Through martial arts, you become a warrior and your body is your weapon. Like any warrior, you need to keep your weapon in top condition to reach and maintain peak performance. No matter how hard you train, it won’t pay off unless you take care of your body.
Martial arts warm-ups can be brutal. Some martial artists, especially novices, tend to skip the warm-up and directly proceed with the rest of the training. Warm-up exercises rev up the cardiovascular system and increase blood flow to the muscles. It also raises the body temperature; The raised temperature allows the enzymes to burn fat instead of carbohydrates, which slows down fatigue from setting in during training. The proper warm-up also substantially decreases the risk of heart problems and other injuries. In addition to the physiological benefits, warming-up also gets the mind ready to absorb, process and react to the surrounding. (Link 1) (Link 2)
Stretching is just as important as warming-up in martial arts. Stretching must be done both before and after training. Stretching before you start training helps loosen up muscles and minimize injury. It also increases blood flow to the muscles. Most importantly, it allows to correct posture and allows proper execution of technique. Stretching after training helps in cooling down the body after intense physical exertion. It also helps loosen muscles. Stretching every morning is a simple habit that can greatly improve your flexibility and martial arts performance. (Link 3) (Link 4)
It is no secret that diet plays a major role in your health. A diet of a martial artist must be rich in protein, for muscle recovery and development, and carbohydrates to keep up with the rate of calories being burnt during training. In addition to that, the diet must be rich in other macro and micronutrients to keep the body performing at peak levels. Listed below are some essential food for martial artists;
Also, don’t forget to ass raw vegetables to your diet! (Link 5)
The body is a machine and like any machine, it needs adequate rest for proper functioning. The resting period can vary according to the intensity of training and your general fitness. The body must be in an overall healthy state during every training day to achieve maximum performance. Inconsistency can hamper performance. (Link 6)
Overtraining can burn out muscles. The burnout during working out feels great but should be avoided at all costs. This can lead to fatigue, muscle loss and an overall decrease in performance. (Link 7)
A healthy body can’t exist without a healthy mind, and vice versa! Meditating for 15-30 minutes a day can help decrease blood pressure, increase metabolism and reduce anxiety, which can improve breathing and heart rates. Meditation doesn’t necessarily mean closing your eyes. Activities like cooking or cycling are types of meditation. (Link 8)