The best cardio in the world!

By Hansen Bay

Singaporeans often struggle to stay fit and healthy mainly because they cannot seem to stick to an exercise program, at least not for long. The main problem lies with motivation. Regular routes to fitness like joining a gym and jogging may not exactly be the best way to keep your motivation going.

During a recent Muay Thai session, Mitch Chilson, one of my training buddies at BXG Fitness exclaimed, “Muay Thai is the best cardio in the world!” This statement sums up what practitioners of the sport know all along… Muay Thai is one of the best ways to keep you motivated to stay fit and here’s why…

Pick up a new skill

One of the best ways to start getting fit is through the process of learning a new skill. Novelty is a powerful tool to arouse interest and motivation. When you train in Muay Thai, you have to be physically involved and you will definitely get fitter in the process. Some beginners find themselves feeling so much fitter without even realizing it because they are so psychologically “involved” in learning new skills that they forget about the pain of huffing and puffing that is often associated with exercise.

Self Esteem

The mastery of new skills does wonders to the self-esteem! You feel a sense of achievement that translates to increased confidence. Besides, Muay Thai is recognized as one of the most effective martial arts in the world. Being good at it also means that you will be in a better position to defend yourself when the need arises.

Fitness Goals

What happens when the novelty of it all wears of? The thing I like best about Muay Thai is that you can never stop learning! There are just so many variations of the same techniques and combinations to master. It is an art that can be constantly improvised. Everyone can learn Muay Thai but express it differently!

An awesome way to keep track of your progress and keep yourself motivated is to constantly set specific and realistic goals. You may want to break down the techniques that you want to learn into 12 progressive bite-sized monthly goals. For example, you may want to learn the basic footwork in January followed by how to throw some basic punch combinations in February.

Fun and Variety

You should realise by now that Muay Thai is FUN! You can add variety to your solo jogs and make new friends when you train in Muay Thai as classes are often conducted in groups. Participants often practice their strikes by hitting Thai pads (focus mitts) in pairs. Training in pairs often adds to the fun and motivation especially when your partner is screaming at you to put more power into your strikes when you are fatigued. You get a personal trainer at no extra costs!

Singaporeans are frequent travelers to Thailand. Add variety to your regular shopping and sightseeing visits! The next time you visit Bangkok or Phuket, add a training session at one of the authentic Muay Thai gyms or a visit to the Muay Thai stadiums to your itinerary.

Stress buster

Muay Thai practitioners often find it an excellent and healthy way to relieve stress. You will be surprised how much better you feel and how your thoughts are so much clearer after exercise. It is also an excellent release for your frustrations especially after a lousy day at work. Releasing your pent up frustrations by hitting the punching bag is definitely a healthier alternative to dragging on cigarettes and lifting beer mugs!

The author, Hansen Bay is the owner of Vitage Fitness Consultancy and trains Muay Thai at BXG Fitness.

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