It’s not all about holding your own in a fight: taking up a martial art is a great way to achieve a whole range of health, lifestyle and social benefits. What’s more, with sports like MMA, martial arts are more popular than ever, so it’s never been easier to pick up some boxing gloves or put on a karate gi and get training!
Whether you’re a fresh-faced newbie or have years of experience under your (black) belt, it’s always worth remembering what the benefits of martial arts are. So without further ado, here are the top benefits of martial arts!
Engaging with any martial art, particularly high-intensity ones like kickboxing or taekwondo, will quickly see you climbing up the fitness ladder. These disciplines involve a variety of calorie burning exercises, from bodyweight workout routines to intensive stamina building movement drills. Over time, these will help you grow stronger, leaner and livelier.
- Physical Health
It’s one thing to look and feel fit, but ask your doctor and they’ll be more likely to espouse the health benefits of martial arts from a medical perspective. All exercise can improve your cardiovascular health. However, taking up a combat sport or discipline which encompasses both physical and mental elements, like Tai Chi, has been shown to reduce stress as well as strengthen your heart, increase bone density and ease inflammation.
It’s the holistic nature of most martial arts which makes them so good at improving and protecting your overall health. They help you work towards achieving a mind-body balance, which, as research shows, is the key to physical, mental and emotional strength.
- Making Friends and Forging Connections
The benefits of martial arts are better when shared. Despite their straight-faced reputation and the intense concentration required to excel competitively, martial arts communities are actually astonishingly welcoming! Rather than a strict, work-only practice session, most newcomers are shocked to find martial arts groups a great place to meet friendly, easy-going people, as this inspiring blog post shows.
If you’re looking to branch out and befriend new people while learning a valuable practice, there’s no better place than your local dojo or boxing gym. Why not go along for a session or two? You never know who you’ll meet.
- Mental Health
The link between exercise and positive mental health has been well documented, and it’s no different for the martial arts. On top of that, though, martial arts in particular stand to help their participants reach a state of peace and contentment.
Why is this? For one, meditation, the practice of emptying one’s mind of all distractions and just ‘sitting’ with oneself, is a crucial component of the majority of martial arts. The mental health benefits of martial arts meditation are manifold; they include stress relief, improved concentration, reduction of depressive symptoms and more.It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to gain muscle, make friends or find inner peace, martial arts provide a perfect environment to improve yourself and have fun doing it. Old, young, rich, poor—the lessons and benefits of martial arts are relevan