Many professional sources and common people alike have realized the relationship between the modern world’s features such as cars and computers with levels of exercise and general health. Many reports and headlines address a general lack of physical activity and outdoor time and increasing rates of obesity and related issues such as diabetes and mood disorders. The good news is that only is exercise always possible indoors or outdoors, but it can also be great fun, as well as educational and can teach some important skills along the way. Kickboxing, Muay Thai, karate, and many other martial arts can act as a vehicle for health and recreation alike.
Exercise, or Lack Thereof
It can often be agreed that today’s kids and adults alike do not exercise as much as they should, instead adopting sedentary lifestyles based on computers, television, office jobs, and long commutes. The American Heart Association, for one, recommends that all children older than two engage in one hour or more of moderate physical activity daily, and it is often a simple matter of motivation and interest to get kids moving. Currently, though, trends often go in a different direction. An estimated two thirds of parents are concerned that their kids are spending too much time on electronic devices such as handheld game consoles and PC, and even adults are falling behind on exercise. It is believed that under 5% of adults are taking part in 30 minutes or physical activity per week, and around one in three adults gets the recommended amount of physical activity each week. What can be done to get kids and adults moving? Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and other partial arts, even MMA, can fix this exercise deficit.
Kickboxing and More
Kickboxing and other martial arts are not strictly exercise or combat skills; they are both, and more. And the good news is that despite trends of sedentary, indoor lifestyles, plenty of adults and kids are getting into martial arts. For one, in 2016, some 3.58 million people aged six and up took part in martial arts across the United States, and in the next year, in 2017, around 2.38 million people aged six and up in the United States performed martial arts for fitness purposes. Going back to 2016, it is believed that kickboxing practitioners aged six and up totaled to some 6.9 million, proving that there is indeed general interest in this sport and others like it.
Kickboxing classes, Muay Thai classes, and more can be found in many urban areas, since such areas often have classes and workshops for skills ranging from martial arts to self defense to cooking to painting. Working in a group can motivate a participant to work hard, seeing others doing the same work and wanting to keep on par with the classmates. A good quality instructor can also make for a great teacher, often much better than if a person attempts self-taught martial arts. It will help further if the teacher is also a health and nutrition expert, or if such an expert is consulted. After all, good health and martial arts and other sports are closely linked. A good diet, proper sleep, and balancing working out all muscle groups can make kickboxing and other sports much easier and more fun, and can boost a person’s general health.
Even psychological health can be boosted. Obesity and sedentary lifestyles, especially those based on excessive social media use, can result in feelings of loneliness, apathy, jealousy toward others, and impacted sleep habits, and any of these can contribute to eating disorders, if such a disorder isn’t already present. But kickboxing and other martial arts gives face to face contact that nearly everyone biologically desires, and the activity can boost self esteem from a good workout, not to mention the release of endorphins that improve mood and quell issues like depression or anxiety. The “runner’s high” can easily carry over to kickboxing and other martial arts, and satisfaction on muscle development and learning this new skill can also be a mental booster.