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Which is Best to Defend Yourself With?

which is best to defend yourself with

So, which is best to defend yourself with, boxing or self-defense training? Well, the good news is they’re both good, and will work. Let’s look at both options.

Self-defense

Many different martial arts – There’s so many different types of martial arts, choose the one you feel comfortable with, more importantly, really learn and understand the techniques you are being shown may be needed to seriously defend yourself with someday, we hope not, but you never know and must be prepared for the worst these days.

Understand what you’re learning – Don’t get caught up in the `speed game` what I mean by that is simply don’t race through the colored belts and certificates like it’s some kind of challenge to see how fast you can become black-belt. Really understand why you’re learning self-defense, if your life is in danger the colored belts and certificates will be useless to you if you haven’t really understood the techniques you’ve been taught.

Forget the movies – First of all, forget all the fancy and elaborate moves you see in the movies, they look great, but are not at all realistic and will not help you in a dangerous situation. If you start jumping around and trying high spinning kicks, you`ll end up on the floor at your attacker’s mercy, the last place you want to be.

You can only hope your antics amused him so much he couldn’t attack for laughing! Seriously though, these kind of `movie theatrics` will be disastrous should you try them. Keep them in the movies where they belong!

Being attacked is nothing like training – If you are attacked out in the streets, this is the real deal and no matter how much training you might have done cannot prepare you for the level of violence your attacker may be capable of inflicting on you.

The shock of being attacked for real can stun even the most competent of martial artists, while their brain is trying to accept what’s happening the adrenaline is in overdrive! So always accept the fact you might be next, no one is immune from attack, it’s how you handle the situation that matters.

Skills and confidence – First of all, you must have the skills needed to deal with an attacker if you’re using self-defense, trying to put someone in an arm lock for the first time while being attacked simply won’t work. It takes many lessons and months, even years to truly learn how to successfully know these moves inside out.

Even if you truly have the skills, that’s still not enough as you must also have the confidence to execute the techniques correctly. Even knowing what to do, if you go half-heartedly into an arm lock not sure you can successfully pull it off you’re already defeated!

Confidence plays a crucial part of the skills needed to defending yourself successfully, which goes back to what I was saying earlier about learning martial arts correctly. You`ll wish you had if that time comes.

Learn for the correct reasons – Martial arts knowledge is not about teaching someone a lesson, or getting even with someone, or being the toughest guy in the bar. Never use your skills to threaten or bully innocent people.

Learning self-defense comes with many positive benefits, three of which are self-control, discipline and respect for others.

Self-defense myth #1 – Self-defense is one of those subjects plagued by myths. The greatest myth, mainly propagated by action movies, is that of invincibility. Here the well-trained warrior always wins through a mixture of way over-the-top techniques and unwavering courage, none of which would help you in a real-life attack situation.

The movie battles are brutally but beautifully choreographed, with astonishing and complex moves, and he ultimately defeats all challenges, again, with techniques that have no use outside movies.

A classic example of this would be the Bruce Lee movies, as much as we all love him, you have to admit the fighting sequences are way over the top, certainly where he’s surrounded by twenty or more guys and he’s blindly flailing those arms and legs and people are dropping like flies! Looks great, but totally unrealistic. But Bruce Lee is a legend and I love him as much as you do, but you get my point, right?

Another example is the Van Damme movies, where in every movie he takes a real beating then miraculously defeats almost everyone with his signature jumping spinning around ballet like kick, looks great, but would you seriously do that in front of someone? No, of course you wouldn’t as 9 out of 10 times you’d miss and end up on the floor at the mercy of your attacker! But again, they are great action movies.

For me, the most realistic martial arts movies were the early Steven Seagal ones, I say early ones simply because later he got so out of shape nothing remotely looked realistic about him or his movies!

Anyway, that’s enough of bashing the actors in these movies, you understand my point, right? They’re good to watch, but if you think you can defeat someone in that manner you’ll be in for a rude awakening.

In reality, no matter how expert a person becomes in unarmed combat, he will always remain terribly vulnerable in a street fight. Ask anyone who regularly faces true violence, such as nightclub doormen or police officers, and almost all will confess to feeling deep fear before and during any fight.

This fear comes from knowing that a person can go from victor to vanquished in a matter of seconds with a single punch. Real fights, unlike those in the movies, always have uncertain outcomes, and it`s not always good. Just because you are the good guy does not mean a thing out in the streets.

Self-defense myth #2 – The second myth is slightly more insidious, as it can be propagated even among those who have achieved a high level in the martial arts. This is the belief that somehow fights can be clean and controlled, and that knowing advanced techniques can guarantee victory.

There are many people that have never done martial arts in their entire life, but instead have fought and won numerous real fights. All the martial arts classes and even sparring will not prepare you if you are suddenly confronted with someone who is hell bent on causing you serious injury.

The type that just attack without warning, where you have to act instantly to have a chance, this is where you quickly realize all the training you have done hasn’t prepared you for the level of violence that’s now coming your way. This is the real deal and you better have a plan of action to deal with it quickly, as you may only get one chance to survive.

They may be high on drugs or alcohol which can add to the problems you now about to face. Not everyone is a happy drunk, and when high on drugs, some turn extremely violent.

Nothing will prepare you for a real fight, the level of violence can be shocking, where there are no rules, and if you go down, the attack may well continue. The explosion of adrenaline can paralyze the most well studied fighter if he has only experienced training sessions, who suddenly finds himself in a real-life fight situation. It can and does happen.

I personally know many black belts who look great in training sessions but would have to question their chances in a real street fight. Many get caught up in the game of flying through the different colored belts as fast as possible and getting that fancy certificate, seeing that as the main challenge, rather than truly being able to defend themselves.

Boxing

Boxing training offers so many benefits. Boxing, a great form of exercise and sport. Boxing as a sport requires a high level of athletic prowess: strength, speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, endurance, nerve, and power, just to name several required attributes. Boxing as a fitness activity enables the average person to hone those same athletic skills, all without having to take a punch.

