Fitness for beginners
Martial arts for fitness and health
If you're looking for an exciting and challenging fitness activity, however, choosing a branch of martial arts that suits you is a great option.
Not only will you get an excellent full-body workout, but joining a martial arts club or class is a great way to expand your social circle and relieve stress.
Why martial arts are good for your health
Depending on which type of martial art you choose, your mind and body will benefit in a variety of ways. In general, however, martial arts strengthen your heart and lungs and burn calories by providing an intense cardiovascular workout. The focused movements increase muscle strength and tone and help improve posture, all while enhancing your flexibility, balance and coordination.
Martial arts is also an excellent way to relieve stress and build confidence, and the sociable nature of many clubs make them ideal for those who would benefit from expanding their social circles. The grading system used to designate levels of ability in each discipline is a great motivator for those who enjoy setting and achieving goals - working toward your next belt level will definitely encourage you not to skip out on practice sessions.
For those who are concerned about the "violent" image of martial arts, it's worth noting that the various schools are as much about self-control, discipline and respect as they are about fighting, and that most emphasise that violence should only be a last resort, usually in a defensive situation, when it comes to real life. For children in particular, these can be important life lessons and values to absorb.
Tips for beginners
Here are some do's and don'ts when that are useful for those who are new to training and have experience.
Do...Work out Every day. It can take about 21 days to form a new habit which is why it is important that when you are starting a new routine that you do something daily, even if you do something small, helps with consistency.
For the best results, make sure not to overwhelm yourself. I have had a Karate board member from a University attend one of my class, he tried to keep up with the pace of my students and within a few minutes he was sitting out and didn't feel he could continue training because he pushed himself to the limit, even though I recommended, as it was his first time doing the routine he should pace himself. Always pace yourself and build up the level of intensity as you progress in your training
Stay loose. As a beginner you may be nervous or you could just be very determined to lose weight, beginners are particularly prone to tensing up when working out. If you are tense while you are working out you are wasting a lot of energy. Relax the muscles you're not working on and focus on the ones you are and you will have a lot more energy and will get better results.
Don't...Repeat the same exercise. Beginners tend to find one routine, which they train for the same duration and the same intensity every time they workout. By repeating the same routine your muscles grow accustomed to the challenge so the routine gets easier. Be sure to mix up your routine by varying the duration and intensity.
Slouch. "Posture affects your mood as well as your performance," says Vindum. Slumping causes you to check out of your workout both mentally and physically. The less you focus during your sweat session, the less you'll receive in the way of benefits. Slouching also keeps you from breathing deeply, which is necessary for delivering the oxygen your muscles need to work at full capacity.