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ATA-Fit

ata fitWe all need to keep our bodies moving to stay healthy and fit. Here are nine ways to help you get adequate exercise. Being active will help you be the best martial artist you can be and become a physically fit, healthy individual.

1. Do 30 or more. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), everyone should get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day, sometimes called “aerobic exercise” because it requires increased oxygen (that is, you breath faster and your heart works harder). This type of exercise is good for your cardiovascular system, and helps you feel more energized. On days when you don’t have Taekwondo class, you can do aerobic exercise by biking, jumping rope or running.

2. Build endurance. Part of aerobic exercise is building endurance. The more aerobic activity you do, the more your heart can endure. By the time you are a black belt, you should be able to handle much more from a workout than when you first started your training.

3. Build muscles. Building muscles is very important to being fit. But that doesn’t mean you have to look like a pro wrestler! Strong muscles allow you to do everyday things like carry a backpack or briefcase, but they’re also important when you throw that hammer fist to break a board. For kids, the best types of exercises for building muscles are push-ups, sit-ups and lunges. For adults, it’s good to do some type of weight training that includes lifting weights to help challenge muscles even more.

4. Be flexible. Moving your arms and legs in a full range of motion is very important to a martial artist. The higher you kick and the farther you reach, the better your chance you’ll have to get away from an attacker. But you also want flexibility so you don’t experience the tightness and pain that come when you don’t stretch your body and keep it loose. Kids are naturally flexible but it’s important to maintain that flexibility into adulthood. Simple stretches like your ATA instructor does at the beginning of class, like touching your toes and side stretches, are easy ways to work on flexibility from anywhere.

5. Don’t worry, be happy. Sometimes when you’re having a bad day or things aren’t going your way, it’s tempting to sit around and sulk. But what you may not realize is that getting up and getting moving is one of the best ways to make you feel better. Kidshealth.org says, “When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals called endorphins, which may make you feel happier.”

6. Stay on schedule. You’re already becoming more fit as an active member in the ATA. Now create a schedule that keeps you active on days of the week you don’t attend Taekwondo class. List fun fitness activities as a family, attend a special weapons clinic on a non-class day, and find games you and your friends can play that keep you moving. Then stick to your schedule of fitness exercises. This will help you perform even better when you do have Taekwondo class or when you have to do your best at a testing or tournament.

7. Compete with yourself--and others. To challenge yourself to achieve greater fitness, think about competing. “I do road races,” Dilegge says. “I may not win, but training for the race makes me work harder.” The same for Taekwondo: The ATA tournament circuit can challenge you to train to be your best, he says.

8. Get inspired. Pick up a fitness magazine or book and learn about a new exercise or technique that you can try out, Dilegge suggests. Often, picking up new information will inspire you to keep working toward your fitness and training goals, he says.

9. Be a buddy. Grand Master says it all the time: The best way to stay on track with exercise is by having a buddy. You push yourself harder and stick to routines better when you have someone else who is getting fit with you. Maybe your buddy is your sister and you two are moving up the belt ranks by keeping up with training. Or maybe your buddy is a co-worker you run with a couple days a week after work. “The best way for each of us to become more fit is to do it together!” Grand Master says.


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Leadership Team ATA Xtreme (all ages) Fitness Classes
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Karate for Kids, Blandon  ·  610.944.8730
14091 Kutztown Road, Fleetwood, PA 19522