If you’re hoping to get in great shape and improve your health, you just might want to sign up for a membership to your local boxing gym. There are a number of reasons why, and here’s just a few of the benefits of boxing.

Many people would be surprised to see boxing categized as a martial art. However, boxing is one of the purest forms of martial arts in history. It is highly effective in MMA as well, teaching fighters head movement and footwork technique.

It is also extremely effective in self-defense situations, as most fights start standing up. Boxing is a sport that has been celebrated by the masses throughout history. It’s also not that hard to become a better boxer with practice.

You don’t need fancy and elaborate moves to defend yourself, boxing is a straight forward no-nonsense defend and counter attack, perfect in a street fight really, and as that’s the most likely place you’ll get attacked, you’ll be glad to have some boxing skills under your belt.

Enhanced Cardiovascular Health – You hear it all the time: You need to do cardio to protect yourself from heart disease, burn calories, and lose or maintain your weight. But “doing cardio” doesn’t have to mean hopping on a treadmill to log your required minutes – how boring is that?

The whole point of cardio is to place a moderate amount of stress on your heart and lungs so that they’re challenged enough to make beneficial physiologic adaptations to support the higher level of physical activity. But how you choose to place stress on your heart and lungs is up to you. As long as you keep your heart rate up during your workout, there’s no reason you can’t punch, kick, and jump your way to a healthy heart at your local boxing gym.

Better Hand-Eye Coordination – You may not think about the importance of hand-eye coordination and its effect on total health, but hand-eye coordination plays an important role in a person’s motor skills. Individuals with good hand-eye coordination tend to have faster reflexes and reaction times and tend to have better physical coordination as a whole. This is particularly important during aging, as coordination and balance become compromised, increasing the risk of falls.

Boxing can help hone hand-eye coordination. When you’re tasked with punching a speed bag (a lightweight boxing bag suspended from a disc that turns and bounces quickly with each punch), or you’re paired up to spar with a partner (practice punching your partner’s padded mitts), you must be able to see the target, react to the target, and hit the target, all while the target is moving and changing position. It’s tough, but with practice, your hand-eye coordination improves substantially.

Increases Physical and Mental Toughness – Boxing is as much mental as it is physical.  When starting out, someone going at you and threatening physical harm is a scary thing.  Many new people just turn their backs and try to get away as soon as the barrage of punches come.  The fight-or-flight response kicks in and your body starts to react by retreating.

But the more you spar, the more you train your brain to stand and fight, instead of retreating (flight).  You eventually learn how to take a punch and how to stand and fight even when you are getting your butt whooped.  In essence, you are training your mind and body to persist.

The physical and mental toughness gained from boxing will translate into other parts of your life.  You will find that your pain threshold will increase, you will become less scared of physical harm, and you will become grittier. There is not much that will make you tougher than facing physical harm.

Ability to Defend Yourself – This is probably the most obvious benefit of boxing aside from the conditioning.  Boxing is a very effective form of fighting.

In order for boxing to be an effective form of self-defense though, you can’t just keep hitting focus mitts and heavy bags, you actually have to do some sparring—some real sparring.

Boxing teaches you to be controlled with your movement and strike at the right time.  So, when you are sparring with someone that knows how to box, the sparring is used to work on technique, not to kill one another.  People that don’t know how to box however, go into a sparring match with 100 percent power and speed.  It can feel like they are trying to kill you.

Improving Your Coordination – The next big benefit that you can reap from boxing and training for boxing on a regular basis is that you will develop better hand-eye coordination.

Training your hand-eye coordination works in the same way as training your cardiovascular endurance or your muscle strength, in the sense that the more you challenge it, the better it will get.

Boxing involves a lot of coordination because you need to be able to bounce around and move in certain direction with your feet, while at the same time landing punches on your opponent. Moreover, you have to be able to aim your hands perfectly to get that big punch in on your opponent’s sweet spot, something that requires a lot of coordination.

Moreover, training for boxing, such as skipping rope, or better yet using a speed bag, also helps to train hand-eye coordination and the connection between your brain, the part that tells you to do something, and your hands and feet, the parts which execute the maneuvers which your brain has instructed them to do.

Summary

Self-defense is great for many reasons, with so many health and social benefits, but if you haven’t truly learned the techniques correctly they aren’t really likely to work for you when attacked.

Now, on the other hand if you have truly learned the techniques, they can be very valuable for your safety, for example putting someone in a restraining hold, and taking the heat out of the attacker within seconds without causing harm to yourself.

Boxing is a great no-nonsense way of defending yourself, it doesn’t take very long to learn how to throw a punch correctly, and nothing will stop an attacker faster than a good old fashioned solid punch to the face!

Attackers are cowards, once they see and feel you have boxing skills they’ll be on their way very quickly feeling very sorry for themselves, knowing they picked on the wrong person.

So, to answer the question, which is better boxing or self-defense training? it’s a matter of preference. Personally I like to do both regularly. Both are extremely enjoyable and come with so many benefits, and you can easily defend yourself with both.

Never think you’re invincible, even if you can handle yourself, you may still take a punch so always be prepared and accept an attack could come your way. Deal with it quickly if it does!

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Creativity and Motivation are the Keys

Creativity and motivation are the keys

Creativity and motivation are the keys… to successful training sessions, and motivation certainly comes from being creative, I’ve been working out for 35 years and never once been bored with it.

Try new ways of working out and change things up regularly, one of the biggest problems I see is that people do the same thing session after session, that’s a sure way to get frustrated and bored, as of course improvement and gains are very slow in coming, if at all.

You don’t need a gym

You can always workout! just get creative! Here`s a free copy of a short book I wrote recently, hopefully to inspire people to workout while the gyms are still closed. This is how I started without any equipment or gyms. All I had was a creative mind. Hope you enjoy it.

Now sure, it’s a big inconvenience not being able to get to your gym for whatever reason, or maybe you don’t have a gym membership, or even own a set of weights.

