Why you don't have to be tough to try combat workouts
Although kickboxing and ordinary boxing may sound more suitable for burly men than women hoping to get fit, this may not be the case thanks to combat-style workouts.
Realising that not everyone wants to get fit through sports like yoga and spinning, many gyms now offer great alternatives which have their origins in contact sports - although they have been toned down somewhat to make them much safer!
For example, kickboxing helped to spawn cardiovascular kickboxing, which is a type of workout that combines martial arts with fat-burning exercise.
There is no physical contact between participants, with moves instead taking place on the spot.
Classes will usually begin with 15 minutes of warm-ups, which may include star jumps and skipping, followed by a 30-minute session of kicks, punches and strikes, according to TeenHealth.org.
Participants will then cool down and spend a little time stretching to build stamina, flexibility and strength.
With research from various studies suggesting that kickboxing could burn anywhere between 400 and 900 calories per hour, it could be an easy way to get fit and have fun while also relieving stress.
Along a similar vein, boxercise could also be an interesting form of exercise to try out.
Speaking to the Guardian recently, former European boxing champion Clinton McKenzie said this sport is for everyone, no matter what their size.
Aimed more at the upper body and core than kickboxing, boxercise could help to increase discipline in other areas of life, focus concentration and even boost self-esteem, the expert said.
While it's true that boxercise and cardio kickboxing are suitable for any age group, Dr Mary Gavin, resident medic at TeenHealth.org, said it's best not to overdo it when you first join a class.
Instead, she recommended starting with a medium-impact form of exercise to increase fitness levels first, particularly if you haven't worked out properly in a while.
To get started, all you need are some comfortable, non-restricting clothes and a class to guide you.
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