arts are very dynamic like taekwondo which requires a lot of jumping, moving and kicking that will get you to your fitness goals pretty quickly.
It lowers blood pressure and heart rate
According to research, people who do martial arts have lower blood pressure and heart rate than their non-warrior peers. Because some training sessions are very similar to high-intensity interval training, martial arts can boost your heart health and provide your body with the ability to regulate blood sugar, cholesterol and insulin more efficiently. You will enjoy a healthier body and a healthier life, and all that without having to spend hours at the gym lifting weights or staring at the wall as you run on a treadmill—martial arts are much more interesting and challenging than that.
It makes you more flexible
Have you ever seen a karateka do a low sweep or a taekwondo practitioner do a high kick? You can look at some taekwondo training videos and try to replicate the movements and you’ll notice they require a lot of flexibility and mobility to be performed successfully and safely. This is all something you can learn and improve on if you decide to take up martial arts. Why do you need flexibility in your life besides showing off? Flexibility actually helps with your posture, boosts muscle movement while reducing tension, helps with relaxation and reduces injury—all very important you would agree.
It boosts confidence
No matter how old or young you are, you can probably use a boost of confidence right now. Well, martial artists of all kinds report much higher confidence levels when practicing their art. Martial arts push you to improve your skills and allow you to complete many milestones and achievements which is great for your self-esteem. If you can succeed in martial arts through your hard work and dedication, you can certainly do it in other spheres of your life as well. It helps kids at school, young adults at college and adults at work.
It improves mental power
Exercise like martial arts requires you to use your brain all the time. You need to hold guard, plan your moves, defend yourself and move your feet—your brain will work overtime. As a result, martial arts can help you improve your memory and learning and even keep away some serious diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
It provides you with friends
Socializing is crucial for human mental health and martial arts provide you with just that. While it’s definitely possible to practice your punches, kicks and katas alone, sparring requires a team environment where you can practice, learn and reach your goals with other people. Kids have the most benefits from healthy socializing during classes where they can learn how to be team players, resolve conflict, have compassion and make friends. Making friends is not easy, but through martial arts, you will meet a lot of new people with shared interests and create long-lasting friendships in a controlled environment.
It helps you relieve stress
Stress is all around us and there’s no person who is not experiencing it today, young, old, poor, rich, whatever. Holding that stress inside can be detrimental to your health, but martial arts allow you to relieve that stress in a healthy way. Through movement, breathing and focused thoughts, you can clear your head and relieve stress. Exercises you learn during your class can be used in other parts of your life, to boost focus, practice mindfulness and control intrusive thoughts. In time, you’ll learn to appreciate your life and the world around you.
It’s unbelievable that all of these aforementioned benefits can come from one activity such as martial arts. After just one practice, you’ll be hooked to the feeling of peace and satisfaction that comes from arts like taekwondo, judo, karate or aikido.