Looking for a legitimate setting in which to let loose with a few kicks and punches? Kickboxing may be for you. Sure, the urge might come over you while sitting in traffic or struggling with a work or home improvement project. Take some deep breaths and resist it, unless of course you want to add legal troubles to your list of frustrations. Save up those feelings and put them to better use with kickboxing. This combination of martial arts, aerobic exercise and boxing offers a fun and appropriate way to blow off steam. Kickboxing can also help you feel great (think more energy) and lose weight. That’s a powerful one – two punch in the health and fitness game.

Why try kickboxing?

Many of us have become accustomed to managing high levels of stress. We brag about all the responsibilities we’re juggling and the things we have to do.  It’s a badge of honor to burn the proverbial candle at both ends. Sadly, we may also be borrowing future health problems. Excess stress is strongly correlated with high blood pressure, heart disease and even obesity. There are other drawbacks to allowing yourself to hold onto too much stress. These include angry outbursts, anxiety, insomnia, overeating, headaches and more. Kickboxing is a powerful stress buster. The high energy work out encourages the flow of endorphins, reduces anxiety and provides a useful outlet for frustrations big and small.

Punching bags, roundhouse kicks and knee strikes don’t just reduce your stress level; they can also shrink your waistline. Another benefit of kickboxing is the total body workout it provides. You’ll tone your legs and bottom, engage your core, firm up your arms and even improve your stamina and coordination. Expect to feel more confident, too as you get stronger and learn self-defense moves.

Things to consider

All kickboxing classes are not created equal. Look for a well-trained (and ideally) certified instructor that can help you with proper form. This way you will get the most effective workout and reduce the likelihood of injury. It is a good idea to observe or even try a class before you sign up. You want to make sure that the class you are considering is appropriate for your fitness level, learning style, budget and schedule. Avoid signing a long term contract until you are sure you can commit to the training.

Go at your own pace and monitor your expectations. You should not expect to challenge Jet Li right away, but you can change the way you manage your stress and your health. That is a pretty good reason to give kickboxing a try. Besides, it’s a lot of fun.