If this describes you, don`t worry, you don’t have to let this stop you from getting your daily workout in. It`s time to get creative, and you`ll be very surprised just how creative you can get without a gym or even owning a set of weights. I should know as I did it myself.

Back in 1980, at the age of 16, there was a time when we had life without gyms, they simply didn’t exist, certainly no fancy gyms like we have nowadays, not in the small town where I lived anyway.

At this time, I probably weighed all of 130lb wet through! Painfully thin, and it was time to do something about it, but what could I do with no weights and no gym? Thankfully though, I was blessed with a creative mind.

So, this is my story of how I got into working out without a real weight set or gym, and more to the point just how creative I became in order to get my workouts in.

The moral of this story is; If you want to workout bad enough, you`ll find a way, and not let anything stop you! You might find it hard to believe, but the fact is your mind is stronger than your muscles-put it to use and get creative! Creativity and motivation are the keys.

Curling with bricks

My earliest recollection of working out would be when I quickly discovered items around the house and back yard that I could use for lifting.

Curling was the first exercise, with the use of two old bricks I retrieved from our back yard, well, actually from my dad`s small garden, I figured he wouldn’t miss two of them! I kept these under my bed and would curl endlessly day after day. No sets or reps, just as many as I could possibly do!

My limit to start with was 20, then I quickly progressed to doing 100 curls. I was impressed! 100 was my goal and I would try this every chance I got, 5-6 times daily, it was a competition, sometimes I did it and sometimes I didn’t, but I never gave up, or got discouraged or bored.

After a few months my parents and friends actually noticed my arms had completely changed shape! To say I was delighted would be the understatement of history! It was working, and now to take my workouts to the next level.

Shrugs with watering cans

Looking around the back yard and garage I found two old plastic watering cans, no idea what use they might be, but I just had a feeling I could use them for something.

I heated up the poker in the fire and did some homemade welding to seal a few holes in them, this was how we dealt with punctured soccer balls back then in England, we didn’t have the money to go out and buy a new one (that would have to wait for a birthday or Christmas present) we repaired the old one till it was unrepairable!

So, I had two instant home-made waterproof dumbbells with handles! I filled them up with water and taped over the opening on top. Now, what to do with them?

Shrugging and upright rowing that’s what! Neither of them weighed exactly the same but alternating them seemed to solve that issue.

Now I’m really getting into this and looking to see what else I can do to extend and improve my workouts.

A homemade lat pulldown contraption

Even before I knew what a lat-machine was, I came up with an idea of constructing something in my dad’s garage, which consisted of something that would resemble a pull up bar, that was already bolted to the wall that my dad used to hang various things off.

I looked around the garage and found a very strong looking metal bucket and an equally strong looking thick rope along with a 5-foot-long steel bar, which we combined together to resemble a lat machine.

So, the rope hung over the pull up looking bar that was already bolted to the garage wall, one end of the rope was the 5-foot-long steel bar, and the other end we had the metal bucket. Wrapped several rags either side of the middle of the pull up looking bar so the rope could slide central and not across the bar. You get the picture, right?

Now, everything was in place apart from one important item, no weights for the bucket.

So, time to get the wheelbarrow out for quick a trip down the back yard. I filled it up with large rocks and pushed it back up to the garage, a workout in itself let me tell you.

The next items I called upon was the use of a weighing scale and hammer and chisel, basic things you`d have in the house and garage or shed really. I set about making the rocks as close to 10 lb. each as I could get, I wasn’t exactly a sculpturer, but with a little careful chiseling it worked just fine. So now I had several 10 lb. weights to place in the bucket in the form of rocks.

Now let me tell you, trying to control that rope and bucket wasn’t easy, the bucket would swing wildly, and after a few near misses, eventually I got it down and had some seriously tough workouts, and can honestly say my back muscles have never been that sore ever since! Of course, at the time I had no idea just how much I was using stabilizing muscles to perform this exercise.

All I can say is when I finally joined a gym years later, when one actually opened, this particular exercise was so easy for me on a nice smooth real lat-pulldown machine, I could comfortably use the entire stack much to the shock of many in the gym. Still to this day, this is my favorite exercise.

One armed rows with a coal scuttle

First of all, let me explain exactly what a coal scuttle is, in England back in the day most houses had a coal fire, and an outside coal shed, basically a very small brick building that coal was kept in. A coal scuttle was the utensil to carry the coal from there into the house to the fireplace.

The coal scuttle itself we had, was around 3 ft long and held a good amount of coal, at a guess I’d say 30 lb. or so. Never actually thought to weigh this, but this made an ideal tool to use for one arm rows, much the same as if you were using a dumbbell.

I would carefully bend over with one leg in front of the other with knees bent, and hand placed on knee for support. I’m sure you can picture this if you’ve done this on a bench. As the coalscuttle had a long handle it was perfect for this exercise.

I would perform 20 reps one side, then switch sides and pretty much do this for 30 minutes straight. Remember, I had no idea what I was doing, other than enjoying my homemade workouts. All I wanted to do was workout and was happily doing just that.

working out in the kitchen with cans of baked beans!

As England was quite cold at times, actually most of the time, I preferred to workout indoors in the kitchen. We had kitchen chairs that were comfortable with a straight padded back.

Ideal for shoulder presses, my choice of dumbbells this time was to be a couple of large cans of baked beans, no idea what they weighed, not much, but when you’re doing sets of 20 reps for 30 minutes they really do feel heavy very quickly.

In the same fashion I would perform bench presses by laying on the floor on a cushion pushing the cans of baked beans. I would alternate this with push-ups, a very effective combination.

For triceps I would do hammer curls with old plastic milk jugs full of water, combined with push-ups with hands spaced close together.

Biceps, I would curl basically anything I could find, the heavier the better. My mindset was, If I could hold it, I could curl it! One day it would be something that resembled a bar, other days something that resembled dumbbells.

As for legs, I would squat for an hour at a time every other day, just free standing with no additional weights, combined with calves. When I stood up from my squat, I would then do my calf raise.

Abs I would do every day as a cool down, on the kitchen floor for around 10 minutes after each workout.

