The benefits of martial arts training for older adults
Unlike football or basketball or hockey, martial arts can be done for a lifetime. Most people stop being active after high school or college. The sports they grew up playing, aren’t always available as an option after they graduate. Martial arts are different. This is great news for older adults.
Martial arts are beneficial as we age for several reasons:
- Reduces Sacropenia – “Sacropenia” is the natural loss of muscle mass as we age. This loss of muscle mass (and strength) starts in our 40’s and by our 80’s most people have lost 50% of their muscle mass according to this scientific paper. The fully body resistance training in martial arts combats sacropenia.
- Maintains Balance – Throwing a kick requires standing on one leg, which requires kinesthetic awareness and balance. Taekwondo is 70% kicking and our students get plenty of balance training every class!
- Improves Flexibility – Years of driving in cars, working at a desk, and sitting on a couch reduces our flexibility. Our adult martial art classes focus on stretching at the beginning of every class. This reduces the chance of injury and increases flexibility.
- Maintains Mental Sharpness – Recommendations for staving off Alzheimer’s is to continue to exercise the brain in new ways. Martial arts are as much mental as physical exercise. Learning techniques, training your right and left sides to work together, and memorizing forms are great ways to work on that mental muscle.
Since the mid-1980s and the Karate Kid, martial arts has been seen as an activity for children. But even the Karate Kid grew up (hence the “Cobra Kai” series) and Daniel-son and all of us mature martial artists know how great this practice can be for a lifetime. Come and try out one of our adult martial arts classes and see if it is a good fit for enhancing your life.