Kickboxing to Lose Weight

We know for a fact that to get into shape, an important thing to do is to get up, work out, and keep moving. But aside from weight loss, exercise has also been shown to help improve prevent certain diseases and improve the overall condition of the body. Many are the methods of exercising. And just recently, another sport has emerged to become the newest weight loss craze in town–kickboxing.

Kickboxing may be a form of leisure, sport, or part of a weight loss program. But it seems that the latter should be the most common reason of engaging in this field for kickboxing necessitates a total body workout which is a great fat-burning and muscle-building technique. A more popular form that is practiced by many people around the world is cardio or aerobic kickboxing.

What is Cardio Kickboxing?

Kickboxing has gone through many changes since it dawned in America in the 1970s. The sport was basically born due to the banning of full contact kicks and punches on martial art competitions. Eventually, it was combined with aerobics to produce cardio kickboxing, an overall cardiovascular workout minus the physical contact among participants that aims to promote fitness and physical conditioning.

This intense, aerobic workout usually lasts for an average of 1 hour and begins with a 10-minute warm up exercises that may include stretching, crunches, and push ups. This phase is crucial before a person begins with the punching proper as warming up helps stretch and relaxes muscles making them more flexible, especially large muscle groups of the thighs, legs, shoulder, back, and neck to prevent injury. Stretching also increases the body’s range of movement as well as preventing muscle stiffness saving you from post-exercise body pains.

Following this is a 45-minute kickboxing session. This may include a series of full-intensity kicks, punching, hand strikes, knee strikes, and other defense moves. Punching bags and gloves may sometimes be used depending on the instructor or the program. After this, the person or participant should cool down to help the body adjust from the workout. The entire workout burns an average of 350 to 450 calories, but depending on the effort you are exerting during a session this may rise up to 800 to 1000 calories per hour.

Benefits of Cardio Kickboxing

Like any exercise programs, the primary objective of cardio kickboxing is to achieve a healthy physique. It improves fitness in three areas: stamina, muscle fitness, and flexibility.

Stamina or the ability of the heart to deliver oxygen efficiently to the body’s cells is enhanced by any regular aerobic exercise. Because the muscles need more oxygen and glucose for energy, the heart rate also increases to pump more blood to the muscles. This improves the efficiency of the heart, lungs, and muscles. Kicks and punches will also improve muscle strength and endurance, as well as precision and muscle coordination. Weight loss comes as a “side effect” from the overall activity that requires the burning of calories for the energy needs of the muscles being used.

Cardio kickboxing may also have an impact on releasing stress. Psychologically speaking, the act of throwing punches and kicks is said to help alleviate a person’s stress level and fatigue. A stunt taught in kickboxing is also one way of learning martial arts that can be used as a defense method that can be translated in real situations.

Tips

1. Before starting a cardio kickboxing program, see to it that you have consulted your physician regarding this. Certain medical conditions may not be allowed to practice such as it may do more harm than good for the body.

2. Look for a properly-trained and certified kickboxing instructor. When done properly, kickboxing should yield health benefits instead of harm. A qualified instructor or coach should teach you the proper techniques to prevent injury to the muscles especially for beginners.

3. A warm up forms an important part of an exercise routine. Hence, this should always be taken seriously. Stretching in the form of jumping jacks is one good way of warming up.

4. Beginners should begin with the fundamental moves. Proper execution and body alignment is always the key to a successful program. For starters, avoid premature high kicks especially when you have little or no experience at all. Do not overstretch and extend your muscles only as high as you can without getting hurt. If you are using fitness DVDs or tapes, pay special attention to the instructions given all through out the episode.

5. Remember to breathe properly, exhaling as you kick and inhaling as you retract your muscles. Keep breathing or take shallow breaths. Do not hold your breath as you run the risk of spiking your blood pressure and you’ll become dizzy and may suffer serious consequences.

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