The art that keeps you fit

Martial arts are hot, but it is not self defense that’s the big draw now–it’s the fitness pay off.

A recent study at ADELPHI University found that ‘Karate’ is linked to improved cardiovascular health, stressing the heart and building strength, besides several mental benefits, and help improve ones confidence.

Practicing in ‘karate’ improves discipline and mental toughness. Most self defense disciplines involve constant movements_ consecutive kicks, punches, grappling  which is the key to heart and lung conditioning. And the more vigrous the moves, the more calories are burned upto 1000 an hour, one ‘ Karate’ instructor estimates.

The Arts also build flexibility, stability, and coordination besides strength for a well rounded work out, but in different ways. It is also seen that regular work-outs lowers blood pressure, maintain heart rate, and focuses on mental concentration. In ‘JUDO’ You push a partner around a lot.

That steady resistance builds strength, and flexibility in legs and arms. In ‘ JUJITSU’ adds hand to hand combat, giving more emphasis to the upper body, and extremely effective for self-defense. ‘KARATE’ involves more striking, less grappling, so it builds tight muscles and quick responses.

Its other fitness benefits, both aerobic and anaerobic improve flexibility and give good lower -body strength from walking while sinking and rising. ‘TAE KWON DO’ is similar to karate, but with more kicking, making it great for a leg work out, besides increases strength, stamina, flexibility, agility, and reflexes. ‘AKIDIO’ is a modern japanese martial art, with its graceful falling and rolling, is top for building balance and agility. AIKIDO’ Practice helps to focus on present tasks and can improve memory and coordination.

All martial arts, and exercises help maintain firm legs, thinner middle and a strong heart, besides getting ones ears into shape. In a study at Miami University in Ohio, subjects who participated in 30 minutes of vigrous exercise two or three times a week found that their hearing actually improved.

So for youngsters it is high time to get healthier, stronger, faster with adopting Martial arts. Children can also improve their abilities to concentrate and focus on activities. They can better their motor skills and self confidence. Martial arts can be fun and beneficial at any stage.

 (The writer is president J&K Thangtha Martial Art Games)