Ever noticed that there are just about as many ways to get fit as there are stars in the night sky? Whatever you’re into, it’s a safe bet that there’s some way of moving your body that will feel just right for you, while also giving you the kind of fitness results you’re after.
But while people are quick to jump at fitness trends like CrossFit or P90X, or to sign up for a local yoga class, anything that doesn’t immediately scream “gym” is less likely to register. Although looking into the benefits of kickboxing may not be your first move if you notice your jeans getting a bit tight around the waist, maybe it should be.
Here are some great reasons you should consider signing up for a kickboxing class as soon as possible.
You’ll Work Up a Sweat
This first benefit of doing kickboxing is, of course, that it can really get your lungs working and heart pounding.
A kickboxing class will typically include calmer moments of technique demonstration and fine-tuning, combined with steady aerobic exercise as the techniques are applied, as well as bouts of high-intensity work on pads and bags, for the sake of conditioning and training technique under stress.
The health benefits of this are clear, says the National Institutes of Health. Physical activity is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity, and depression, as well as many other ailments.
According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) may burn significantly more calories than other forms of exercise, and various studies have suggested that HIIT significantly boosts metabolism, for up to 24 hours after training. Kickboxing can, in other words, get you healthy and help you burn fat in a hurry.
Of course, it may be that even with a good kickboxing routine you find some patches of stubborn fat that just don’t seem to want to move. In these cases, you may want to check out the SculpSure® laser treatment, which doesn’t require surgery and permanently reduces the number of fat cells in a treated area in just 25 minutes per session.
You’ll Learn Self-Defense
It may not be a life-changing revelation, but it’s worth noting that learning kickboxing may actually help you to develop your practical self-defense skills.
Although you should never go looking for a fight, it’s an unfortunate reality that the world can be dangerous, particularly for women, and that a fair amount of danger and anxiety can be reduced by training in combat arts.
Kickboxing is straightforward and effective. It gets down to the business of teaching you how to throw quick and powerful strikes at an opponent, and to avoid being hit back. Situational awareness is always your best bet for avoiding danger, but it’s always a good idea to have some tricks up your sleeve just in case. Unlike leading fitness trends, kickboxing can give you a skill set that might save your life.
It’s a Great Stress Release
Have you ever finished a difficult day at the office and just felt like punching something really hard? Maybe you bottled it up and simmered for a while, or maybe you expressed yourself by snapping at your significant other or smashing the TV remote.
Well, one of the benefits of kickboxing is that you get to work that anger, stress, and frustration out on the pads instead of carrying it around with you. It may seem kind of barbaric just to hit things until you calm down, but it really works!
And it’s not just the catharsis of letting your wild side out, either. The workout you’ll get from kickboxing will boost feel-good endorphins, and studies have found that regular exercise can even significantly reduce anxiety disorders.
Some people get a lot of joy out of going to the gym and moving heavy things around, day in and day out, or else running thousands of miles on a treadmill. If you’re one of those people, then more power to you. But for many fitness enthusiasts, conventional workouts can get old, fast.
Kickboxing offers a way of getting fit, where the primary goal isn’t fitness at all, but learning and applying new physical skills. It’s totally possible that you’ll spend an entire kickboxing class being so caught up in learning the skills and having fun, that you practically forget about the element of getting fit. At least, you’ll forget until you realize how sweat-soaked you are at the end.
For exercise to really pay off, it needs to be done consistently, not just every once in a while. For that reason, doing forms of exercise that are fun for you—and that you’re more likely to stick with—may just be the key to your success.