KickHouse’s national program director Gwen Dannenbaum shares her top three benefits of kickboxing and why people should incorporate the activity into their lifestyle.
Gwen is a degreed fitness professional with over 20 years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. She has over 10 years experience instructing Kickboxing and Muay Thai group classes with a focus on acquiring and retaining a large base of students.
1. Kickboxing is great for your mental health and chemical brain balance
Nothing quite compares to physically punching out those negative emotions one might be experiencing like a kickboxing workout! These workouts provide sustained cardiovascular activity, which not only relieves stress, studies have also shown that it can also diminish feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger. Physical exercise enhances feelings of wellness and positively effects one’s mood. In high-intensity activity like kickboxing, all those feel-good chemicals and hormones like endorphins and dopamine are released. Feelings of euphoria during and after exercise are a result of the many chemical reactions within the human body which result in different physical and mental feelings.
Here are just a few of the hormones and chemicals that are released when you kickbox. Endorphins are released by your pituitary gland and are associated with feelings of happiness and exhilaration and can block any feelings of pain, so you can sustain the discomfort of tougher workout sessions. That’s why some of us become drawn to strenuous forms of exercises and feel a huge endorphin rush. Dopamine is a pleasure chemical. Kickboxing can create a dopamine response which provides a little boost to the system of the brain that helps you anticipate pleasure, maintain motivation, and remain hopeful for the future. Consistent exercise can both relieve depression and bring happiness to your life. Engaging in consistent exercise also helps balance your body’s level of stress hormones, such as adrenaline. Adrenaline plays a crucial role in your fight-or-flight response, but too much of it can be damaging to your health. Serotonin is also another chemical that is boosted during exercise. It’s responsible for happiness, restful sleep and appetite. Serotonin along with endorphins make exercise a pleasurable activity.
2. Kickboxing strengthens our focus and concentration
One of the benefits one can see immediately, both during and after kickboxing workouts is improved focus and concentration. Since kickboxing is a martial art, it requires dedication and concentration to master. The technique and mechanics required for different movements such as combinations of kicks and punches, take time to master. Consistently attending class will bring you the focus, concentration, and dedication that you need to get through the challenges we face in life. Kickboxing improves flexibility. The movements during these workouts involve a variety of different kicks which increase the range of motion in your hips.
3. Taking group kickboxing classes can provide mood-boosting social benefits.
Classes can be a good place to meet new people. You can enjoy the physical stimulation of a workout, while getting social stimulation too.