Kickboxing is an excellent sport for a full-body workout. Although many compare kickboxing with boxing, studies show that kickboxing is more physically demanding as it requires a higher intensity and pace. Given the strenuous nature of the sport, there are concerns about whether it's suitable for everyone — the most taboo topic being, of course, weight.
Consider these distinctions if you're considering kickboxing as a workout but need clarity. There is a difference between overweight and obesity since they don't have the same impact on your health. The difference depends on your Body Mass Index (BMI), which measures your weight compared to height. The index must be between 25 and 29.9 to be overweight, while it's 30 and above for obesity.
Furthermore, 32% of adults in the US are considered overweight, while more than 40% suffer from obesity. In light of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Medical Association (AMA) recognize obesity as a chronic disease. Treating these conditions with lifestyle changes and physical exercise is crucial. Remember, losing 5% of your body weight may be all you need to reduce the chance of prediabetes getting worse and for other diseases like heart disease and high blood pressure to enter the fold.
With all factors considered, the answer is yes. Kickboxing is a high-intensity interval training that helps against chronic diseases like obesity. However, starting slowly in the early stages is vital, especially if you have been inactive; some cardiovascular conditioning may be required. For those who are obese, it might be helpful to lose a few pounds first through simple exercises, which will help minimize the strain on their joints from kickboxing. On the other hand, those who are overweight can proceed with basic kickboxing movements, but caution is still advised. Remember, the weight loss benefits of kickboxing will come with time - and shouldn't be your main goal when training, either!
As such, here are some of the exciting achievements you can look forward to:
It helps you burn calories Burning calories by kickboxing will get you into great shape. The good news is that kickboxing studios accommodate all levels of fighters. For instance, customized striking bags made of dense foam help reduce the impact of punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. The dampened bags reduce the chance of injury and other discomforts. Moreover, the constant movement burns calories and doubles as fundamental training and technique, leading to mastery of the sport—no matter the number on the weighing scale.
Increases mental health and self-esteem Studies show a link between obesity and depression since both these conditions influence one another. For example, individuals with obesity may develop depressive symptoms while, on the other hand, depression increases the risk of obesity. Spending time with the punching bag is a great way to blow off some steam. Moreover, International Journal of Workplace Health and Management studies show that intense exercise improves people's mood. In effect, you release all the tension, negative feelings, and anxieties.
Improves your sleep quality If you lack sleep and feel tired, a more physical lifestyle will benefit you. This is because research shows a connection between insufficient sleep and chronic diseases like obesity. Both cardio and strength training are proven to improve sleep quality, and kickboxing can help improve your sleep because it is a combination of both. And if that's not enough, the sport includes aerobic and anaerobic exercises that increase your endorphins and reduce stress—increasing your chances of a good night's rest.
photo courtesy of https://www.instagram.com/cottonbro
After considering the life-changing benefits of kickboxing, do consider giving it a try. Of course, consult your doctor if you plan to increase your physical activity levels to prepare a sustainable approach.
Written by Scarlett Murphy