Whether you’ve made the decision to practice a grappling style such as jujitsu or a striking style such as taekwondo, martial arts are a good way to help you lose those extra pounds. Martial arts classes offer a great aerobic workout due to the constant movement involved, helping to strengthen your heart and lose that collected body fat.
Get on the scale and write down your starting weight. If you have access to a body fat calculator, write that number down as well. If your goal is to lose weight through martial arts, it’s important to develop a baseline so you can monitor your progress. Talk to your doctor and set a goal weight for yourself.
Monitor your progress by weighing yourself every two weeks or so, since it can get nerve-wracking weighing yourself every day. In between those weigh-ins, keep an eye on how your clothes fit, since this can be an indicator of whether you’re gaining or losing weight. Chances are, in no time, you will notice a little less of yourself when you look in the mirror.
Dedicate yourself to your training. Without a commitment on your part, nothing will help you shed those extra pounds. If you commit to attending martial arts classes several times a week, you will see your body rapidly change. According to the Harvard University School of Public Health, a fairly healthy adult should try to exercise for at least two and a half hours a week, so three martial arts classes every week will fill the bill. Of course, once the karate bug bites you, you may find yourself attending classes every day!
Make small, healthy changes to your lifestyle. In order to lose a pound of body fat, you need to burn about 3,500 calories. The Mayo Clinic reports that an average taekwondo class burns about 730 classes. While the classes will help you get stronger and take off the pounds, you can lose weight much more quickly by making some small changes to your everyday lifestyle. For example, put down the sugary sodas and forego that extra value meal at your favorite fast food restaurant. Instead, eat a piece of fruit and drink some water. Small changes like these, coupled with a fun, yet challenging, martial arts workout, will have the weight falling off in no time.
Stay motivated by watching other students. While it can be daunting walking into a martial arts class for the first time and seeing all those advanced students practicing, in a few weeks you may find yourself looking forward to your next workout. In most martial arts classes you will find higher-ranking students eager to help beginners learn the ropes. Classes are designed to be both a hard workout and a fun experience, so just go and have a good time.