Martial arts are more than sports, they teach us self-defense techniques, fitness regime, and mastering the discipline. This has also been confirmed in scientific studies.
When we talk about martial arts as a fitness regime, we will say that they have a positive effect on the heart, circulatory system, lungs, muscles, and tendons. They also increase strength and fitness and have shown a positive effect on the development of self-confidence, concentration, and attention.
Many have prejudices about martial arts, believing that they encourage violence and aggression, which of course is not true. Also, many share the opinion that these sports are intended exclusively for men. Despite that, martial arts are enjoying great popularity in the world, whether it is karate, boxing, MMA, or someone else, and these are just some of the advantages of practicing this sport.
1. Exercise overall physical strength and endurance
The advantage of mixed martial arts is the fact that it is a combination of several sports, and that almost all muscles are activated during training, not just individual groups. Overall, routine MMA increases endurance, muscle strength, flexibility, heart and lung endurance, body balance and coordination, concentration, and reflex speed. All of these things can ultimately be useful for the smooth running of daily activities outside the rings. You also can’t get hurt easily.
2. Reducing the risk of heart disease
We know that every sport and every physical activity has a positive impact on our health, especially our heart. Exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system and improves blood circulation, which prevents many health complications such as clogging of blood vessels – the formation of blood clots. Since you are forced to move constantly in the ring when practicing most martial arts, as is the case with boxing, training will have the same positive effect on the cardiovascular system as running. To improve cardiovascular health, it is necessary that the amount of stress transferred to the heart and lungs, because in this way knocked up and the flow of blood, and it is this sport very easily achieved. So, the positive effect on the heart starts from the warm-up to the end of the workout. Since this sport requires a lot of strength, but also movement control, it is recommended to wear equipment that you can see more about at Elite Sports.
3. Great activity for weight loss
If you are a fan of martial arts, we have two good news – you will be able to build muscle, but also to lose weight! Even boxing, which many consider a sport that develops only the upper body, is an exercise for the whole body, because, with each planned stroke, you activate the leg muscles, because you hold yourself in a squat position, thus working on the quadriceps and gluteus. Of course, if you plan to lose weight without having a great body shape, in addition to training, you need to be based on a healthy diet that will help you do that, as well as maintain that result in the long run.
4. Relieves depression
Practicing martial arts promotes the secretion of the hormones endorphins and enkephalin, which suppress depression and anxiety. As this type of sport requires great physical effort, the emotional state improves. There is a study conducted in a group of respondents aged 45 to 70 years that showed that, after three years of practicing karate, the level of depression decreased and self-esteem developed among members.
5. It throws out anger
We all have moments in life when we need a break when negative energy accumulates in us that we have to somehow get rid of. It is not good to keep anger to yourself because it can lead to serious health problems. Hitting the bag with your fists and feet, shouting, and throwing your opponent to the ground is a great way to get that out of you.
6. Reduces aggression
Today we can very often hear about peer violence. By training martial arts, techniques of self-defense and self-control are adopted, but respect for others is also developed. In research conducted among children, it has been shown that the level of aggression is reduced by training martial arts, and develops a sense of empathy.
7. It reduces stress and improves mood
In some martial arts such as tai chi, the focus is on breathing and meditation. Due to the gentle movements, this is a great choice for both adults and children. Studies have shown that respondents who engage in this sport better recognize and channel stress.
8. It trains strength and body stretching
When practicing this type of sport, various muscle groups are activated, and with each new breath, they become stronger. This is especially pronounced in professional athletes or recreational athletes who train regularly. So, in addition to building muscle mass, you will increase muscle strength, endurance, heart and lung health, concentration, and quick reflexes.
Take boxing for example. During the fight, the boxer constantly jumps and strikes the opponent, because the goal is to throw him out of the ring. It takes a lot of strength, and that’s why, while boxing, he builds muscle mass.
9. Improves concentration and memory
Concentration is a very important segment of this group of sports. What you have to do is focus on the opponent and his movements, not allowing the same other to distract you. Also, if you are focused on the fight, you will easily be able to predict his next shot and react quickly in defense.
10. Self-control and better adaptability to unpredictable situations
Through training, we enhance the flexibility of the mind, which contributes to easier adjustment and acceptance of difficult circumstances and life situations. Over time, through training, a person acquires certain mental skills that allow him to accept the current situation in the right way and to find a favorable solution to improve the situation.
Many martial arts include philosophy of accepting and knowing oneself, developing self-motivation, and a competitive spirit. So, choose the one that suits you best, arm yourself with the necessary equipment, and enjoy it!