Kickboxing is a sport that originated in Far East Asia and became popular in the United States in the 1970s. While one of the main aims of learning this sport is self-defense, it has a lot of other benefits and is now even being advocated as a fitness favorite. It involves a lot of kicks and punches that make it a full-body workout with a combination of exercises and free-form fighting moves.
Here are 5 great benefits of including kickboxing in your fitness routine.
1. Improves Heart Health
A study conducted by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) confirms that kickboxing is great for maintaining cardiovascular fitness. Participants in the study showed heart rates between 75–85% of the maximum, which is within the recommended 65–85% range for cardio (or aerobic) exercise. Kickboxing improves cardiovascular health as it provides a full-body workout and allows you to sweat out toxins. The only word of caution by the ACE is that since this sport can cause muscle injury, it’s important to practice it under a certified instructor.1
2. Enhances Muscle Strength And Coordination
The quick punches and kicks that are an integral part of kickboxing help you focus your energy on each movement, improving your reflexes and coordination as well. A study conducted on a group of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (a condition in which the immune system eats away the protective covering of nerves, resulting in coordinating difficulty) who were trained in kickboxing showed that group kickboxing activities may help such people lead a better life due to improved balance and mobility.3
id="3-reduces-stress-and-makes-you-positive">3. Reduces Stress And Makes You Positive
While training in kickboxing, the innumerable high-energy kicks and punches you throw can help you let go of any built-up anger and stress.4 If you’re stressed out because of a certain someone, you could even imagine punching that person for a feel-good factor! Regular kickboxing practice may even help you focus less of your energy on stress and stay calm.
Besides getting rid of stress, it also makes those who practice it regularly more positive and happy.5 A study conducted on the inclusion of kickboxing in university physical education found that this sport not only improves body functions but also creates an interest in exercise, makes the class atmosphere active, and also aids in improving happiness.6
4. Aids In Weight Loss
If you have tried several avenues for weight loss and failed, it is perhaps time you took to kickboxing. This sport is a form of cardio (or aerobic) exercise that also includes strength training components, making it extremely useful for quick weight loss. About an hour of kickboxing burns 350–450 calories and reduces the excess fat in the body.7 This is because the sport is a high-intensity workout that improves metabolism and helps you tone your body.
id="5-helps-in-self-defense">5. Helps In Self-Defense
Defending yourself in a dangerous situation is all about fast reflexes. And kickboxing is perfect for this as it teaches you how to throw powerful punches and kicks quickly while aiming correctly. The best part is that you get to do this while having tons of fun!
So, if you aren’t already indulging in this high-intensity sport, start now to gain all these amazing benefits.
|↑1||Heart, Brisk Walking Reduces. “Cardio Kickboxing Benefits Confirmed.”|
|↑2||Ouergui, Ibrahim, Nizar Hssin, Monoem Haddad, Johnny Padulo, Emerson Franchini, Nabil Gmada, and Ezzedine Bouhlel. “The effects of five weeks of kickboxing training on physical fitness.” Muscles, ligaments and tendons journal 4, no. 2 (2014): 106.|
|↑3||Jackson, Kurt, Kimberly Edginton-Bigelow, Christina Cooper, and Harold Merriman. “A group kickboxing program for balance, mobility, and quality of life in individuals with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study.” Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy 36, no. 3 (2012): 131-137.|
|↑4||Ritschel, John. The kickboxing handbook. The Rosen Publishing Group, 2008.|
|↑5||Cave, Eddie. Kick Boxing. New Holland Publishers. 2001.|
|↑6||Jingxin, Feng Yu Shi. “Primary Study on the Feasibility about Setting Kickboxing Aerobics in the University Physical Education.” Journal of Haerbing Physical Education Institute 1 (2005): 019.|
|↑7||Kumaresan, C., and S. Alagesan. “Journal of Recent Research and Applied Studies.”|