Being fit can improve the overall quality of your life dramatically.
Having well-toned muscles, low body fat, flexible joints and a high aerobic capacity will not only make you look and feel good, but is an excellent way to ward off many common lifestyle diseases. So, what is the best way to get fit?
The first and most important factor you have to take into consideration while trying to get fit is keeping a close eye on what you eat. You need to make adjustments to your calorie intake in particular. Being overweight makes it much harder to get fit. According to Harvard Health, you need to cut your daily calorie intake by 500 for you to lose about 1 pound of body weight per week if you are overweight. If you are looking to be more aggressive with your weight loss programme, then you should aim to consume 500-1000 calories less than what your body need to maintain its current weight. This is a level that medical experts consider to be safe and sustainable over the long-term.
Performing cardiovascular exercise such as rope jumping, running, climbing and martial arts are great at increasing your aerobic capacity and burning calories. Martial arts in particular is effective at achieving fitness goals due to the discipline it inculcates into the individual, which helps the person to maintain optimal fitness levels. What is the best way to get fit through martial arts training?
The Best Martial Arts for Optimum Fitness
Martial arts training give numerous benefits to the practitioner. These include learning self-defence techniques, anger management, keeping fit and of course earning bragging rights that come with knowing a specific martial art. If maintaining body fitness is your primary goal for learning martial arts, then these styles will help you achieve your goal.
Capoeira is a martial art that originated from Brazil and incorporates dance with fighting. Its practitioners participate in an intense dance circle known as roda as well as practicing static postures, gymnastics and various flexibility exercises. In a sense, capoeira is a bit like doing yoga while listening to music. The martial art provides an intense cardio workout that is great for the body. The style can, however, look a bit intimidating especially during the first classes.
MMA is an acronym that stands for Mixed Martial Arts. MMA involves an intense combination of body weights, free weights, light sparring, calisthenics, and hitting bags or pads. MMA is a highly athletic form of martial arts. You can expect to leave an MMA class feeling drained every evening. MMA is usually more costly than many other martial arts, but the superior workout it provides can give you really good results.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is another high-intensity martial art. A typical BJJ class starts with a demanding warm up where you practice several moves with a partner who ideally should be about your own size. This is followed by several rounds of rolling and light competitive wrestling against your partner. BJJ is pretty common in many towns. The good things about this martial art is that it works out many muscles in your body. For people who have issues with personal space, however, all that grappling that is typical of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu might make them feel uncomfortable.
Judo is one of the oldest martial arts, and has its roots in Japan where it originated in the 1800s. Judo mainly concentrates on chokes and throws with minimal strikes. Jiu Jitsu and Sambo really are offshoots of Judo. The legendary Fedor Emilianenko used Judo and Sambo moves to overwhelm his opponents. Even though Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has stolen some ground from Judo, this old martial arts is, nevertheless, still very popular especially for people who do it for self- defence as well.
Kickboxing is a blanket term that is often applied to anything that involves kicking and punching while Muay Thai has several distinctive features. Muay Thai comes from Thailand and involves both knee and elbow strikes in addition to using fists and feet, as well as a stand-up grappling known as clinch.
Kickboxing was popularised by Jean Claude Van Damme in his famous movie Kickboxer. The first kickboxing classes involve learning how to throw strikes, after which you learn some real sparring. These types of martial arts are great at increasing your flexibility.
Wing Chun Kung Fu
Wing Chun Kung Fu is a close-range martial art that hails from China and focuses strongly on balance. It also involves practicing relaxation techniques that are meant to keep the body in top shape. Its rapid punches make for great on-screen combat. Wing Chun requires the practitioner to do a lot of visualising. The art teaches about a centre line on the human body that is used for balance. This martial art involves performing rapid strikes while moving forward to your opponent. Minimal kicks are used. The stance is quite different from other forms of martial arts. This art form can be a good way to improve your reflexes if there are a bit slow.
Tae Kwon Do
Tae Kwon Do has its roots in Korea and is one of the broadest form of martial arts. Tae Kwon Do is the martial art with the largest number of followers, and is even represented at the Olympics. The art involves punches, throws and kicks. Additionally, the art form involves a lot of cardiovascular exercises and practicing relaxation techniques. Many gyms teach Tae Kwon Do and is incorporated in many video games including Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. One of the many variations of this martial art is breaking up boards and bricks using your feet. Make sure you do some research with your gym to check what form of the sport they offer before signing up.
Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art and the name means ‘‘battle contact’’ in Hebrew. This venerable martial art was developed by Israel Defence Forces and is used in real-life combat situations. It involves punches, throws and kicks. Krav Maga focuses on training a person to fight even when they are tired and involves a lot of twisting and striking, as well as a lot of stuff that is not allowed in other forms of martial arts like eye pokes, joint breaks, throat breaks and kicks to the groin. This martial art is good for improving your core and encourages development of strong and flexible joints.
So having highlighted the various types of martial arts, what is the best way to get fit? By and large, the best way to get fit is by mastering one or more of these martial arts to help you stay in shape. The best martial art for you will depend on your taste and preference.