The human body is naturally designed to move and exercise, and this is a relic of our ancestors’ lifestyle of hunting game across the plains of Africa. Today’s lifestyles are far different, but the body still needs exertion, so now Americans will play sports, lift weights, perform cardio, and even try out martial arts. Physical arts such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or BJJ, and kickboxing or karate prove popular around the world, and many schools and classes in the United States may teach BJJ, Jeet Kune Do, karate, and more. Someone who practices BJJ and other martial arts may enjoy the many benefits of good exercise and martial arts in particular, and BJJ and others might be a fine way to counter current obesity trends in the United States.
Studies have shown that many American adults and even adolescents and children are overweight or obese, and a number of causes have been identified. One is the poor diets that many Americans have. Fast foods and processed foods (often frozen) contain added sugars and fats designed to make them taste better, and this is a typical marketing ploy. The downside is that these added sugars and fats add a lot of unhealthy calories to the body and that results in rapid weight gain for any child or adult who eats like this. Healthy, organic foods are often neglected in favor of better-tasting and cheaper fast foods, and this reflects on many people’s waistlines.
Another common issue is a simple lack of good exercise. Many American children and adults fall short of the minimum recommended guidelines for exercise set by the American Heart Association. Children today often spend hours per day using electronic screens, even on school days, and often in place of exercise and play. Adults are neglecting the gym and sports and simply living sedentary lives at work and at home, and this means that too many calories and fat build up in the body. What is more, children urgently need gross motor play to develop their coordination, muscles, and even their brains, and neglecting this may have serious health consequences. The good news is that any able-bodied child, adolescent, or adult can choose to exercise better and eat a better diet, and they may enjoy the many benefits of a proper lifestyle. BJJ, karate, kickboxing, and more are just the start.
Someone interested in taking control of their health might start by visiting their doctor and a nutritionist to get some safe guidelines and recommendations about exercise and a new diet. Some Americans will have health complications to factor in, such as diabetes, food allergies, a heart condition, recent surgery, or a bad back. Once the person has medical clearance and guidelines, they may start changing their diet and lifestyle. This includes cutting out all fast foods from their diet and replacing them with wholesome, natural foods from across the food pyramid. Fruits and vegetables, whole wheat grains, protein such as beans and fish and chicken, and dairy such as milk and cheese should make up the new diet. Such a diet will add a lot of nutrition and lower calorie intakes to a safe level, boosting health and making weight loss easier. Better yet, new diets aren’t bland or boring, but rather can add a lot of new flavor and recipe ideas to a person’s meal plan.
Exercise is another major part of weight loss and building muscle. A person may start going to a local gym or fitness club, for example, and make use of indoor tracks and pools, weight machines, and specialty classes such as a spin class or a martial arts classes may make exercise effective and fun. A martial arts class will teach combat skills and moves, and this allows a person to work out nearly all muscles in the body and develop them while burning fat and improving coordination. This may also double as a fun sport, or at least a means of self-defense. Many martial arts styles exist to choose from.
This can be supplemented with cardio, such as swimming, bicycle riding, jogging, and more. Cardio is a fine idea for the early stages of weight loss, since they don’t involve complex martial arts or heavy weight lifting.