When’s the last time you thought about the health of your heart? Do you wonder what that double w/cheese is doing to you as you snarf it down?
You can do better, man and you know it.
Look, I’m not gonna sit here and tell you how to eat. I can but, you’re grown, you know what you’re stuffing your face with AND there are much better people at telling you how to eat than I.
What I will tell you is how Martial Arts, (specifically Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) has kept my health in check, heart rate low, AND how I eat that burger without the possible guilt trip.
There are NO two ways about it. Cardio SUUUUCKS! So, How do I make it suck less?
You HAVE to have some kind of cardio workout, guys. And, a burnout set on the bench press doesn’t count. I’m talking about finding your limit without finding your max and really getting into shape
In order to have a healthy muscle, you MUST work it. You can be a monster on the squat rack but, if you’ve never done a set with your heart, you have a GIANT weakness. No matter how fantastic you look, your heart needs more attention than your bis and tris. So, yeah. Running sucks. What else can you do?
Martial arts is great for the heart. In fact, the benefits of martial arts and training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, give a whole new meaning to the idea of cardiovascular fitness.
With that in mind, here are some ways that taking martial arts classes can protect, strengthen your heart and make that cardiovascular workout not suck AT ALL!
Martial Arts Raise the Heart Rate
The first way that martial arts can help the heart is by raising your heart rate when you work out. The heart is a muscle and it needs to be worked. When you take a martial arts class, your heart rate is elevated. The benefit of raising the heart rate is that it oxygenates the blood, and helps promote calorie burning even after you’re done working out. People of all ages need to keep their hearts pumping, and martial arts is a great way to do it. Look, When you train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you are able to MAX out your heart rate, be drenched in sweat and, for some damn reason, have a huge smile on your face.
Martial Arts Lower Blood Pressure
This is HUUUGE! You’re stressed. As an adult, it’s few and far between that you’re stress-free. So, getting an hour to yourself to clear your head can be worth MILLIONS! Did you know that a high-intensity martial arts workout like BJJ can help lower your blood pressure? It’s true. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading contributor to heart disease. When you work out, your heart becomes stronger – and that means that it can pump blood more efficiently than it can without exercise. The less effort your heart has to expend on pumping blood, the lower your blood pressure is. Consistent training will produce the best results so, make sure you get with your coach on how many times you should be training a week! Less stress = longer life.
Martial Arts Lowers Cholesterol
LDL cholesterol– the so-called “bad” cholesterol” – is a contributing factor in heart disease. Regular participation in martial arts helps you lose weight and that decreases the amount of LDL cholesterol in your blood. There’s evidence that working out also shrinks the proteins that carry cholesterol through the bloodstream, making them less dangerous to the heart. On a related note, regular vigorous exercise – such as the kind you get in a jiu jitsu workout – helps to increase HDL or “good” cholesterol. Not from magic or anything but, the more you train, the more you’ll make healthy changes to your diet that promote healthy HDL levels. We have see this time and time again and produced some really staggering weight loss stories!
Martial Arts Reduces Stress and Anxiety
One thing that separates martial arts from many other forms of exercise is that it requires mental stillness and awareness combined with physical exertion. You must be aware when training Jiu-Jitsu otherwise, you’ll miss the keys to complete the right techniques! This contributes to mindfulness, a practice that can significantly decrease stress and anxiety in both children and adults. Considering that there is a direct link between stress and heart health (stress contributes to high blood pressure and related issues), the fact that participating in martial arts can reduce stress is a huge benefit for the heart. The hours after I have an amazing jiu-jitsu class are some of the BEST! The hormones and “feel good” endorphins are flooding my system and I feel calm, happy and ready for more.
In addition to the benefits already mentioned, martial arts training also helps to improve discipline, build muscle coordination, and increase self-confidence. This month, why not give your heart a boost by adding martial arts to your workout routine?
If you’re an adult, just fill out your information below and we’ll get you started on your way to a healthy heart and a clear, stress-free mind.