As for cardio I would `speed walk` daily to the town center and back without fail, (around 6 miles round trip) whether it was raining or snowing. My mind set was so strong, nothing would stop me, and I mean nothing!

My first set of weights

After working out in this fashion for a year, I felt it was time to take it to the next level.

One typically cold and rainy night, I was just flicking through the only three TV channels we had, namely BBC1, BBC2 & ITV hoping to find something entertaining when a documentary called `Pumping Iron` came on.

Not knowing anything about this I decided it may be worth watching, so I settled down and was completely shocked by the size of these monsters filling my small TV screen, after about 15 minutes I realized these were real people and not some camera or computer enhanced figures. Right from that moment I knew I was destined to become a `Gym Rat` for life!

Immediately after the show ended, I called my friend who had also been watching equally impressed. “Did you see the size of that guy? and what about that Arnold character with the weird last name?” we both agreed on a time and set off the next morning to a sports store in the local town center to purchase a cheap weight set of plastic sand filled weights, well they seemed good at the time!

In our eagerness we hadn`t considered how we were to get them home. Since neither of us could drive at that time we had to walk the 3 miles home carrying a 100lb. weights set! After a few very hard & long hours we finally got them home by which time we were both so tired and sore we didn`t start working out for another week! And that`s how it all began with real weights.

So, six months later and I’m still training like crazy, seven days a week sometimes twice a day. Constantly waking up the next morning unable to move because I’m so sore through over training No-Pain-No-Gain, right?

I’m quite proud of the fact that I’m able to get rid of the soreness each day just in time to hit the weights again. No thought to any kind of diet, eating everything in sight and drinking lots of beer at the weekends, dressed in muscle shirts everywhere I go showing off those tiny biceps to anyone who is crazy enough to look! Many girls were impressed, so that gave me all the motivation I needed to carry on as I was doing.

Of course I’m not making any gains and have no idea why, but by now I’m totally obsessed with the weights, like a drug I must have my fix of iron, yes I have progressed from the plastic sand filled ones to real iron weights and no, I didn’t walk home 3 miles with these, I ordered them from a catalog along with a lightweight bench.

I’m working out in the kitchen now which has turned into my gym with dad spotting me on a 150lb. bench press, this is getting hard work as dad isn’t sure he can lift this, come to think of it I’m not sure I can either! Now this really isn’t an ideal situation to have to carry all the equipment from a closet, set up the bench and all the weights which is a workout in itself.  Work out, then put them all back again in the closet afterwards, and all the time we are keeping mom out of her kitchen.

This goes on for a further two years with very little gains to show for my efforts, and then I finally see the light, I really need to join a gym. By this time several have opened up in the area.

A real gym at last!

This is great, a real gym with real bodybuilders working out there. In fact, it’s an old Doctor`s surgery that someone has turned into a gym with very old equipment, some of which is homemade. The gym has no name and comes complete with a hole in the roof above the leg press machine.

Now winter in England is no joke as its freezing and always seems to be snowing on leg day. Each time I emerge from the leg press in a light covering of snow. I love this place, it has real character and I’m still working out almost every day with of course no gains to show for my pains, plenty of pains at this point though.

One day I get lucky and meet the owner, a real genuinely great guy who informs me I’m over training and need to cut back to three sessions a week if I really want to develop muscle and strength, and also pay attention to my diet. I never considered I was doing too much and being a `gym addict` now I’m worrying about what I will do on my four days off. But I take his word for it and do as he said, and like magic I start developing muscles without the previous pain, now I’m experiencing a nice soreness that isn’t as severe as before.

I’m getting to train with lots of experienced people now all offering great advice, and I’m in the best shape since I started and start to realize the mistakes I made in the beginning. Two years later the owner moved to another part of town and opened a fantastic gym! This place has much more modern equipment, bigger building, a name and no holes in the roof and still going strong today.

On my four days off I’m studying about various aspects of everything associated to the gym, correct form, nutrition, cardio etc. By this time, it`s four years since I first started working out. I have a great training program, and for the first time I really know what I’m doing in a gym, in fact to the extent that I’m now a certified personal trainer.

So, onto the present day, in 2001 I swapped the cold weather in England for the hot weather in South Texas! After I worked for one of the `Big name` gyms a short time, I have now found the perfect place to work. As an independent trainer I feel I`m more able to work on my own style rather than training like everyone else.

My own gym – The Backyard Gym

In 2018 I opened my own gym called `The Backyard Gym` which saw me move away from just personal training, to also focus on my real passion of self-defense and kickboxing. I have devised my own style of self-defense which I called `Street self-defense` which is a no-nonsense approach martial art, based on evading and escaping an attack, the elaborate moves on the movies look great but will not help you at all if you’re attacked simply because they don’t work, this does!

You don’t have to be Bruce Lee or a black belt to defend yourself. Street self-defense works for anyone-from young kids being bullied at school to the elderly out walking their dog at night-and allows everyone to effectively protect themselves and is proving to be a big success.

Here at the Backyard Gym we are running an ongoing campaign to try and help young kids overcome this terrible issue by giving them the confidence and skills to protect themselves. It`s one thing to know what to do, but, it`s another thing entirely to have the confidence to stand up to a bully and use those skills.

That’s why I believe we have developed the all-around package for kids to successfully be able to do both and live their lives free of bullying.

A final note

This is the final part of my story, the part that has the serious message that I want to get over to anyone who may be thinking of starting out lifting weights. I don`t claim to know everything, but from my own experiences and mistakes I feel that I`m qualified to offer some serious advice.

The first three years or so I pretty much wasted by throwing myself headfirst into this without any serious thought behind what I was doing, it was very much trial and error, mainly error I must admit. All this pain and wasted time could have been avoided if I could have had the help of a good trainer to start me out on the correct path. But as I said, at that time that wasn’t an option as there were none in that area.

