Staying Fit and Having Fun With Martial Arts
Martial arts is the time-honored and ancient tradition of self-defense practices that are also considered to be something of an art form, hence the name. There are many different styles and types, from Karate to Tae Kwon Do, and most cities have instruction classes in at least one form of martial arts. The benefits are not just for kids, either. Simmons Market Research indicated that over 18 million people participate in some form of this athletic sport each year, and half that number was comprised of adult students.
With these kinds of numbers, something good must be happening for those involved in martial arts. Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits you and your family could enjoy.
One of the main types of exercise in this sport is stretching. Over time, the more you stretch, the more flexible your muscles, and thus, your joints become. While you may never be able to do the full-on splits, there is no denying that over time you will become far more mobile and have much less aching and creaking when you move.
Even though most martial arts forms are low or non-impact, you will naturally build up muscle tone through the repetitive, smooth motions in this sport. In fact, this is actually one of the best ways to get the type of muscle tone women need – you won’t bulk up, you will tone town.
While the style of martial arts will determine how heavy your work out is, most classes will involve some type of rapid activity that will get your heart rate up. Your pulmonary, circulatory and cardiovascular systems will all get the proper amount of stimulation to keep you in top form.
Interestingly enough, this might be the biggest benefit. Research shows that those involved in this type of sport – especially kids – have less anxiety, greater self esteem and a higher threshold of tolerance in bad situations. The chemicals released during this form of exercise are unusually beneficial to peace of mind for participants of all ages.
Yup, once you are well trained, you just might be able to defend yourself in a bad situation, which is a really good feeling, especially for women. While this doesn’t mean you should put yourself at risk, it does bring some confidence should you ever have to protect yourself. However, be sure to stay cautious, even if you have a black belt.