3 Reasons Martial Arts are Good for Weight Loss
Are martial arts good for losing weight?
Yes and kinda. Regulating body composition tends to roughly follow the Pareto principle. That is 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. Which of course leaves a mere 20% of your results coming from the other 80% of your efforts. Body composition is primarily about calories in and calories out and it takes far less effort to put them in than it does to burn extra calories through exercise. So if you pick up kung fu training or another physical activity in order to lose weight and you do not improve your dietary lifestyle, you are going to have a hard time losing weight.
So why bother with any exercise if 80% of weight loss is going to come from dietary habits?
Three of my favorite reasons:
(1) Exercise staves off loss of muscle mass during periods of caloric deficit (which is needed to lose fat). Muscle mass is needed for looking good naked.
(2) While there is limited causation between exercise and weight loss compared to eating habits and weight loss, there is a correlation between regular exercise and keeping off unwanted fat. While it is not the largest contributing factor to weight loss, persons who exercise regularly tend to do better at keeping weight off versus those that drop weight through dieting alone. Human minds and bodies are evolved for movement, and our highest levels of health come from well rounded approaches.
(3) That remaining 20% of results is the real "Wow" factor in how you look and feel!!
80% is a low 'B.' That is barely out of average. The average American is overweight, broke, and stressed out. Don't expend energy shooting for average.
Perhaps a better question would be: "Is martial arts training as good as or better than other types of exercised for weight loss?"
Yes. Although no two schools have the same offerings, martial arts training tends to bring more well-rounded levels of fitness to its practitioners than activities like running or weight training alone.
If you want to find a martial arts program to compliment a weight loss plan look for classes with the following traits:
-varied intensities throughout
-cardio components (they make you sweat and breathe hard)
-warm-up and recovery considerations
-they are mentally as well as physically engaging
-some strength training is mixed in
-the classes are fun, convenient, and will keep you coming back! (This can be the most important as no exercise program will work if you do not keep at it!)
Remember what Yoda said, "Do or do not, there is no try."
Red Light Wing Chun