The Many Benefits of Martial Arts for Older Adults

Many senior citizens will tell you that it can be difficult to find new activities and interests after they retire. While many seniors believe that it is too late for them to begin any type of physical activity, nothing could be further from the truth.

Physical activity not only allows seniors to remain strong and healthy, it also does wonders for their emotional and mental health. And of the many types of physical activities to choose from, the martial arts is one of the best.

As we age, our brains do not function as well as it did when we are young. Memory loss and slower reaction times are two ways this manifests itself. Martial arts can help to alleviate these symptoms because this discipline requires repeated practice of routines that sharpen an individual’s mental acumen. Remember, the brain is a muscle that needs exercise to remain healthy and the martial arts are an outstanding way to keep the mind sharp.

Another benefit of martial arts is that it allows seniors to expand their circle of friends and meet new people. When an individual is used to going to work each day and interacting with all types of people, it can be difficult to adjust to being alone most of the time. The martial arts allows people to bond over a common interest. There also is a sense of camaraderie that comes with working together to reach common goals.

Exercise also is important for a senior’s physical health, as well. The body loses strength as we age but that does not mean we cannot remain physically fit. No matter how old a person, building muscle and bone strength is important. Osteoporosis is common in older people but the martial arts can help to build muscle strength that protects bones.

The martial arts also help increase endurance. Martial arts training reduces the risk of heart disease through its training regiments. While it may not be possible to be as fit as those decades younger, that doesn’t mean you can’t always be improving physically. Even small gains can add years to your life and, more importantly, increase your quality of life.

The martial arts help senior citizens mentally and physically. This discipline also allows them to increase their self-confidence. After all, learning any new skill goes a long way toward giving anyone—no matter what their age—a sense of accomplishment.

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