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Martial arts for fitness

AFMA students sparring
AFMA students sparring
Kim Myhre

For fitness buffs looking for a great way to work-out, martial arts may be the perfect answer. It addresses the cardio by implementing constant motion. Muscles are toned naturally by using as much force as possible to get off a uniform snapping kick or punch. Since the body is constantly being used in ways that it’s not used to, muscles do tend to become sore, but in no time the body adapts and is able to function through classes with no aches or pains.

As well as exercising the body, the mind is also conditioned through a series of forms, defensive combinations, and the constant concentration to not only learn what must be memorized, but how to do the basic skills being taught. The body must learn how to move, and the mind must get the body to respond properly--at least until muscle memory takes over and the moves become second nature.

So for people wanting a challenging workout that will lead to profuse sweating, muscle toning, and cardiac conditioning, any of the martial arts are a good bet.