It is no secret that in the industrialized world, sedentary lifestyles have become the norm, as have processed and other unhealthy foods, and this has given rise to what most agree is an epidemic of obesity and lack of good exercise. Office jobs, fast food restaurants, television, and more have contributed to this trend, but the good news is that there are ways to reverse it for an individual and get back in shape and its many health benefits. Many different exercise regimens and ideas exist, from bicycling to swimming and jogging and weight lifting. One particular arena of exercise is martial arts, and there are many different types, with classes all over the United States to teach them to newcomers. MMA (mixed martial arts), Muay Thai, karate, and kickboxing, among many others, are possibilities for someone who not only wants to get into shape, but learn self-defense and evenly exercise all muscles groups for a well toned body. The benefits of kickboxing are many, from calorie and fat burning to toning many muscle groups and even instilling self-confidence. One can try Muay Thai or kickboxing to lose weight, and the benefits of kickboxing, if maintained, can last for years.

Bad Lifestyles and the Doctor

Many adults and children alike are sedentary and do not get the exercise they need, and this, on top of eating fast food and processed foods, means a lot of obesity and increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and arthritis, among other health problems. Among all adults, fewer than 5% take part in the 30 minutes of physical activity that is recommended, and only one in three adults gets the recommended amount of activity for the week. Kids are often in similar bad shape; two in three parents feel that their kids spend too much time using electronic devices, such as handheld game consoles or a personal computer, as opposed to outdoor exercise or playing sports. The American Heart Association, meanwhile, says that all kids aged two and up should have at least one hour each day dedicated to play and exercise, but too often, this requirement is not met. Obesity in kids, teenagers, and adults leads not only to serious risk of heart disease and arthritis, but it can negatively impact mood, self-esteem, and even sleeping hygiene.

To fix this, any given person should first consult his or her doctor before starting a health regimen, especially if the person has health issues or complications such as lower back pain, a family history of heart problems, recent surgery, or anything similar. A person’s private physician will know what the person’s health needs are, and how to adjust a health regimen accordingly, in terms of exercise, diet, and changing sleep habits. And if a person’s health allows it, he or she can try martial arts, and as one example, the benefits of kickboxing will become clear.

Martial Arts

What are the benefits of kickboxing and other martial arts, exactly? Many, in fact, and martial arts are much more popular than some Americans might realize. Burning calories and fat is just the start; martial arts certainly qualify as exercise, and since many muscle groups are being used and the body is in constant motion, it can be efficient. It has been noted that one hour of moderate-intensity martial arts can burn around 500 calories, for example, and coupling this with an improved diet can quickly lead to healthy weight loss. In the case of martial arts like kickboxing and similar styles, all the muscle groups are being used, leading to an even development of muscle across the body and promoting a good, toned figure for the kickboxing enthusiast. This even includes the core, since twisting the spine frequently is involved. The benefits of kickboxing extend to self defense, and the average mugger or other unlawful people depends more on isolation and intimidation to subdue a target rather than combat skills. A would-be victim who demonstrates or uses kickboxing or Muay Thai can quickly drive off an attacker, although taking a dedicated self defense class is advisable to learn more nuanced details about self defense scenarios. Kickboxing, if practiced well, can act as a new sport for the user to try out, and can give a sense of confidence.

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