Everybody exercises, or works out for a different reason, some for health issues, some for stress release or maybe just for the fun of it.

The result of each one is the same…

In every reason for exercising, the result benefits your body, your mind and your conscience or soul. It just keeps you alive, inside as well as outside of your body.
Just as many practices such as Martial Arts, Yoga, Tai-Chi, or Chi-Gong are readily understood as mind/body disciplines, you can re-imagine your everyday routine and experience any form of exercise as a vehicle to refresh and renew mind, body, and soul. Practice awareness as you do jumping jacks, lift weights, or pound away on your elliptical machine. Repeat a mantra or affirmation with each movement. Keep your attention in your body and on your breathing, and you will restore yourself on multiple levels. Exercise is an essential element of the mind-body-soul balance because it literally affects all three.

Sacred texts throughout the ages have spoken of our bodies as vessels or temples that need to be honored and cared for. When we exercise, we display reverence for the magnificence of our bodies. Exercise has been shown to have several positive effects on the body. First exercise will increase blood flow to the brain, providing the brain with essential nutrients such as glucose and oxygen.  Abnormal glucose tolerance can lead to brain impairments, and exercise helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Studies show that very active people who engage regularly physical activities have much lower rates of memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s and do better on cognitive function tests over time. Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for the overall health of your body. Participation in physical activity improves several body functions. These include: weight control, decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, decreased risk of diabetes, reduced risk of cancer, improved strength of bones and muscle, enhanced emotional status, decreases the natural degenerative changes that come with aging, and increases your chances to live longer.

In children, exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function, and improve motor skill development. In adults, especially as we age, regular physical activity increases memory and slows the aging process of the brain.

Here are some examples and explanations of the positive effects as a result of your exercising (example – Martial Arts):

Boost your confidence

The most common thing that a lot of people suffer from is exactly this, the confidence needed to continue forward. Again I will say, don’t quit on yourself yet. The more you exercise the more secure you become of yourself, especially on how your body looks. You don’t need something to go sideways so you can start exercising and make a change, but spit on your hands and just go do something, be active!


Having discipline means you are dedicated to what you do. Discipline will allow a person to learn how to structure important aspects of their lives to accomplish tasks and goals. In martial arts, discipline is a foundational practice. Martial arts instructors are keen on not tolerating disruptions, excessive talking or goofing around. This type of discipline is especially important if the child is not receiving it in school. The discipline taught in martial arts also teaches how to control anger, how to diffuse situations without fighting and how to be self-accountable.


Followed by discipline, respect is another foundational practice taught in virtually every martial art. Trainees are taught to respect their instructors, their co-students, opponents and themselves. Respect is deeply ingrained in martial arts and it is a lesson that is taught from day one until the end of practicing martial arts. The respect associated with martial arts comes from the close interaction students have with their teachers. Naturally, as the student learns more from the instructor they begin to increase in belt ranks, which also facilitates respect for their techniques, knowledge and abilities.

Social Skills and Friendship

The ability to make and have friends is a major factor in a child’s satisfaction and comfort level in school. It is also a key factor in their abilities to interact with the world as they get older. Martial arts provides children the ability to feel incorporated in a nonthreatening family environment. Dojos are extremely structured and facilitate a family-like atmosphere. Ultimately, that makes it a perfect environment for shy children to begin to open up and make friends. Martial arts training also teaches the concepts of compassion to opponents, patience and conflict resolution.

Reducing stress

If you had a tough day, don’t quit on yourself yet. You can still throw away every negative energy inside and make it positive. Hit the gym and do whatever makes you happier, like riding the bike, running on the treadmill, lifting weights or just find a punching bag and let it all out on it.


In many dojos, children and older people are required to maintain the cleanliness of their uniforms, the dojo and to be punctual. Along with the personal responsibility trainees have in memorizing moves, these elements impact their ability to achieve higher belts. Ultimately, that system of personal responsibility is important in independence especially to a growing child.

Attention to Detail

Martial arts are all about details. When trainees learn moves, they will learn how important every little movement needs to be and how it can impact outcomes. This emphasis on attention to detail helps a child increase their focus, concentration and memorization.

Martial arts are great for boosting your physical and mental health. Many of the positive aspects of healthy mental health are incorporated within the martial arts system of respect, rewards, accountability and confidence.

Lastly, physical activity is the best way to boost energy levels. Regular physical activity increases the blood flow and will allow more oxygen to get to the body providing energy to do work. Regular physical activity also increases production of vital hormones such as thyroid-stimulating hormone, testosterone, human growth hormone, and catecholamines, all of which help increase your metabolism and give you more energy. Regular physical activity also makes you more efficient at utilizing your body’s stores of fat and sugar for fuel, which allows you to burn them for energy and also helps regulate blood sugar levels and prevent the peaks and valleys that can cause fatigue.

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