Each February, “heart month” is celebrated by the American Heart Association in order to raise heart health awareness. One of the best ways for you to celebrate is by taking martial arts. Its numerous cardiac benefits give cardiovascular fitness a whole new meaning. Here are just a few of them.

Raise Your Heart Rate
When you work out, your heart rate increases because you’re working your heart, which is a muscle; this is beneficial because it oxygenates your blood and helps you burn calories even after you’re done working out.

Lower Your Blood Pressure
A high-intensity workout will lower your blood pressure. This is important because high blood pressure (a.k.a. hypertension) is a leading contributor to heart disease. While working out, you’re improving your heart health and strengthening your heart. Doing so enables your body to pump blood more efficiently throughout your body. The more efficient your body becomes at doing this, the lower your blood pressure will be.

Lower Your Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol: HDL (a.k.a., the “good” cholesterol”) and LDL cholesterol (a.k.a., the “bad” cholesterol”). LDL cholesterol is a contributing factor to heart disease. However, when you are regularly participating will help you lose weight. This plays a significant role in decreasing the amount of LDL cholesterol that’s in your blood.

Some research has also shown that working out helps shrink the proteins that are responsible for carrying cholesterol through your bloodstream. This makes them less dangerous to your heart.

Routine, vigorous exercise also helps increase your HDL cholesterol.

Reduce Your Stress Level
One benefit that martial arts have over other types of exercise is that it also requires mental stillness. This contributes to mindfulness which is a practice that’s been shown to greatly decrease your stress and anxiety levels. Since there’s a direct correlation between your stress level and heart health, this is a huge benefit for your heart.

Strengthen Your Heart Muscle
Through martial arts, your entire body and all your essential muscle groups become stronger. Your heart muscle is also directly engaged, which means that it can function more efficiently when it pumps blood throughout your body. What this means is that more blood is being pushed out with each beat so that your heart rate is slower and you maintain normal blood pressure levels. This also occurs in your numerous small blood vessels. Therefore, you’re able to make more connections between blood vessels, providing them with more routes to travel.

Continual training enables your body tissue (including your heart) to do a better job of absorbing the nutrients and oxygen that are carried through your blood. So, when you’re feeling stressed, your heart will be able to function better.

Improves Your Overall Lifestyle
Besides improving your heart health, it also improves your overall lifestyle by encouraging you to be active and enjoy life. This is because martial arts also improve your mental health so that you’re happier and look at things in a more positive way. Additionally, the habits you learn in training will carry over into your daily life. This means that you’ll improve your heart health.

Allows You to Celebrate Heart Month
These are just a few of the many benefits martial arts have on your heart health. There are many others. Of course, you’ll benefit in other ways too. For instance, it’ll help you become more disciplined, build muscle coordination, and increase self-confidence. So, why not celebrate heart month by taking classes at Elevate Martial Arts in Tampa, FL? Many people already have, and they’re enjoying these benefits themselves. Now it’s your turn. Check out a class today!