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A personal take on the health benefits of martial arts

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Looking for a new hobby? Maybe you want to be more active and get fit? Maybe try judo or Muay Thai. Here are some of the health benefits of martial arts.

After a spell of being too inactive for my own good, at the start of this year I took up boxing and Muay Thai (or Thai boxing). Now, I’m also learning mixed martial arts and Brazilian ju-jitsu.

I genuinely believe that the impact of doing so has been life changing for me, for all the right reasons.

Tackling misconceptions about martial arts

Some people may have misconceptions that stop them from even trying to get into martial arts training in the first place. I’m here to clear up any such myths you may have heard, while sharing some of the health benefits I’ve encountered with practising martial arts.

The main misconceptions is that Muay Thai, boxing and the rest are only good for self-defence or getting out of a bad situation.

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay 

But you don’t have to wait to be attacked (spoiler: might never happen if you’re careful) to start enjoying a martial arts practice. The training is not only good for your body, but also your mind and soul. Let’s focus on that.

The body

Some martial arts are more taxing on the body than others. However, this hard work just means that, over time, you’re becoming fitter and stronger than before.

A regular marital arts practice can also increase your endurance, assist with weight loss, make you stronger and more toned, promote muscle growth and even encourage flexibility. Physical exercise also boosts your immune system. With enough consistent training, you will physically feel your day-to-day energy reach newfound heights.

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The mind

Exercise makes you happy. It encourages the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain, called endorphins, which leave you feeling on top of the world post-workout.

Over time, this routine rush of endorphins can be effective in combating depression and anxiety. Watch your outlook on life change after just a few sessions of your chosen activity.

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay 

Additionally, most martial arts clubs are friendly, welcoming places, so socialising and making new friends is bound to boost your mood even more.

On top of their mood-enhancing effects, some martial arts also delve into philosophy, which can enhance your understanding of the world around us. Talk about a double punch!

The soul

Martial arts can bring tremendous benefits to your outlook on life. Training can foster a mentality of ‘I wouldn’t give up in a fight, so should I give up on this?’ that you can apply to any challenge you’re facing.

Martial arts can increase your confidence levels and teach you a lot about mutual respect and humility.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 

In fact, rather than making you eager for a fight, martial arts training is more likely to make you a diplomatic and peace-seeking person. It gives you a great deal of control over your emotions, as the aggression found in martial arts is controlled aggression.

To wrap it up

Along with teaching you some cool self-defence tricks, picking up a martial arts training can be key to achieving a healthier and happier life.

The health benefits of martial arts range from getting you into top shape to giving you that much-needed shift in mindset. From boxing to Krav Maga, from BJJ to judo, there is a martial art for everyone. I can only encourage you to give them a try and see what you like best!

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