Being overweight can take a serious toll on your health and quality of life. Weight loss is critical for improving cardiovascular health, general fitness, and resistance to or control of deadly diseases and conditions. The challenge for most people is finding a sport or exercise form that they can and will keep up. Unlike running or walking which can be rather solitary, martial arts are a fun way to lose weight. You have the support of your fellow students and your coaches to keep you going. So you don’t have to go it alone!
Burn fat and calories
A typical martial arts workout will burn between 300 and 900 calories an hour, depending on your body weight. Whether your sport of choice is Karate, Taekwondo, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Judo, Jiu-jitsu or Krav Maga, you can count on burning off more than you would with a walk. Most people burn about 500 calories in an hour long session. To lose weight, you must burn more calories every day than you take in. Losing a few pounds can be a game changer.
Martial arts are excellent for toning muscles. Most forms are highly aerobic activities that utilize almost every muscle group in the body. Sessions usually begin with a warm-up, followed by
a routine of moves that work on your upper body, lower body, or core. Besides burning up calories, your training will help improve muscle tone so your body gets more efficient at burning fat. And that will make each minute of your workout count for more.
A side-effect of learning a highly disciplined martial art, is that it brings that discipline to your weight loss too. You will think twice before you binge once you’re following a regimen. Being active and following the martial arts routine will also slowly make your cravings go away. With more to focus on, food will seem like a distraction you can manage to avoid.
Not all martial arts have the same focus and effects on fitness
Some forms of martial arts help you burn calories faster. Whether you’re looking to lighten the scales or tone up in general, choose something that’s more intense.
Muay Thai involves a lot of kicks and movement. Workouts while training are tough and sparring is even more demanding on the body.
Like wrestling, Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blend aerobic exercise with strength building. Taekwondo requires a balance of speed, power, and flexibility and gives you a good leg and cardio workout. Karate is a good core workout but doesn’t do so much for your lower body. Kung Fu is highly aerobic and requires jumps, kicks and general agility. Fitness kickboxing can help you quickly drop pounds.
Martial arts at the gym
Many schools and gyms offer MMA, kickboxing, or Krav Maga in addition to a traditional martial arts training program for different ranks and age groups. Professional martial arts schools that focus on a single or combination of styles will always put safety first. Most gyms and schools will welcome a visit or offer a trial class (or several) for free or at low cost.