But then again, looking back now some twenty plus years ago I`m glad to have made these mistakes because it really makes me aware of how a client is feeling when first coming to me for help, and I`m very happy to guide them away from that kind of start I made. I know firsthand the `No-Pain-No-Gain` attitude can be a very dangerous guide to follow and certainly know what it feels like following this style of training.

So, that was the story of how I went from working out at home, with and without weights, from how I went from going to a real gym to actually owning my own gym, and how I went from having no idea what I was doing to becoming a very successful certified personal trainer, and more to the point, just how creative I became in order to get my workouts in.

Like I said when you want something bad enough, nothing will stop you from doing it.

Now, I’m not saying follow what I did, as I admit back then I had no idea what I was doing, but hopefully this will give you a few ideas to carry on working out at home, whether your gyms are closed, or you have yet to join a gym. With a little creativity you can still do a whole-body workout at home.

All this might sound primitive, but when you have no gyms or weights, it works! So, instead of worrying and complaining and being depressed about having no gyms to go to at present, get creative! You`ll be surprised at what you can come up with in your own home.

So basically, if you come to me as a client you will be getting well over twenty years’ experience and I will be more than happy to give you value for money and really help you to the best of my ability to help you bring the best out of yourself, without over doing it, and to reach your fitness goals, but to first start you out on the correct path.

Well I hope you enjoyed reading this story as much as I enjoyed telling it, I know a lot of it sounds amusing, but it also carries a very important message about safety and starting off in the correct manner, and being creative.

Remember. Creativity and motivation are the keys… to successful training sessions, and motivation certainly comes from being creative. Just do it!

Defend Yourself Against all Viruses!

Defend yourself against all Viruses!

Defend yourself against all Viruses! – boost your immune system! In particular, at present coronavirus. I`m sure by now everyone has heard about this, I mean, how could you not? There’s been nothing on the news apart from that for about 3 months now. Everyday there’s more and more reports of people catching it.

The media have turned it into a worldwide scare, and maybe for good reason. So how do we fight something like this? We can start by boosting our immune system. Like the old saying goes; prevention is better than the cure, most certainly true in this case as there is no cure at this time for Coronavirus. Fight Coronavirus – boost your immune system!

So, how can you improve your immune system? On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes you sick.

Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost your immune system? What if you improve your diet? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?

What is Coronavirus?

A new virus called the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been identified as the cause of a disease outbreak that began in China. The disease is called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The virus is a type of coronavirus — a family of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Because this virus is so new, not much is known about it yet. Public health groups, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are investigating.

The new coronavirus appears to be spreading from person to person. It may be spread by respiratory droplets when someone infected with the virus coughs or sneezes. It’s unclear exactly how contagious the virus is.

COVID-19 symptoms can be mild to severe and include a fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure. A coronavirus vaccine isn’t currently available. Fight Coronavirus – boost your immune system!

What can you do to boost your immune system?

Fight Coronavirus – boost your immune system! The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.

But that doesn’t mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren’t intriguing and shouldn’t be studied. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.

Healthy ways to strengthen your immune system

Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Fight Coronavirus – boost your immune system! Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:

Increase Your immunity the healthy way

Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity. But the concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. In fact, boosting the number of cells in your body — immune cells or others — is not necessarily a good thing. For example, athletes who engage in “blood doping” — pumping blood into their systems to boost their number of blood cells and enhance their performance — run the risk of strokes.

Attempting to boost the cells of your immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. Which cells should you boost, and to what number? So far, scientists do not know the answer.

What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells. Certainly, it produces many more lymphocytes than it can possibly use. The extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis — some before they see any action, some after the battle is won. No one knows how many cells or what the best mix of cells the immune system needs to function at its optimum level.

Immune system and age

As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer. As life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too has the incidence of age-related conditions.

While some people age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases and, even more importantly, more likely to die from them. Respiratory infections, influenza, and particularly pneumonia is a leading cause of death in people over 65 worldwide.

No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk correlates with a decrease in T cells, possibly from the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection.

Whether this decrease in thymus function explains the drop in T cells or whether other changes play a role is not fully understood. Others are interested in whether the bone marrow becomes less efficient at producing the stem cells that give rise to the cells of the immune system.

A reduction in immune response to infections has been demonstrated by older people’s response to vaccines. For example, studies of influenza vaccines have shown that for people over age 65, the vaccine is much less effective compared to healthy children (over age 2). But despite the reduction in efficacy, vaccinations for influenza and S. pneumoniae have significantly lowered the rates of sickness and death in older people when compared with no vaccination.

There appears to be a connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly. A form of malnutrition that is surprisingly common even in affluent countries is known as “micronutrient malnutrition.” Micronutrient malnutrition, in which a person is deficient in some essential vitamins and trace minerals that are obtained from or supplemented by diet, can be common in the elderly.

Older people tend to eat less and often have less variety in their diets. One important question is whether dietary supplements may help older people maintain a healthier immune system. Older people should discuss this question with a physician who is well versed in geriatric nutrition, because while some dietary supplementation may be beneficial for older people, even small changes can have serious repercussions in this age group.

Diet and your immune system

Like any fighting force, the immune system army marches on its stomach. Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment. Fight Coronavirus – boost your immune system!

Scientists have long recognized that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Whether the increased rate of disease is caused by malnutrition’s effect on the immune system, however, is not certain.

There are still relatively few studies of the effects of nutrition on the immune system of humans, and even fewer studies that tie the effects of nutrition directly to the development (versus the treatment) of diseases.

There is some evidence that various micronutrient deficiencies — for example, deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E — alter immune responses in animals, as measured in the test tube. However, the impact of these immune system changes on the health of animals is less clear, and the effect of similar deficiencies on the human immune response has yet to be assessed.

So, what can you do? If you suspect your diet is not providing you with all your micronutrient needs — maybe, for instance, you don’t like vegetables — taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may bring other health benefits, beyond any possibly beneficial effects on the immune system. Taking mega doses of a single vitamin does not. More is not necessarily better.

Improve immunity with herbs and supplements?

