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Taekwondo Health Benefits

Taekwondo provides numerous health benefits such as weight loss, improved cholesterol results, better flexibility and more. Listed below are a number of Taekwondo health benefits that I have experienced and/or have been identified by medical authorities. However, results may vary. You should also see a doctor before starting an intense exercise program (especially if you have been relatively inactive for a while). In other words, don't give yourself a heart attack while trying to get in shape!

Here are the health benefits that I have enjoyed since starting Taekwondo in my forties

  • HDL (Good) Cholesterol - HDL particles help to remove cholesterol from your arteries. Therefore, you want your HDL (good) cholesterol to be high and your LDL (bad) cholesterol to be low. Before Taekwondo, my HDL cholesterol was borderline too low (40). After Taekwondo, my HDL cholesterol has climbed to 60 (which is excellent for men). Of course, this took a few years.
  • Blood Pressure - Over the years, my blood pressure has also improved. Before Taekwondo, it was moderately high (140/90) and has now fallen to back to a more healthy level (120/75). This is nice because high blood pressure can be associated with an increased risk of strokes, etc.
  • Weight Loss - I have lost ten pounds over the years. Now if I can cut out beer, I can lose ten more pounds! You might also like to visit our Martial Arts & Weight Loss page for information regarding things such as the amount of calories burned during Taekwondo.
  • Muscle Tone - Taekwondo has helped my body become firmer and any past middle aged "puffiness" has totally disappeared. I look ten years younger than I really am. Well, that is what my wife says... especially when she wants something! :) 
  • Flexibility - Okay, I can still not perform a perfect split but I am dramatically more flexible than I was before Taekwondo. If you want to touch your toes when you are 75 then consider Taekwondo. Please visit our Stretching page for ways to improve your flexibility.
  • Stamina & Energy - Worn out from just doing regular day activities? Taekwondo will boost your endurance and you will have tons more energy throughout the day. I am now much less cranky & tired after work because Taekwondo has boosted my overall energy level.
  • Stress Relief - Do you have an evil boss or crappy job? Taekwondo is a way to blow steam and avoid going postal. :)

Doctors state that exercise can also have the following benefits

  • LDL (Bad) Cholesterol - LDL cholesterol is "bad" cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol is linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular problems. I have always had low LDL cholesterol so I can't claim this benefit. Nevertheless, doctors claim that exercise can lower LDL cholesterol. For more information, please read this WebMd article.
  • Sleep - Since you get worn out in Taekwondo, you will have a better night's sleep (longer, deeper and less interruptions). For more information, please read this WebMD article.
  • Obesity - If you are a dedicated Taekwondo student, you are likely to lose weight and avoid obesity. This is a huge positive because obesity has been tied to cardiovascular problems, strokes, cancer, diabetes and many more diseases. For more information, please read this Mayo Clinic article and/or WebMD article.
  • Diabetes - Weight loss will also help you to improve your insulin sensitivity. This may help to prevent or slow the onset of some types of diabetes. For more information, please read this WebMD article and/or Mayo Clinic article.
  • Balance - Older people can have trouble with balance and potentially falling over. Taekwondo can help you to improve your balance and thus hopefully avoid future injuries as you age.
  • Bone Strength - As you age, your bones become more brittle. This is a particular problem for many women and some men. It is known as osteoporosis. Nevertheless, vigorous exercise (such as Taekwondo) can help improve your bone density. For more information, please read this WebMD article and/or Mayo Clinic article.
  • Immune System - According to medical authorities, exercise can help boost your immune system and thus ward off some diseases. For more information, please read this MedlinePlus article and/or Cleveland Clinic article.
  • Depression - Taekwondo won't cure severe depression but it will make you feel better about yourself. Intense exercise also releases natural endorphins which can improve your mood and reduce pain. For more information, please read this Mayo Clinic article and/or WebMD article.

However, there are some potential health "negatives"

  • Injuries - Over the years, I have had numerous aches, pains and bruises due to Taekwondo. I have also "enjoyed" dislocated toes, cracked ribs and torn calf muscles. So be careful and be mentally prepared for potential injuries. Remember this is a MARTIAL art and not croquet or knitting! :)
  • Intense Exercise - If you have been sedentary for a while (i.e. a coach potato), Taekwondo can be risky. The classes are intense and you do not want to give yourself a heart attack and/or stroke. Please see a doctor before starting any intense exercise program, especially if you have been inactive for a while, are over 45 years old and/or have an existing medical condition.

You might also be interested in these martial arts & health books


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