We are now three weeks into the New Year. How are your goals and/or resolutions going? You Gov lists the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Four out of the top five have a big impact on physical health (including exercising, eating healthier and reducing stress). Three of them contribute to a healthy weight. In fact, the third most popular is to actually lose weight. Karate training is not a cure-all for obesity, yet if you have weight loss as a goal, there are many ways that karate helps you lose weight. Here are my top five.
5) Personal Influences on a Healthy Weight
When you get involved in a dojo, you also get role models and peers who are consistently working on growing and improving themselves. Martial arts are physical, so this includes a lot of moving. A martial arts lifestyle will be at least moderately active. To have skill with the techniques, it takes hours of practice, so through the ranks, fitness role models emerge. They can be your positive support group for your healthy weight goals.
4) Karate helps you Lose Weight with Exercise in Class
As stated above, to learn martial arts, you have to move. For most of most classes, your activity will at least be moderate. And at times, it will be a challenging workout that pushes you and improves your stamina. This blog talks about the physical aspects of karate which improve fitness. It’s important to your overall training to attend regular weekly classes. These are one way that karate helps you lose weight in a fun, educational format.
3) Karate helps you Lose Weight with Practice at Home
If you want to learn and perform to the best of your abilities, you will practice whatever it is that you are learning, on your own time. That is true of playing the piano, meditation, hitting baseballs, and training in martial arts. Again, here, the physical aspect of karate helps you lose weight. Traditional karate individual practice as taught is a nice, low to moderate impact exercise. Every little bit helps. Even if you just get up out of your chair to go through your kata a couple times in a day, that helps combat a sedentary lifestyle and improves health.
2) Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight the Okinawa Way
Many fitness leaders claim that weight loss is 20 percent exercise and 80 percent diet. Our elders in Okinawa have a few ways of eating that contribute to a healthy weight. And they have proven to have long, active, healthy lives, possibly more so than anyone in the world. The most obvious contrast between a traditional Okinawan diet and a modern western one is the amount of vegetables. With their old way of eating, Okinawan elders consume about 11 servings per day of vegetables and fruits (mostly vegetables).
Another concept used is hara hachi bu, which means to eat until you feel about 80 percent full. When you feel eight tenths full, you are really about full. It just takes time for your brain to catch up after your stomach communicates with it.
Their healthy traditional diet also has little to no processed sugar, flour or rice. The same is true of artificial ingredients and preservatives. But it does have a lot of tea, whole grains and whole foods, seaweed and a little meat. Plus a couple servings of tofu and a few servings of fish and each week.
1) Karate helps you Lose Weight with Self-Discipline
As with most things that we learn and skills that we acquire, self-discipline can start out weak and improve over the course of training. Like most things, you get out of it what you put into it. That means that the more you work on it and focus on your discipline, the better it gets. And it is largely up to you; that’s the “self” in self-discipline. With regular training, you can prove that your self-discipline in karate helps you lose weight. You don’t have to be a master to use it, though. Beginner students have skillfully applied this karate skill in order to lose weight.
There are many ways to support yourself in attaining or keeping a healthy weight. Healthline has 10 weight loss tips to help you lose weight as quickly as possible. But be careful of the easy to lose, easy to gain principle. It’s better to make gradual lifestyle changes that you continue to apply for a lifetime. (And you can apply these quick tips one at a time, over time, while you make them your new healthy habits.) Dojo involvement and training is a great way to gain the support and discipline you need while karate helps you lose weight.