Most people, whether they practice martial arts or not, know that learning a combat sport does wonders for the body and mind.
Two of the most well-known benefits are weight loss and improved personal discipline, but some other rewards are just as important.
Here are five lesser-known benefits that come with training in martial arts.
#1 More Energy
Since practicing martial arts raises your heart rate and blood oxygen levels, your body will release more endorphins. That doesn’t just make you feel good – it also gives you more energy.
When you increase your energy levels, you’ll be more efficient at home and work. Even after a long day, you’ll have the vigor to hit the gym for another training session.
With more energy, you can train as hard as ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen.
#2 Stronger Immune System
With more of those cellular warriors floating around in your body, you’ll do a better job of fighting off bacterial and viral infections. This means martial arts can help protect you from COVID-19.
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#3 Lower Stress Levels
Stress – whether physical, emotional, or intellectual – can really hinder your daily performance. It causes the body to produce too much cortisol, which can lead to health issues down the road.
If you practice martial arts, however, you’ll lower your stress levels, which in turn brings your cortisol levels down to a healthy range.
This is one of the reasons why ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera can juggle the responsibilities of being the divisional king, a movie star, and a soon-to-be dad – all while wearing a smile.
#4 Better Sleep
There’s no doubt that sleep improves your martial arts game. However, training in martial arts can also help you get a better night’s sleep.
The rigorous activity you put your body through in a session increases your melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating your sleep patterns.
This means the more you train, the better sleep you’ll get, which is important for your overall health.
#5 Change In Thinking
Martial arts also create a shift in your mindset. Training regularly in a positive environment with like-minded people will improve your outlook on life.
The ways you view school, work, or family might even change completely. And with a more positive outlook on these areas of your life, you’re less likely to develop depression or anxiety.
You’ll also improve your memory and brain function, which quite literally changes the way you think.
Perhaps this is why ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet “JT” Todd is so adamant about practicing mental affirmations.