For people who are overweight or obese, finding the right exercise routine often involves choosing one boring gym over another. But “losing weight can also be a fun experience which can give you the confidence you need to complement your new figure”, says Matt Stathis of Lodlois, a site that reviews popular diet programs like Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers.
For many years, martial arts have been practiced as a way to learn self-defense, mindfulness, and get in shape. But now, with the rise in popularity of MMA, it seems like there's a martial arts class in every corner and in every gym. It's time that you put your gloves on and leave those boring lifting routines behind you!
More Than a System of Defense
Though it’s true that you can learn effective self-defense moves through martial arts practice, it can also help you develop a balanced mind and body. Martial artists all over the globe practice their skills for a variety of reasons such as competition, self-defense, health, recreation, and mental and spiritual development.
The ancient art of Kung Fu, for example, was developed as a way for Buddhist monks to get fit. To this day the Shaolin monks continue to impress the world with their physical feats and incredible levels of discipline and fitness.
Anyone Can Practice Martial Arts
A lot of people feel self-conscious or even intimidated when joining a martial arts school. However, the truth is that there is nothing to be afraid of. Not every martial arts practitioner you will find is a Bruce Lee or a Conor McGregor.
There are just as many, if not more, people that practice them for health or recreational purposes as there is those who do it to compete. But if you want to compete, weight classes and age groups means that you'll never be matched against someone younger or stronger than you.
Martial arts can also be practiced by people of all ages and sexes – some disciplines are even ideal for kids! Although the intensity can vary depending on the practitioner's health and goals, everybody that trains on a regular basis will experience amazing health improvements.
You Don't Need to Already Be in Shape To Learn Martial Arts
You may think that you need to already be in top physical fitness in order to start practicing martial arts. Well, this is a big mistake as in the best case scenario it is unnecessary and at worst it's just an excuse to procrastinate. In fact, you can start practicing martial arts anytime, regardless of how out of shape you are.
Although your progress may be slow at first, you will slowly start learning new techniques which will help tone your body but also change the way you think as well.
Martial Arts Can Help You Lose Weight Effectively
Cardiovascular training is a big component of any weight loss routine. Not only does cardio help you burn the extra calories you don't need, but it also increases your metabolism and promotes fat burning. Martial arts are a perfect weight loss method since they are a highly-entertaining cardiovascular exercise.
Since martial arts usually involve at least an hour punching or kicking pads, sparring, and shadow boxing, you'll be working your muscles in a way that no jog can. In fact, depending on the intensity of your workout, you can expect to burn anything between 500 and 2000 calories per session!
So Which Martial Arts are Best for Weight Loss?
Martial arts encompass a wide variety of different styles, many of which have their own unique philosophies and training methods. From the softer ones, like Tai Chi and Aikido, to the more physically-demanding ones, like Muay Thai or Wrestling, there is a discipline for every preference. But if you're interested in burning a lot of calories there are a few that stand out.
Boxing is an excellent choice since it requires practitioners to throw hundreds of punches in every session. Kickboxing styles, such as Muay Thai and Karate, are also incredibly demanding. Even if your training is limited to hitting the heavy bag, you will be surprised how much energy you can burn by simply practicing your combinations. However, if competition is your thing, grappling-based arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo are excellent ways to get in shape and compete without getting hurt.
Practicing martial arts is a great way to lose weight and learn to kick ass at the same time. Consistent and prolonged practice won't only help you achieve the body of your dreams, but also help you gain a ton of new friends and build a positive image of yourself. So, forget about wasting countless hours on a boring treadmill. Give martial arts a try and you'll never look back!
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