One of the often-neglected and critical parts of the martial arts lifestyle (and I am as guilty as anyone of neglecting this) is something that does not require the smallest bit of martial arts instruction. I mentioned before that cardiovascular fitness is indispensable for anyone who wants to reach their full potential.
As a middle-aged man I have become ever more aware of the need to continue cardiovascular fitness training, as the aging process embodies the truth: use it or lose it. Every year it is easier to fall out of shape, harder to get back into shape, and a tiny percentage of our best shape wears away. It wears away faster if we aren’t reaching it.
For additional motivation:
30+ minutes of cardiovascular workouts a day have all sorts of benefits:
- Eases the impact of stress and depression.
- Helps prevent or treat diabetes.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Helps cholesterol and triglyceride health.
- Working out now prevents going soft in the head later.
In class recently, we have had a lot of trouble finishing kibon donchak, not because of the sequence, but because students are worn to exhaustion within the first 20 minutes of class. That is a cardio issue. I strongly encourage you to attack this obstacle to your training!
And if you are happier, thinner, less stressed, less likely to get diabetes or suffer its worst symptoms, have healthier blood pressure or cholesterol levels, and stay mentally sharp longer into your old age, well… Nothing is without side effects!
Exercise is medicine. Take your medicine daily!