Walk into a store, and you will find bottles of pills and herbal preparations that claim to “support immunity” or otherwise boost the health of your immune system. Although some preparations have been found to alter some components of immune function, thus far there is no evidence that they actually bolster immunity to the point where you are better protected against infection and disease.

Demonstrating whether an herb — or any substance, for that matter — can enhance immunity is, as yet, a highly complicated matter. Scientists don’t know, for example, whether an herb that seems to raise the levels of antibodies in the blood is actually doing anything beneficial for overall immunity.

Stress and immune function

Fight Coronavirus – boost your immune system! Modern medicine has come to appreciate the closely linked relationship of mind and body. A wide variety of maladies, including stomach upset, hives, and even heart disease, are linked to the effects of emotional stress. Despite the challenges, scientists are actively studying the relationship between stress and immune function.

For one thing, stress is difficult to define. What may appear to be a stressful situation for one person is not for another. When people are exposed to situations they regard as stressful, it is difficult for them to measure how much stress they feel, and difficult for the scientist to know if a person’s subjective impression of the amount of stress is accurate.

The scientist can only measure things that may reflect stress, such as the number of times the heart beats each minute, but such measures also may reflect other factors.

Most scientists studying the relationship of stress and immune function, however, do not study a sudden, short-lived stressor; rather, they try to study more constant and frequent stressors known as chronic stress, such as that caused by relationships with family, friends, and co-workers, or sustained challenges to perform well at one’s work. Some scientists are investigating whether ongoing stress takes a toll on the immune system.

But it is hard to perform what scientists call “controlled experiments” in human beings. In a controlled experiment, the scientist can change one and only one factor, such as the amount of a particular chemical, and then measure the effect of that change on some other measurable phenomenon, such as the amount of antibodies produced by a particular type of immune system cell when it is exposed to the chemical.

Does being cold give you a weak immune system?

Almost every mother has said it: “Wear a jacket or you’ll catch a cold!” Is she right? So far, researchers who are studying this question think that normal exposure to moderate cold doesn’t increase your susceptibility to infection. Most health experts agree that the reason winter is “cold and flu season” is not that people are cold, but that they spend more time indoors, in closer contact with other people who can pass on their germs.

But researchers remain interested in this question in different populations. Some experiments with mice suggest that cold exposure might reduce the ability to cope with infection. But what about humans? Scientists have dunked people in cold water and made others sit nude in subfreezing temperatures.

They’ve studied people who lived in Antarctica and those on expeditions in the Canadian Rockies. The results have been mixed. For example, researchers documented an increase in upper respiratory infections in competitive cross-country skiers who exercise vigorously in the cold, but whether these infections are due to the cold or other factors — such as the intense exercise or the dryness of the air — is not known.

A group of Canadian researchers that has reviewed hundreds of medical studies on the subject and conducted some of its own research concludes that there’s no need to worry about moderate cold exposure — it has no detrimental effect on the human immune system.

Should you bundle up when it’s cold outside? The answer is “yes” if you’re uncomfortable, or if you’re going to be outdoors for an extended period where such problems as frostbite and hypothermia are a risk. But don’t worry about immunity.

Exercise: Good or bad for immunity?

Fight Coronavirus – boost your immune system! Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. But does it help to boost your immune system naturally and keep it healthy?

Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.

Some scientists are trying to take the next step to determine whether exercise directly affects a person’s susceptibility to infection. For example, some researchers are looking at whether extreme amounts of intensive exercise can cause athletes to get sick more often or somehow impairs their immune function.

To do this sort of research, exercise scientists typically ask athletes to exercise intensively; the scientists test their blood and urine before and after the exercise to detect any changes in immune system components. While some changes have been recorded, immunologists do not yet know what these changes mean in terms of human immune response.

But these subjects are elite athletes undergoing intense physical exertion. What about moderate exercise for average people? Does it help keep the immune system healthy? For now, even though a direct beneficial link hasn’t been established, it’s reasonable to consider moderate regular exercise to be a beneficial arrow in the quiver of healthy living, a potentially important means for keeping your immune system healthy along with the rest of your body.

Great Products to Boost Your Immune system

Astaxanthin – The king of antioxidants. Have you heard of this? If not, let’s start with these facts…. Astaxanthin is 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C, 800 times stronger than CoQ10, 550 times stronger than green tea catechins and 75 times stronger than alpha lipoic acid.

Astaxanthin (pronounced “asta-ZAN-thin”) is a naturally occurring carotenoid found in algae, shrimp, lobster, crab and salmon. Carotenoids are pigment colors that occur in nature and support good health. Beta carotene, for example, is orange. Astaxanthin, dubbed the “king of the carotenoids” is red, and is responsible for turning salmon, crab, lobster and shrimp flesh pink.

In the animal kingdom, astaxanthin is found in the highest concentration in the muscles of salmon. Scientists theorize astaxanthin helps provide the endurance these remarkable animals need to swim upstream.

For humans, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant with broad health implications and unlike other antioxidants, such as beta carotene, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, C, D and selenium, astaxanthin never becomes pro-oxidant in the body.

Bone Broth – A very healthy drink. Bone Broth benefits, are you getting them? What makes this stuff so special? The short answer is collagen. Bones and connective tissue are the only true dietary sources of type II collagen — a protein that’s known for keeping skin smooth and supple and teeth and joints strong, as well as promoting dozens of other benefits, bone broth is the way to go!

So, these “scraps” that most of us usually toss in the garbage are serious nutritional powerhouses. But when was the last time you chowed down on a piece of cow’s knuckle? Or snacked on an ox tail? Probably never, right? and never likely to.

Since we don’t eat bones in their whole form, cooking them into a broth that’s simmered for 10 to 20 hours (or more) is the best way to release their powerful nutrients, and experience a whole new level of benefits.

Promote Gut & Digestive Health. Bone broth has a rich history of being used as a digestive tonic, especially in traditional cultures as far back as 2,500 years ago. Today, it’s one of the top recommended foods for supporting digestive health.

