This month many of us will be celebrating Valentine’s Day!
Every year, the American Heart Association celebrates Heart Month to raise awareness about heart disease and heart health.
What you may not know is that martial arts are great for the heart.
In fact, the cardiac benefits of martial arts give a whole new meaning to the idea of cardiovascular fitness.
With that in mind, here are some ways that taking martial arts classes can protect and
strengthen your heart.
Martial Arts Raise the Heart Rate
The first way that martial arts can help the heart is by raising your heart rate when you work
out. The heart is a muscle and it needs to be worked. When you take a martial arts class, your
heart rate is elevated.
The benefit of raising the heart rate is that it oxygenates the blood, and helps promote
calorie burning even after you’re done working out. People of all ages need to keep their
hearts pumping, and martial arts is a great way to do it.
Martial Arts Lower Blood Pressure
Did you know that a high-intensity martial arts workout can help lower your blood pressure?
It’s true. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading contributor to heart disease.
When you work out, your heart becomes stronger – and that means that it can pump blood
more efficiently than it can without exercise. The less effort your heart has to expend on
pumping blood, the lower your blood pressure is.
Martial Arts Lower Cholesterol
LDL cholesterol – the so-called “bad” cholesterol” – is a contributing factor in heart disease.
Regular participation in martial arts helps you lose weight and that decreases the amount of
LDL cholesterol in your blood.
There’s evidence that working out also shrinks the proteins that carry cholesterol through the
bloodstream, making them less dangerous to the heart.
On a related note, regular vigorous exercise – such as the kind you get in a martial arts
workout – helps to increase HDL or “good” cholesterol.
Martial Arts Reduces Stress
One thing that separates martial arts from many other forms of exercise is that it requires
mental stillness combined with physical exertion.
Mental stillness contributes to mindfulness, a practice that can significantly decrease stress
and anxiety in both children and adults.
Considering that there is a direct link between stress and heart health (stress contributes to
high blood pressure and related issues), the fact that participating in martial arts can reduce
stress is a huge benefit for the heart.
Of course, as with any activity that involves physical activity, it is highly recommended you have a complete physical with your doctors approval before enrolling in a martial arts program; particularly if you are over the age of 40.
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Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.
Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense. Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for 5 consecutive years in a row.
Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars
Samurai Karate Studio is also a proud member of MAAB, Martial Artists Against Bullying, a nationwide program made up of martial arts schools throughout the country that are committed to helping children who are victims of bullying. If you or someone you know is being bullied, we are here to help. But, you have to take the first step and either call us at 803-462-9425 or email us at: [email protected]
Bullying is one of the most serious issues we face today and with the right coaching, students can learn how to defeat the bully using non-violent strategies.