Martial Arts and Stress Relief

Martial Arts and Stress Relief

Creating wellness through martial arts can have a number of benefits in your life. There are obviously the weight management, cardio, and self-defense benefits, which I specialize in. However there are a number of other benefits that you may not even realize that you will be receiving along the way.

Stress relief is an extremely powerful benefit of martial arts. Long and short term stress can have a number of detrimental effects including:

  • heart disease or attack
  • stroke
  • lowered immunity
  • weight gain
  • mood swings
  • short temper
  • trouble sleeping
  • anxiety
  • trouble focusing
  • poor memory
  • lack of energy
  • feelings of lethargy
  • depression

And the list goes on!!

One of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day is to strap on the gloves and go to town on my heavy bag for a good 20-30 minutes. I get a great workout, while at the same time easing my mind of the troubles of the day. Or maybe if I need a more soothing method, I run through a few of my forms and routines in a slow and controlled manner that calms my mind, helping me re-focus.

Exercise in general has been known to have several stress reducing effects including increased blood flow to the brain, released endorphins to elevate mood, and the removal of chemical waste that your body produces that clutter up your body and mind (these same natural wastes can also be linked to body fat storage/loss). When practicing martial arts, you generally develop a greater focus and calm of mind while training. These increases in discipline are generally correlated with decreases in stress. Which occurs first? It’s honestly hard to say. I mentioned clearing out the junk waste in your brain and body, which can also help you focus better. On the other hand, training yourself to focus, slow your breathing, and calm your mind are common techniques for stress management. No matter which is the initial cause and which is the effect, these two events have an increasing effect on each other, occurring in your brain at the same time, have a compounding effect on your overall ability to control your stress.

You will find that the stress relieving effects of martial arts exercises are not only uplifting, they are also addictive! The hardest part of your training is the beginning, and after that you will soon be craving it. While you may not notice it immediately, you will start feeling better very quickly. After a week or two, (or maybe even less) you should begin feeling the effects of decreased stress, increased focus, and higher energy. Now just think how your life can be different once you get yourself training, and say goodbye to the day’s stress. I’ll be back soon with some basic routines and exercises to help you get started in your first free online martial arts lesson.

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