Even though most people relate martial arts to the art of punching and kicking, it is definitely more than just this. There are numerous benefits associated with this practice that bears mentioning. Some of the key benefits of martial arts are:
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Those who take part in martial arts, like karate and kung fu, show improved cardiovascular health. The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, veins, and arteries, all which play a huge part in transporting blood throughout the body. When your cardiovascular system is weak, you are prone to experiencing labored breaths, weakness, and fatigue. You also have a higher risk of being afflicted with other heart conditions. The contrary is true when your cardiovascular health is improved. You feel strong, breathe normally, and stand a better chance of fighting off heart diseases. Martial arts exercise your heart every so often, and this boosts the performance and health of your cardiovascular system.
Every time you practice martial arts, you burn a significant number of calories. Bear in mind that one pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories and that an hour of practicing martial arts can actually lead to a loss of 500 calories or more. This implies that the more time you spend performing martial arts, the more calories (and the more fat) you will end up getting rid of. So the next time you feel like you’ve gained too much weight, instead of starving yourself and going through the torture of a crash diet, you should definitely give martial arts a try.
Increased Muscle Mass
Although martial arts doesn’t lead to the big, bulky muscles that come with strength training, it does lead to a noticeable increase in muscle mass. Whenever someone engages in martial arts exercises, he burns fat, increases muscle mass, and develops better muscle tone. An increased muscle mass can also work in wondrous ways to a greater metabolism, paving the way for an overall healthier body. Plus, greater muscle mass can also improve your agility.
To be exceptionally great at martial arts, you must put your reflexes to the test and improve on them. The martial arts exercises are designed in such a way that they help you to enhance your reflexes, even without you being aware of it. Faster reflexes in martial arts lead to a faster reaction rate in the other parts of your life as well. Improved reflexes have an impact on not only your physical reactions, but also your mental faculties. For example, you will be a better driver, cook, and analyst when you have a faster reaction rate.
Improved Emotional Health
Various studies have shown that people’s moods are improved when they engage in regular exercise. This means that your mood will improve every time you take part in martial arts. Note, however, that you must first have a positive attitude towards these exercises before you can reap any benefit from them. When you regularly perform martial arts, you also learn to relieve stress and handle any frustration in your life. This boosts your happiness levels as well. What’s even better is that the endorphins that are released when you exercise last in the body for up to 4 hours, maintaining your high spirits long after you are done with your exercise routines.
Ability to Defend Yourself
One of the most popular reasons why people engage in martial arts is the purpose of being able to defend themselves. Teaching self-defense techniques is, perhaps, what all the various forms of martial arts have in common. By practicing one or more types of martial arts, you can equip yourself with the skills to effectively counteract any attack that may fall on you (or your loved ones) at any time or place. With such a readiness and preparation to face anything that comes in your way, you’ll find that martial arts can not only give you the feeling of security and safety, but also a great deal of confidence. That’s not to say that martial arts can give you an excuse to be arrogant and the permission to go out and launch your own attacks. Self-defense is the key teaching, not offense.
If there ever was a shining example of sports or other various activities where people can learn a great deal of discipline, it’s any one of the martial arts. Martial arts not only show you how to be good at defending yourself and people who need defending, they also teach you to how to control your impulses and urges. Imagine if someone who is good at martial arts goes around beating other people up just to show off. That would be a strike against all the others who do exert perfect control over themselves. Thankfully, martial arts inculcate in the heart of every student the necessity of disciplining his mind, body, and spirit. To be truly good at martial arts, one has to be able to accomplish this challenging feat in each and every aspect of life at work, in school, at home, or in the community. Once discipline has been developed, the martial arts student can be good at anything he or she puts his mind to.
The benefits of engaging in martial arts span across the entire spectrum of life – overall physical health, character development, mental and emotional fitness, and a whole lot more. As such, engaging in martial arts is among the best things you can do to improve yourself, inside and out.