Martial arts classes in San Diego are not all about punching and kicking harder… Due to the stress one puts on their system during each training session at the dojo, nutrition plays a big part in your martial arts training.
Often, adults and parents think of martial arts as only for self-defense. However, if one were to step back and analyze the exercises used during martial arts classes, one would quickly realize that karate was one of the first cross-fit programs. The exercises used as a warm-up at the James Martial Arts Academy are explosive plyometric movements (e.g.; jump kicks, low horse stances with kicks).
Childhood obesity has quadrupled in the last 3o years, and the U.S. has the highest rate in the world. According to the Center for Disease Control, obesity now affects one in six children and adolescents in the United States. Some parent’s solution to this is by putting their kids in martial arts.
But is martial arts the correct solution to child obesity?
It could be if parents go about it the right way.
Master Jason White, owner and instructor of the Iron Dragon, says kids benefit from martial arts by learning discipline and staying active. White incorporates a reward/punishment system. If his kids get straight A’s in school they get gift certificates. If they misbehave, they can’t do their belt test to move up in color.
“The idea is for them to have the same behavior in here, at school and at home,” White said. “So we develop ways to go about doing that.”
Master White says the kid’s classes run for about an hour. But students like Elektra Olivarez, who has trained over four years, have developed enough conditioning to handle more than one class a day.
The CDC, in consultation with many experts on child fitness, currently recommends 60 minutes per day of physical activity that includes activities to improve cardiovascular endurance, strength and bone health. See full post here...
At the James Martial Arts Academy, we incorporate high energy classes which will allow kids to learn effective self-defense in a fun and safe way and they do not realize the great workout their getting.
As the previous article clearly illustrated the case for getting your child involved in some type of physical activity. This Ted Talk by Matt Young great Ted Talk on childhood obesity provides statistics that this generation of children has a lower life expectancy than their parents.
As a certified personal trainer, I am able to provide our students with nutrition plans and suggestions. When students want to improve their diets, I stress to them to replace meals with plant-based ones. I tell them not to go kamikaze, but to start off by replacing one meal and then move to two meals. This article by Dr. Michael Greger reinforces that a plant-based diet is healthier for adults and children.
And a benefit of this diet will improve mood, you will have less tension, anxiety, and fatigue.
Plant-Based Diets for Improved Mood and Productivity
We’ve known those eating plant-based diets tend to have healthier mood states—less tension, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, and fatigue—but we couldn’t tell if it was cause and effect until it was put it to the test, which researchers finally did. What could account for such rapid results?
Eating a vegetarian diet gives you a better antioxidant status, which may help with depression, as I discussed in Antioxidants and Depression. Also, as I previously addressed in A Better Way to Boost Serotonin, consumption of even a single carbohydrate-rich meal can improve depression, tension, anger, confusion, sadness, fatigue, alertness, and calmness scores among patients with premenstrual syndrome. But what about long term?
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Overweight men and women were randomized into two groups: one following a low-carb, high-fat diet and the other following a high-carb, low-fat diet for a year. By the end of the study, who had less depression, anxiety, anger, hostility, feelings of dejection, tension, fatigue, confusion, fewer mood disturbances, and better vigor?
“The sustained improvements in mood in the LF [low-fat] group compared with the LC [low-carb] group are consistent with results from epidemiological studies showing that diets high in carbohydrate and low in fat and protein are associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression and have beneficial effects on psychological well-being.”
The overall amount of fat in the research subjects’ diet didn’t change significantly, though. But the type of fat did. Their arachidonic acid intake fell to zero. Arachidonic acid is an inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid that can adversely affect mental health via a “cascade of neuroinflammation”—that is, it may inflame your brain.
High levels of arachidonic acid in the bloodstream have been associated with a greater likelihood of suicidal risk and major depressive episodes, for example. How can we stay away from the stuff? Americans are exposed to arachidonic acid primarily through chicken and eggs. So, when we remove eggs, chicken, and other meat we eliminate preformed arachidonic acid from our diet.
Although high-quality treatment studies examining diet’s impact on depression are scarce, there was a successful two-week trial discussed earlier and, even better, a twenty-two-week study. Overweight or diabetic employees of a major insurance corporation received either weekly group instruction on a whole-food, plant-based diet or no diet instruction for five and one-half months.
There was no portion size restriction, no calorie counting, no carb counting, and no change in exercise. No meals were provided, but the company cafeteria did start offering daily plant-based options such as lentil soup, minestrone, and bean burritos.
Participants ate no meat, eggs, dairy, oil, or junk, yet they reported greater diet satisfaction compared with the control group participants who had no diet restrictions. More participants in the plant-based intervention group reported improved digestion, increased energy, and better sleep than usual at week 22 compared with the control group.
They also reported a significant improvement in physical functioning, general health, vitality, and mental health. The plant-based group beat out controls on nearly every measure. Read the complete article here…