Valentine’s Day has passed, but it’s still important to take care of your heart! 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 training of all types is great for your heart health! In fact, the cardiac benefits of martial arts gives a whole new meaning to the idea of cardiovascular fitness.
With that in mind, here are some ways that taking a martial arts class can protect and strengthen your heart:
Martial Arts Training Raises the Heart Rate
The first way that martial arts training 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.
Martial Arts Training Lowers 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 exercises. The less effort your heart has to expand on pumping blood, the lower your blood pressure is.
Martial Arts Training Lowers Cholesterol
LDL cholesterol – the so-called “bad” cholesterol – is a contributing factor in heart disease. Regular participation in martial arts classes 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 exercises – such as the kind you get in a martial arts workout 😉 – helps increase HDL or “good” cholesterol.
Martial Arts Training Reduces Stress
One thing that seperates martial arts training 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 classes can reduce stress is a huge benefit for the heart
In addition to the benefits already mentioned, martial arts training helps to improve discipline, build muscle coordination, and increase self-confidence.
This month, why not give your heart a boost by adding martial arts to your workout routine?