Martial art movies almost always feature martial artists with sculpted bodies. While we understand the cinematic appeal of a chiseled six-pack, we also think that these movies send a message that may discourage some people from pursuing martial arts training. It can even impact their self-esteem.
The last thing we want is for people to feel that they can’t enroll in one of our martial arts classes to learn self-defense or reap the other physical and mental health benefits of martial arts training simply because they aren’t already in perfect shape. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about physical fitness and the martial arts.
Can You Take Martial Arts Classes if You’re Not in Shape?
If you’re someone who hasn’t worked out in a while, you might look at your body and compare it to martial artists in popular culture and give up before you get started. The truth is that practicing martial arts does help people to tone their muscles and lose weight, but many people who excel in martial arts training didn’t start out as perfect physical specimens.
It is true that martial arts classes require physical effort. It takes energy to execute punches and kicks or to spar with a classmate. Students learn how to use their bodies effectively and there are periods of intense physical activity.
That said, your physical health as a beginner is something that shouldn’t discourage you from taking a Kung Fu or Muay Thai class. When you begin your training, you may find that you’re winded and tired after a high intensity interval. That’s normal. If you persist and continue to attend classes, you’ll soon find that your stamina improves and so does your health.
If you’re someone who’s interested in the martial arts, then you should sign up for a class. Our instructors will meet you where you are and help you at every stage of training, so you can improve your fitness and reap the physical benefits of martial art training.
How Can Practicing Martial Arts Help You Get in Shape?
Let’s talk about the physical benefits of martial arts that relate to physical fitness. The first and most obvious health benefit is that a martial art workout is great exercise. As a student, you will need to push your body to learn and master new skills. You’ll need to have the mental toughness to push through your fatigue and keep going. You’ll be exercising your heart and lungs — and there’s plenty of evidence that improving your cardiac health can improve your overall health.
Another one of the health benefits of martial arts that relates to your fitness level is weight loss. Martial arts workouts burn calories, and when you burn more calories than you take in, you’ll lose weight because you’ll be in a caloric deficit.
Martial arts training also helps to tone muscles. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, so the more you tone, the more likely it is that you’ll lose weight. Building muscles will also improve your strength and balance, give you more energy, and make it easier for you to do everything in your life, from work to playing with your kids.
As a martial artist, you’ll reap benefits for your mind and body. There’s an undeniable connection between mental health and physical health, so as you improve your physical fitness, you’ll also increase your self-confidence and self-esteem — all of which will make you want to work hard to continue to improve!
The bottom line is that you don’t need to be in great shape to study the martial arts. In fact, martial arts training is a great way to get in shape and stay in shape — at any age.