Martial Arts Fitness & Weight Loss Program
Regularly practicing a martial arts discipline provides several physical and mental benefits. From a physical perspective, martial arts is ideal for individuals that are looking to lose excess body weight, increase their cardiovascular endurance, improve muscular tone, and increase their overall flexibility, coordination and balance.
From the mental perspective, regularly practicing martial arts is an excellent activity for increasing discipline, mental balance and stability, and self-confidence.
There are several different forms and styles of martial arts fitness and weight loss programs that can be performed to effectively lose weight. If you decide to add one of these types of physical activities to your weight loss routine, you will have a choice of many different types of workouts to choose from.
For example, you may choose to participate in one of the more traditional types of martial arts like Karate and Kung Fu, or variations developed specifically for fitness like Tae Bo or Cardio-Kickboxing. Better yet a martial art that focuses a lot on physical performance like Muay Thai Kickboxing.
The variety in martial art disciplines, and the physical results achievable through performing one or more of the variations, make martial arts an attractive choice as an addition to a weight loss program. Coupled with a sound nutritional diet, achieving your personal weight loss goals is not only possible, but much more probable as well.
Types of Movements
There are a wide range of movement types among the different martial arts disciplines. Some of the most common movements include punches, kicks and jumping. These are often performed in specific sequences such as in karate and kung fu. others such as Muay Thai and boxing prefer to be executed on a punching bag.
The wide variety of martial arts programs and the range of activities within the different programs keep the workouts exciting and interesting. Virtually all forms of martial arts are performed with a high level of focus, intensity and effort, promoting effective weight loss.
Since there are so many different forms of martial arts, you will be able to choose the discipline that focuses most on your specific needs and personal fitness goals. In general, martial arts workouts will exercise your entire body.
Regularly practicing the punches and jabs target your upper body muscle groups, while the kicks and jumps work out your lower body muscle groups.
Essentially all movements will require some type of twisting and rotation, so your entire core area will be exercised as well. As with any form of martial arts, it is important to develop balance, coordination, and flexibility.
For this reason, you will be required to spend time working on, and developing, each of these physical attributes.
As an added benefit, being limber makes everyday tasks easier and safer. Many of the movements also require a great deal of agility, coordination and balance. Being more agile and limber will prevent and reduce the probability of injury. Each of these skills requires practice, repetition and determination to master.
Most martial arts workouts are performed at a very vigorous level and will challenge your cardiovascular endurance. Since most movements and sequences performed in all of the martial arts disciplines incorporate multiple muscles at the same time, the movements place a large demand on your body and require additional oxygen and blood flow. This means that your heart rate and breathing will increase rather quickly when performing a martial arts workout.
The equipment required to successfully perform a martial arts workout will depend on the specific discipline chosen. Many disciplines are performed with nothing more than a mat, a water bottle and a towel to mop up the sweat.
However, many disciplines will require items like gloves, punching bags, shin guards, chest protectors and face shields. You can choose a martial arts type based on the movements that will be performed, the equipment requirements for the discipline, and the actual level of sparring that takes place.
Incorporating a martial arts discipline into your weight loss program will provide several physical and mental benefits. Virtually all forms of martial arts will exercise your entire body, providing an excellent cardiovascular workout. The movements and sequences are engaging and fun. It's hard to become bored with performing a martial arts exercise routine as the movements and sequences are constantly evolving as your skill level improves.
The movements themselves will inspire confidence and further motivate individuals to regularly perform the workouts. In short, participation in a martial arts discipline makes for an excellent addition to any weight loss program.
Depending on the type of martial arts you choose and the level of intensity at which you perform it, you can expect to burn around 300 to 400 calories per each 30-minute workout. With such a high caloric expenditure, achieving your personal weight loss goals will become much easier.
The improvements in agility, coordination, balance and flexibility derived from practicing martial arts assists in several other aspects of life. Performing routine tasks and chores becomes easier and safer, reducing the amount of strain and effort required when actually performing the task. Improved flexibility in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, coupled with greater coordination and balance, also reduces the chance of injury from falls and other accidents.