The reason bone broth supports the gut goes back to collagen, which forms gelatin when it’s cooked down even further. Collagen and gelatin contain amino acids such as glutamine that supports a healthy inflammatory response.

Kale – The true superfood.But does kale really live up to this superfood label? The answer is: yes, it does! Here is everything you need to know about Kale, also some of its impressive benefits, and some easy ways to incorporate kale into your diet beyond salads and smoothies.

Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, meaning it packs a powerful nutritional punch per typical serving. One cup of kale provides more than 100% of the daily minimum target for immune-supporting vitamin C and over 200% for vitamin A.

The latter nutrient also supports immunity, as well as skin and brain health. Additionally, kale contains smaller amounts of key minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, and phosphorus. It also supplies energy-supporting B vitamins and some plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and plant protein.

Turmeric – one of the most powerful herbs, is the main spice in the Indian dish curry, is argued by many to be the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. The health benefits of turmeric are incredibly vast and very thoroughly researched.

This puts turmeric on top of the list as one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs in all of science. It has a long history of use, particularly in Ayurvedic medicine and other traditional forms of medicine. Here’s what you need to know about turmeric and curcumin benefits and more.

Curcuma, Curcuma Aromatica, Curcuma Domestica, Curcumae Longa, Curcumae Longae Rhizoma, Curcumin, Curcumine, Curcuminoid, Curcuminoids, Halada, Haldi, Haridra, Indian Saffron, Nisha, Pian Jiang Huang, Racine de Curcuma, Radix Curcumae, Rajani, Rhizoma Cucurmae Longae, Safran Bourbon, Safran de Batallita, Safran des Indes, Turmeric Root, Yu Jin.

Turmeric is used for arthritisheartburn (dyspepsia), joint painstomach pain, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitisbypass surgeryhemorrhagediarrheaintestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundiceliver problems, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gallbladder disorders, high cholesterol, a skin condition called lichen planus, skin inflammation from radiation treatment, and fatigue.

It is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgialeprosyfevermenstrual problems, itchy skin, recovery after surgery, and cancers. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer’s disease, swelling in the middle layer of the eye (anterior uveitis), diabeteswater retention, worms, an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), tuberculosisurinary bladder inflammation, and kidney problems.

Moringa – the powerhouse of plants! it’s high in fiber, protein, magnesium and potassium. It contains more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more vitamin C than oranges. While the leaves contain most of the nutrition, the pods themselves are an excellent source of vitamin C, boasting 157% of the recommended dietary allowance.

Its high antioxidant content has made it of particular interest in the wellness community, and it has been used globally to treat infections, malnutrition, anemia, and allergies.

Bottom line is with so many health benefits Moringa is too good not to be taking! It’s easy to add Moringa to your daily diet and reap the seemingly endless benefits of this amazing plant, by simply including Moringa powder to your smoothie or drink it as a tea. The leaf powder was deemed safe in human studies, even in larger doses than normal.

The powder has a mild flavor, so it makes for a light moringa tea with a slightly earthy taste. If you’re not already taking this start today!

Apple cider vinegar – benefits have been well-known for centuries. Among other things it’s been shown to keep blood sugar in check, speed up weight loss, and even improve the appearance of acne and scarring. Plus, apple cider vinegar consumption works great for the keto diet.

But is apple cider vinegar good for you? If so, what is apple cider vinegar good for? Apple cider vinegar (ACV) uses range from soothing sunburns to giving your gut health a boost. Some even suggest that ACV cures cold symptoms and seasonal allergies as well as acid reflux.

With so many more potential uses and a host of already proven health benefits, this really is a must-have item in your fridge.

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from apple cider that has undergone fermentation to form health-promoting probiotics and enzymes, giving it significantly less sugar and fewer calories than apple cider or apple juice.

In fact, it only takes one to two tablespoons of ACV to take advantage of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and each tablespoon contains just 3–5 calories and contains minimal sugar. Sounds good right? Yes, of course it does.

Fight Viruses – Summary

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Clean surfaces you often touch.
  • Stay home from work, school and public areas if you’re sick.
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat or animal organs.
  • If you’re visiting live markets in areas that have recently had new coronavirus cases, avoid contact with live animals and surfaces they may have touched.

Avoid Walking Alone at Night!

Avoid walking alone at night!

Avoid walking alone at night! Especially women who walk alone at night are at high risk of attack! Know what to do in the worst-case scenario. If you’re walking alone at night.

In life, some things are worth taking a risk. However, taking a risk when it comes to walking alone at night is not one of those things, we should be avoiding this whenever possible.

Women who walk alone — especially at night — are at risk of harassment, or even physical assault. It is always best to walk with someone or in an area where there are other people- but even with the best planning there will likely come a time you will need to walk somewhere alone at night.

Whether it’s to your car after a late night at the office, heading to your car after a late-night store run, or walking home from the public bus station, you may find yourself out at night alone. Frequently, these situations arise walking back to your dorm after a late-night college class as well.

Something as simple and innocent sounding as going for a late night run can put you in a high risk danger zone. You can`t be too careful these days, desperate times make people do desperate things.

Basically, any situation puts you at risk if it involves walking alone at night. Avoid doing this, and your chances of being attacked will be greatly reduced.

Make sure you follow these tips to stay safer

Have your keys ready – Keep your keys ready to go, even if you are simply walking from your front door to your car. Hold on to them inside your pocket. Bring them out when you are a few steps away from the car door and then unlock the door and get in.

This will eliminate fumbling around for the keys in your purse or pocket, which is a prime time for someone to jump you as you are distracted. Once you are in your vehicle, lock the door and start the car, don’t sit there idle with the door unlocked and the car not running because someone can still approach you.

Walk with confidence – Women who walk alone at night are at risk! If you have to walk at night alone be sure you are walking with an air of confidence and with purpose. Keep your head up and don’t be afraid to make eye contact with those you pass.

Don’t keep your head down or avoid eye contact as this could give the impression that you are timid, weak, or scared. Walk at a steady pace and walk facing traffic to keep yourself visible. If you end up getting lost don’t wander around, head to the nearest area that has people and ask someone for directions and head on your way with purpose once again.

