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Can practising martial arts help you lose weight?

Martial arts involve a lot of cardiovascular activity burning an impressive number of 600-2000 calories per day.

Written by Tania Tarafdar |Updated : February 28, 2015 11:40 PM IST

Try martial arts to lose weight

Seeing someone practise martial arts is a fantastic treat. We specially love to see a bare hand slice through the air to chop a wooden board in movies. People have several reasons for getting involved in martial arts. While some do it because they want to learn a skill, others do it to remain physically fit or lose weight. Well-known martial arts expert Anmol Londhe tells us how martial arts and mixed martial arts (MMA) training may help to meet your weight loss goals.

What are martial arts?

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The word 'martial' has derived its name from Mars, who was the Roman God of war. The term martial arts refer to all the various systems of training for combat that have been arranged or systematized. Generally, these different systems or styles are all designed for one purpose that is physically defeating opponents and defending against threats. In fact, martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practices which are practised for a variety of reasons like self-defence, competition, physical health and fitness, entertainment, as well as mental, physical, and spiritual development.

How do they help in weight loss?

Calorie burn is an important factor in any weight loss effort. Martial arts involve a lot of cardiovascular activities, which is great for your heart and also helps you burn calories. Depending on the intensity of the activity you can burn anything between 500 and 2000 calories in a day!

Which form of martial arts best works for weight loss?

MMA that is mixed martial arts is great for burning calories. Its training includes all forms of martial arts in different phases. Majority of this art is a combination of five of most explosive martial arts including boxing, wrestling, muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo. It involves a lot of strength training and cardiovascular workout that burns a lot of calories. These workouts not only helps your body burn calories while you're working out, but also stimulates the body to burn more calories for hours later.

Should it be practised daily?

It varies from person to person and from sport to sport. For example, a pro practises for 6-7 hours per day, 6 days a week. A common man or woman who aims to stay fit should practise 2 hours a day for 3 days per week. They can do some cardio or functional training on the other 3 days. For weight loss, one should stick to cardio for three alternate days.

Can everyone do martial arts?

This sport is so vast that it has something for everyone, from a small kid to a 90-year-old. Although, there will be differences in the intensity and time spent but everybody can do it. Also, there is no specific body type for practising martial arts. In fact, when you start practising and continue it for some time, your body will get tougher. Anyone's who's suffered a chronic injury should check with a physician before taking up any regime.

What are the other benefits of practising martial arts?

Self confidence is the major primary benefit. I have seen and experienced it myself. Other than that it helps in maintaining a healthy heart rate. It also keeps your immune system strong. Regular practise of this art increases the metabolism rate of the body. It keeps your organs and skin well nourished. It is also shown to increase your lung capacity. Due to heavy perspiration, the liver too stays fit. Regular physical activity can help maintains normal body mass index or BMI.

Image source: Getty Images

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