Pinnacle Health Management - Wellness Newsletter Fall '18


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The Latest in Fitness Research

Fitness Build Your Endurance While Gaining Strength

KICKBOXING combines karate kicks with boxing punches for a fun and easy way to burn calories, lose weight and gain strength. While burning an average of 500 calories per hour, kickboxing strengthens arms, shoulders, abs, thighs and glutes. Studies show that it enhances fitness, power, balance, agility and flexibility. Considered a stand-up combat sport, kickboxing is a mixed martial art practiced for self-defense and general fitness. Japanese kickboxing began in the 1950s, and American kickboxing started in the 1970s. Competitive matches are held around the world, and cardio-kickboxing classes are held at gyms and fitness centers in every city. As a fitness workout, participants perform fast-paced jabs and kicks to music without human contact. Focusing on powerful movements, kickboxing involves short bouts, two to three minutes long, of intense, repetitive movement. Included are hitting a punching bag repeatedly and kicking and kneeing a pad held by someone else. Kickboxing punches include the jab, uppercut and hook, while kicks include the front, hook, side, roundhouse and spinning back kicks.

Just 30 minutes of moderate exer- cise a day, five days a week, can help to maintain well-being and promote longevity. A study by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Pro- motion (ODPHP) revealed that 150 minutes of exercise per week reduced weight, cholesterol, body mass index and heart risk. Even better news is the variety of ways to achieve that weekly goal. For 30 min- utes of moderate activity, the ODPHP recommends aerobic activities such as brisk walking, doubles tennis, wa- ter aerobics, bicycling and ballroom dancing. In addition to the aerobics, the ODPHP suggests strength-training exercise twice a week to work major muscle groups as well as stretching to stay flexible. Working out can be broken into small- er chunks to achieve the same effects as one sustained 30-minute exercise session. If work gets in the way, try walking for 10 minutes three times a day or doing five minutes of aerobics such as jumping jacks six times a day.

Exper ts advise that newcomers ease into kickboxing gradually. Because kickboxers need to be well conditioned, they engage in a great deal of training for muscular and cardiovascular endurance, including elevated pushups and intense stretching. Studies have shown that kickboxing improves coordination, even for disabled and elderly people. Patients with multiple sclerosis can gain neuromuscular benefits that help with balance, mobility and multitasking activities. Older adults can improve their balance and avoid falls through improved mind-muscle coordination. If you haven’t tried the spor t of kickboxing – you don’t know what you are missing!

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