Use Martial Arts-Based Activities To Lower Inflammation

Use Martial Arts-Based Activities To Lower Inflammation

Practicing a martial art such as judo to lower inflammation in the body and feel less stress. Studies show that doing a mind-body practice can raise internal antioxidant levels in the body to counter physical and mental stress that accelerates aging and disease.

A 2011 study showed that people who practice judo (judokas) had a much lower inflammatory stress response to an intense exercise trial than sedentary subjects. All of the participants tested produced free radicals that cause inflammation in response to the exercise, but the judokas had much higher internal antioxidant levels that helped eliminate the free radicals than the sedentary group.

Researchers note that endurance athletes in strenuous sports such as kayaking, running, and cycling experience high levels of inflammatory stress from training, but they don’t have the superior protective antioxidant levels seen in the judokas. There’s something about the specific methods of judo training that uniquely separate it from high-intensity sports for offsetting chronic mental and physical stress.

Similar stress-reduction benefits have been observed from mind-body practices such as yoga, mediation, tai chi, tae kwon do, jiu jitsu, soo bahk do, and aikido.

For best results from a mind-body practice like judo, try the following suggestions:

  • Bring a sense of purpose to your practice. Take it seriously and do it regularly—at least three days a week.
  • Pay special attention to breathing and the connection between the mind and body when you practice.
  • Do marital arts in addition to a resistance training program for best results. Lifting moderately heavy loads provides overwhelming strength and tissue building benefits. It also promotes fat burning to keep you lean and sleek.
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