Achieve fitness goals this year with martial arts

December 31, 2013

Americans can use martial arts to fulfill their New Year's resolutions.

Fifty-one percent of respondents to a recent BMO Wealth Institute study stated that health and fitness will be part of their New Year’s resolutions. That outpaced personal finances, which received 36 percent of the vote, and improving personal lives (31 percent). A dedication to exercise in the upcoming year is something that many people try, but few stay true to throughout the year.

Joining a fun activity like Karate, Tae Kwon Do or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes can help people achieve the better body they are coveting, while also learning one of the martial arts. Regular classes mixed with a healthy diet can contribute to getting in better physical shape throughout the upcoming year.

“If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, you will need to follow a plan that includes an exercise schedule and a diet regimen,” said Chris Buttigieg, senior manager of wealth planning strategy at BMO Financial Group.

People have to be willing to change their lives
One of the main reasons that people don’t exercise on a regular basis is because they feel they are too busy juggling work, children and other responsibilities. However, dedication to physical fitness requires commitment, and it’s important that Americans understand that they deserve this time to themselves. Parents can even get their whole family involved in martial arts classes to create a fun experience for everyone. Below are some tips from Master Michael Brown at ATA Leadership Martial Arts to make this year’s New Year’s resolution one that lasts a lifetime with help of Karate, Tae Kwon Do or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes:

1. Continue to set goals
When just starting out with martial arts classes, it’s important to have some initial goals in mind to get going in the the right direction. As training progresses, people should make new goals as they accomplish their previous ones. Whether you exercise to reduce the chance of getting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, depression, high blood pressure or dementia, or become a black belt, having short and long-term goals will make it easier to go to every class session.

2. Get someone to join in
Martial arts can be a great way for parents to bond with their children, for old high school friends to reconnect or to spend time with a significant other. It can be more fun to advance in martial arts training with a sidekick. Not only can this person or people serve as motivation to continue on, but they can make classes something to look forward to each week. Many Americans will make the same New Year’s resolutions as someone they are close to, and if they are trying to stay in shape, martial arts can be a solid option.

3. Set aside time for exercise
Many Americans have a lot on their plates as it is, and when their week is over they just want to relax on the couch. But signing up for martial arts can force people to create time for exercise. Having an open hour or two every few days for physical fitness can continue even when martial arts classes have had their last session. This will get people thinking about their next training regimen and how to improve their fitness levels. Brown believes that people will be able to quickly see the benefits created by exercise.

“This ‘me’ time will not only boost your health on both physical and emotional levels, but it will provide an excellent example for your children on how to lead a healthy lifestyle,” he wrote.