There’s no doubt that kickboxing burns calories. You can burn as many as 450 calories in a single hour with kickboxing – and more if you add in some high-intensity intervals. Plus, it’s a whole body workout. Kickboxing works your legs while punching works your upper body, especially your arms, and builds muscle endurance. Moves like roundhouse kicks work your core muscles, and kickboxing keeps your abdominal muscles constantly engaged. Kickboxing also builds endurance and stamina – but there are other benefits of kickboxing you may not have considered. Here are some other reasons to add kickboxing to your fitness routine.
Kickboxing Has Mental Benefits
Aerobic exercise like running stimulates the release of feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins that ease stress – but a vigorous kickboxing workout does the same thing. Kicking and punching is a way to relieve pent-up frustrations and ease stress. It lets you act out your frustrations in a safe environment. What better way to let go of the exasperations and irritations you’ve built up over the day than by kicking and punching?
Kickboxing workouts fuse the benefits of boxing, aerobics and martial arts into a single workout. You’ll learn how to kick and punch with confidence and how to react quickly in a real-life situation if the need arises. The moves you learn may come in handy one day when you’re trying to ward off an attacker. Knowing that you’re capable of defending yourself builds self-esteem and helps you feel more confident in your ability to protect yourself.
Kickboxing Improves Balance
Kickboxing combines a number of different elements that are important for developing balance. The rapid head and body movements challenge your vestibular system and visual system that are important for balance and the kicks force you to balance for periods of time on one leg. Research in patients with multiple sclerosis shows kickboxing is an effective form of exercise for improving balance. That’s a good thing since balance worsens with age in all adults. Workouts like kickboxing offer a balance challenge combined with a dynamic workout that has other benefits as well.
Health Benefits of Kickboxing: Kickboxing is a Good Way to Vary Your Workout
The key to continuing to get results is to vary the types of workouts you do. You can’t do the same thing every day and expect to see continued change. Kickboxing combines moves that target all muscle groups while building stamina and endurance at the same time. With kickboxing, you get a whole body workout that builds muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness in a single workout.
When you’re short on time, you can fit in a good workout with 15 minutes of high-intensity kickboxing and get on with your day. Just keep a kickboxing DVD in the DVD player ready to fire up. It’s another way to challenge your body in a different way and keep your workouts from becoming stale. To make it even more fun, grab a pair of boxing gloves before doing a kickboxing workout.
The Bottom Line?
Kickboxing is a high-energy workout that challenges every muscle in your body while building muscle endurance and stamina. It also can work wonders for your balance. Don’t forget it’s a great stress reliever and self-esteem builder too. Plus, you’ll feel more empowered after a workout! Whether you’re looking for a way to shake up your fitness routine or workout to do when you’re short on time, kickboxing fits the bill.
J Neurol Phys Ther. 2012 Sep;36(3):131-7.