My Top 5 Reasons To Try Karate

The benefits of karate are numerous. I am going to focus on my top 5.

1. Health Benefits – Karate is a total body workout. It promotes heart health through high-aerobic exercise and it uses every muscle group in the body helping to improve muscle tone, flexibility, balance and strength.

2.  Self-confidence – Progress in karate is measured with the belt ranking system. The confidence and satisfaction on a student’s face at the end of a karate test is amazing. In that moment the student realizes that she has completed 3- 6 months of practice and perfection of short-term goals. She has increased her confidence in the ability to not only reach goals but to have achieved another level of new physical skills.

3. Stress Relief – According to the Mayo Clinic, “exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being . . . and also has some direct stress-busting benefits.” And the doctors and Harvard Health agree:

“[Exercise] has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress. It’s a common experience among endurance athletes and has been verified in clinical trials that have successfully used exercise to treat anxiety disorders and clinical depression. If athletes and patients can derive psychological benefits from exercise, so can you.”

And don’t stress about how to get exercise into your schedule. Joining a class like karate will help you set a fixed time for working out. And having goals each class will help you keep up your consistency.

4. Self-Defense – Learning karate is also learning self defense skills. Self defense requires anyone who is threatened or under attack to quickly assess a situation and react in the way that will keep them safest. Karate teaches you how to defend yourself physically as well as how to avoid physical confrontations in the first place.

5. Support System – A karate dojo is another family. It is easy to make friends when you have common goals, and work hard together to achieve them. It is even easier in a dojo because students of karate share their fighting spirit. They support one another during class, through tests, and even through trials and tribulations outside of the dojo.

And those are just 5 of the many many reasons to try a class today.

 

Health Benefits of Karate

The health benefits of karate are consistent with most exercise with some very fun differences. For example, generic you get to yell really loudly in karate. You also exercise with other people. You make life-long friends, and you have the built-in goal of testing for higher belts or ranks.  And amidst all the fun are some serious health benefits such as the following.

Heart Health

I am not the official resource on heart health, but I think we can agree that the American Heart Association (AHA) is. Their recommendation includes:

 “All healthy adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most – preferably all – days. All healthy adults (ages 18 to 65) should avoid inactivity and get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week, OR at least 25 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity at least three days a week, for a total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity.”

So, in other words, get moving! But if you find running too boring and walking too slow and you are unmotivated by exercise machines, then it may be time for you to try karate. It is definitely not boring, it certainly is not slow, and motivation comes in many forms including learning new material, learning new Japanese terminology, and of course there is testing for a new rank.

Sleep Health

What is “sleep health?” Well, as the National Sleep Foundation explains, it may not be easily defined as it is a relatively new field of research “exploring how we sleep and the factors that impact it.” However, we do know that sleep is important to humans and a few of the benefits include the following:

  • Cerebral spinal fluid that is pumped through the brain during sleep whisks away any waste products made by brain cells.
  • The heart is relieved of its awake-time work load thereby reducing heart rate as well as blood pressure.
  • During sleep, your body releases growth hormones that work to rebuild muscles and joints.

A study published in the December issue of the Journal Mental Health and Physical Activity found that people sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. That is a mere 2.5 hours a week or 2 and a half Saratoga Karate classes.

Weight Loss

Practicing karate for an hour burns significant calories. Various calories burned charts will differ, however, dependent on your weight, the calories burned through karate can significantly supplement your weight loss efforts:

Weight 130lbs 155lbs 180lbs 205lbs
Calories Burned in Karate 420 570 720 870

To lose one pound within a week you have to burn or cut out about 3,500 calories from your diet. So you can delete about 500 calories a day or you could take a couple of karate classes during the week and not have to eliminate as much food.

 Stronger Immune System

Healthy-living strategies that include exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight increase the function of your immune system. Harvard Health agrees:

“Exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.”

And when your immune system is working well, it can help you avoid illness. So, as most of the country heads into cold and flu season finding ways to strengthen your immune system is important.

Karate has so many benefits. Getting healthy and staying healthy are a couple of the best reasons to try a class today.