Healthy Habits Create a Healthy Life

Healthy Habits Create a Healthy Life

If you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, you must develop healthy habits.

These habits have to include three areas if you want to be able to see maximum results from the martial arts lifestyle:

1)    Your physical fitness. You can never out-train bad nutrition, poor rest/recovery habits or poor energy planning. You can be the most committed, excited, talented student in the world, but if you neglect your physical health off the mat, you'll soon pay for it. Some common warning signs that your physical fitness isn't your top priority:

a)    You think you have to "get into shape to get into shape". This is another way of procrastinating and making excuses.

b)   You take unnecessary risks with your well-being - anything from "training" with your friends on the carpet to training at another school, or lifting way more than your usual at the gym.

c)    You discount the importance of being well-hydrated and properly fortified before a class. The body needs support from the inside out, especially if you are just beginning in the martial arts.

2)   Your emotional fitness. Are you working on managing your emotion state both on and off the mat? Disciplining yourself to approach each partner, each drill, each technique with an open mind is part of achieving emotional balance. Integrating this practice in your daily life - in your family, at the workplace, during your commute - by reflecting on the classroom lessons is one way to develop this area.

3)   Your mental fitness. Although closely connected to your emotional fitness, your mental fitness has more to do with your focus and attention. How are you training yourself to listen better and retain more information? Being mentally fit means that you can process the in-class instruction, focus on the victories and adjust for the challenges. It also means that you're able to block out the negative distractions that can take your eyes off your goal.

No matter how hard you train on the mat, you'll never reach a peak level of performance - or your full potential - unless you improve your habits off the mat .  Perhaps you need to increase your water intake, or start eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Maybe it's time to eliminate fried foods, junk foods or sugar.

Success and longevity in the martial arts requires what we call "energy for excellence." Your overall health and fitness habits should be improving your mental, physical and emotional energy, not detracting from them.

Start early. And if you've been neglecting one or more of these areas, start right now. By developing good health habits, you'll be taking important steps toward black belt: you'll think clearer, have more energy and perform better than ever before. 

Categories: Martial Arts

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