In these coldest months of the year, fitness often takes a little shift as people have to find indoor workout options, like indoor running tracks, and martial arts. If you’re used to sports or running or other outdoor methods of staying healthy and fit, getting on the machines or picking up weights can seem a little restrictive, and in fact, if done without first getting appropriate instruction, can lead to decreased range of motion as muscle develops. Martial arts in particular is an excellent way to avoid this—you’ll get a nice mix of cardio and resistance training, and the practice will take your body through its whole range of motion, so you don’t have to worry about some of the potential hazards of other kinds of exercise.
What’s more is martial arts mats are actually a pretty inexpensive purchase. With the addition of some martial arts-friendly flooring in your home (we recommend interlocking foam mats with a tatami finish), you can take the hour you spend in the dojo twice a week and turn it into a daily practice. Martial arts forms are an especially good way to exercise because they don’t typically take any more equipment than your body and a firm foundation to stand on.
So, fight off the winter blues—grab a couple of martial arts mats and get to work. Your body will thank you, not just for the exercise, but for keeping it warm. We can’t all be those marathon runners that don’t stop for rain or snow, but fortunately, there are plenty of other options for getting that cardio fix. So, whether you’re trying to stay active as a New Year’s resolution, or you’re just worried about your kids spending too much time in front of a screen, give martial arts a try. You might just discover a passion.