Juggling the mounds of responsibilities and deadlines that we all deal with daily, the struggle to maintain energy levels has become a universal challenge. The daily grind can leave us feeling physically drained and mentally fatigued, as we balance work, family, and other activities. It’s no wonder that many of us need an achievable solution to reinvigorate our bodies, minds, and emotions. If you’re seeking a comprehensive approach to achieve these goals, look no further than martial arts.
Martial arts are often stereotyped as simply just an outlet for self-defense, but beneath its surface lies a wealth of advantages that extend far beyond the realm of physicality. Beyond the power of its strikes, martial arts offer a natural path to revitalizing your energy levels, nurturing your cognitive well-being, and anchoring your emotions in stability. Martial arts can serve as a transformative force, providing you with the tools to thrive in our modern, hectic, and sometimes overwhelming world.
Blending the timeless wisdom of martial arts with the quest for a balanced and energized life is not as difficult as you may think. This is why we at Achieve Martial Arts developed a revolutionary, online training platform where you can access your private instruction on your favorite device and it’s just a click away. The instructors at Achieve Martial Arts strongly believe in making personal, private instruction available for anyone seeking to reap its benefits.
Let’s uncover the hidden facets of how martial arts can empower you to not only survive but thrive amidst the challenges of our fast-paced (and sometimes overwhelming) world.
Building a Strong Mind
It’s probably not a surprise that physical activity is a great source of stress relief.
Even more so, martial arts are an excellent way to reduce anxiety and stress – not only because of their inherent nature (punches and kicks on a bag are a great way to take out frustrations!) but also because it is a physical activity where you can control the intensity.
Science has shown that physical activity reduces stress by reducing levels of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline (Healthline, 2023). In other words, exercise doesn’t just help you handle stress — it may help prevent stress in the first place.
A 2015 study in a sample of sedentary young men found that those who completed 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise were much more resilient to an acute stressor than those who did not exercise (Healthline, 2023). Therefore, those who exercise may be able to better deal with common stressors, and this could improve their overall quality of life.
Can it be assumed then that those who exercise are more resilient, both to physical ailments and to mental stressors?
Well, those who train in martial arts are absolutely more resilient – specifically to stressors. Martial arts require focus and discipline, which can help individuals develop mental resilience and the ability to stay calm under pressure. This can be particularly beneficial for those working in high-stress environments (Gluche, 2022). Martial arts are a comprehensive mind-body workout, and building a strong physique is just part of the bigger picture. Martial arts not only boost physical fitness and create focus and discipline, but they also build confidence and enhance problem solving skills which are essential.
The capacity to make rapid decisions under pressure, a skill that is stressed in self-defense scenarios, seamlessly carries over to our daily lives. Learning to adjust and adapt to challenges and mastering the art of critical thinking is another fundamental aspect of martial arts training.
It’s also important to note that the importance of mental stimulation cannot be discounted: in fact, it has been proven to be vital especially during the aging process. Cognitive decline is a concern as we age, and scientists have researched different ways that we can prevent and work against some of these natural aging processes.
One study involved more than 2,800 adults 65 and older. Participants took part in up to 10 hour-long brain-training sessions for 5 to 6 weeks. The sessions focused on tactics for these skills:
- Speed of processing information
People who took the training showed improvement in these skills that lasted for at least 5 years. They also improved at everyday tasks, such as the ability to manage money (WebMD, 2022).
Martial arts are an excellent resource to “train your brain” – repetition during practice is fantastic to build memory and elevate your cognitive reasoning skills. People who regularly challenge their minds may spend a shorter part of their lives in a state of cognitive decline and are less likely to become victims of diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia (WebMD, 2022).
Physical Benefits of Martial Arts
One of the most notable advantages of elevating your physical activity while engaging in something like martial arts is the ability to invigorate your energy levels.
While exercising may seem fairly simple on the surface, a complex chemical reaction occurs inside your body each time you go for a run, hit the gym, or participate in any other physical activity like martial arts (Healthline, 2023). As you begin exercising, depending on the intensity, several important chemical messengers called neurotransmitters are released throughout your nervous system. Perhaps the most common neurotransmitters people think of in relation to exercise are endorphins. Endorphins block pain and increase sensations of pleasure, and exercise increases these endorphin levels (Healthline, 2023).
Another impactful exercise-related neurotransmitter is dopamine. Dopamine plays another important role in how you feel pleasure. It’s also responsible for other processes in your body, such as regulating heart rate, mood, attention, motivation, working memory, learning, and pain processing (Healthline, 2023).
These chemical reactions play an important role in your exercise routine and give you that boost you need to keep going! This energy is the feeling you get once you start working out – it’s what keeps you going physically and keeps your attitude positive as you’re going. Some refer to it as “exercise-induced euphoria.”
But let’s not forget the importance of a good night’s sleep, too!
One commonly overlooked factor in maintaining physical health is how well you sleep at night, and increasing your physical activity with martial arts helps here, too.
Although several factors can affect your sleep quality, your level of physical activity appears to be particularly influential. A 2017 review of 34 studies concluded that exercise could improve sleep efficiency and duration (Healthline, 2023). What’s more, exercise may improve sleep onset latency, or the time it takes you to fall asleep.
Therefore, if you have difficulty getting enough quality sleep, incorporating regular exercise — like martial arts — may provide great benefits (Healthline, 2023).
It is abundantly clear that martial arts hold the key to unlocking energy and well-being in our modern lives. The physical benefits alone, from improved strength and flexibility to heightened cardiovascular health, are invaluable sources of energy. But martial arts offer so much more than that. They are a sanctuary of stress reduction, a space where the demands of the outside world fade into insignificance, and the mind finds tranquility.
The release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood enhancers, further elevates our spirits and infuses us with enduring vitality. This unique combination of physical exertion and mental harmony is a potent recipe for reducing stress, revitalizing our energy levels, and fortifying our overall well-being.
Moreover, martial arts equip us with the tools to navigate life’s challenges with resilience and emotional stability. The emotional benefits extend beyond the dojo, empowering us to maintain composure in the face of adversity.
Martial arts are a dynamic and comprehensive means of maximizing our energy levels, reducing stress, and enriching our lives in a myriad of ways. By embracing them, we embrace a path to balanced vitality, mental clarity, and emotional resilience. Let this ancient wisdom guide you on your journey to a more energetic, centered, and empowered life.
Gluche, D. (2022). Martial Arts Training Can Be an Excellent Way to Improve Your Resilience and Overall Well-Being. Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@daniel_stories/martial-arts-training-can-be-an-excellent-way-to-improve-your-resilience-and-overall-well-being-51737c6eb60
Healthline. (2023). Exercise and the Brain: The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/exercise
WebMD. (2022). Brain Exercises and Dementia. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/preventing-dementia-brain