Even if you’re running regularly, you still need to squeeze in some variation in your fitness routine a couple of times in the week to make sure your fitness is not lopsided. Anything from full-blown weight workouts at the gym to shorts bursts of exercises such as a cycle or swimming can be useful for targeting different cores of your body.
The advantages of cross-training are that these alternative workouts help relax the muscles that are overused during running, improve overall fitness, help towards faster recovery, and provide a good break without letting you slack off.
Kickboxing, aside from giving you a basic knowledge of self-defence is great for working on your reflexes as well as lower body movement. It’s becoming one of the most popular exercises these days as people are willing to give the less conventional a try. We give you 5 reasons why you as a runner should include kickboxing in your workouts.
First off – in an hour of kickboxing you lose an easy 350 (to sometimes 450) calories. If that isn’t great news, we don’t know what is.
There is a wide spectrum of movements that are used in kickboxing. From your shoulders, to arms, to legs, hips, butt and feet, kickboxing as a workout incorporates every limb of your body. This engages your core muscles, arms muscles, and thigh muscles, leading you to get a very strong core over time.
This is not just a great fat-burning workout but it does that brilliantly. Kickboxing requires constant movement and a wide range of motion that’s expected due to the high amount of punches, kicks, ducking and blocking involved. At the same time it requires you to engage these crucial muscles to make the most impact. This makes it an intense cardiovascular activity and yet, it helps you strengthen those muscles as well. Ask any fitness freak, and they’ll tell you it doesn’t get better than this combination.
The weather certainly doesn’t affect your workout if you take up kickboxing. Since most studios or classes will be held indoors, it’s impossible to have them affected by the weather patterns (winter, rain, sleet). Even outdoor classes often set up a roof, to make sure you are working out. Secondly it can also complement the days when you can indeed run outside, by giving you the right explosive energy and improving your range of motion.
Kickboxing is a social activity, since you do need a qualified trainer who knows how to get you started and keep you motivated. And eventually you will also get to spar with another trainee. It’s a great environment to be in since everyone else is equally charged and loaded with endorphins, and the camaraderie often has a positive ripple effect on the rest of your life.
Like we just mentioned, kickboxing leads to an endorphin release, which has the ability to immediately improve your mood and give you a sense of well being. And it’s not just fleeting, as endorphin release is known to have a positive impact for many hours, and can make you feel relaxed in the face of pressure or stress.
And with that we rest our case about how great kickboxing is! It’s not just about building muscles or increasing your fighting power, this martial art is truly versatile when it comes to its benefits.
Main image: demandstudios.com