Trust your gut instinct – When you have to be out alone at night, your gut instincts are often your best defense and they are your best friend. If you are worried someone is following you, turn around and acknowledge they are there.

Let the person know you’re aware of their presence. You do not have to confront them but let them know that you know they are there. If you feel you are being followed do not go to your car or to your house. Head to a public area like a store, restaurant, or police station if one is nearby and find someone to help you.

Carry a `noisy` friend – Women are often the target of violence, abuse, and abduction because they are seen as easy targets that will not put up a fight and will not arouse anyone to what is going on. The best way to fight this is to always have something on you that can be used to draw attention to yourself.

Keep some kind of noisemaker on your keychain so you can get to it easily if someone approaches you and you need help. A personal alarm or whistle can be used to let those around you know something is wrong and can scare off an attacker in many cases.

Know what to do in the worst-case scenario – A woman’s best defense against an attack is mindfulness and action. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation or a situation that makes you feel unformattable or at risk and you can escape, do so immediately.

If you need to fight back, you need to be prepared to do so and know what you will do to defend yourself. Only you can determine what you can or will do when faced with an attacker. Many women take self-defense classes to help prepare them for these cases, so they know what to do when the adrenaline is flowing, and they need to act.

Avoid carrying too many bags – Struggling with numerous different bags at night while walking to your car or to your front door is a common occurrence for many women, but you should avoid it whenever possible.

Multiple bags hanging on your arms and shoulders make it where you cannot use your hands freely and can prevent your ability to react quickly if a situation were to suddenly turn dangerous. Use a shopping cart to carry bags from the store to your car and make multiple trips to the car if you need to bring a lot of bags into the house.

Notify someone of your plans – If you have to walk alone at night, give someone a call or text to let them know where you are and what you will be doing. Make sure to tell them your plans, travel routes, and expected arrival time. You want to make sure if something happens someone knows where to start looking for you or when they should be worried that you are not home or haven’t checked in yet.

There are several apps you can download on your mobile phone to track your location and send notices to family of when you should arrive home. These can be valuable for women who live alone and end up walking alone often. Women’s Safety is a must!

No cell phones or headphones! – The final thing you can do to keep yourself safe if you have to walk alone at night is to make sure you are alert and are not letting yourself get distracted. You need to always be aware of where you are what is going on around you.

Do not wear headphones or listen to music while you are walking alone. Don’t text or use your phone to browse the internet while you are walking. If you need to call someone do so and talk to them while you are walking and don’t let yourself lose track of what’s happening around you as you walk. Being alert is the best way to avoid dangerous situations.

Summary

After reading this blog, you will have learned the importance of staying safe if you find yourself in a situation of having to walk alone at night, common sense and a little thought behind where you are, where you’re going, what you’re doing and who is around you can go a long way to you staying safe, and hopefully prevent you from attack.

Remember, avoid walking alone at night! Especially women who walk alone at night are at high risk of attack! Don`t become the next victim.

Knowing Marital Arts is an Education!

Knowing martial arts is an education!

Knowing martial arts is an education! Martial arts gives you way more than Self-defense knowledge. Especially for young kids, discipline and respect are vital, and thankfully a big part of martial arts.

The ability to protect oneself physically from violence is a basic human right that should be reachable for everyone, including children and teenagers. Self-defense is an overlooked skill in our society, but it’s significant. In an age when bullying in school is a huge problem, it’s important to ensure that boys and girls can defend themselves in an appropriate way if the situation requires it.

Self-defense techniques taught in our programs not only allows teens to defend themselves against physical attacks, it also has diverse benefits for students in their everyday lives. Hard work, loyalty, patience, as well as self-confidence are all important values and principles taught in our classes. Furthermore, martial arts can help to reduce stress and control aggressions for people of all ages.

When to practice self-defense

Of course, physical self-defense is ALWAYS a last resort! Self-defense teaches students how to defuse potentially dangerous situations in a number of ways. Unfortunately, it is a very real possibility that you may at one point find yourself in a situation where you need to physically defend yourself. You need to be prepared for any potential scenario.

Martial arts teach self-defense, self-confidence, self-respect and much more. There are so many benefits that teens can learn from practicing martial arts, that it definitely becomes something you should consider for your child. As a teenager, there are many stages of development to go through. It’s best you ensure that they’re being exposed to the correct principles of self-defense.

If you’re looking to get your teen into sports, provide them with a safe and fun after-school activity, or simply to have them learn proper self-defense, I highly recommend martial arts of any kind.

Importance of self-defense for girls

The world can be a dangerous place for girls and women, as they often experience violence. They’re often perceived as easy targets – and while this may not be true, there is still a disproportionate amount of violence conducted against them. Many parents of girls and girls themselves are interested in learning how to protect themselves against violent situations, but they are often not sure where to turn. Martial arts classes are a safe space where women of all ages develop mental and physical skills to defend themselves against attacks.

Every girl has to be strong and has to become aware of this internal power. In martial arts, girls practice making judgments about allowing others into their personal space and experience what it’s like to give and receive respect. By participating in classes, girls develop confidence, better decision-making skills, and a stronger character. Self-respect is taught which allows girls to recognize situations in which they need to employ self-defense. Overall, there are many benefits teenager girls have from learning martial arts. They help girls to develop their personality and grow into strong women.

Importance of self-defense for boys

Of course, violence does not only happen to girls. As boys can become victims of violent situations and attacks too, it’s important that they know how to protect themselves. Getting lost in the heat of the moment and not wanting to solve problems with communication, but rather with physical actions is a common problem among teenage boys. Misunderstandings can easily happen, and suddenly a fight breaks out.

Besides learning to physically protect themselves, boys are taught to develop mental strength. They are shown that there are better ways to solve tough situations. A conflict that could be resolved with words comes down to fists all too often. Boys are shown how to de-escalate a violent confrontation and how to control their emotions.

Martial arts for kids is the way to go! With violent attacks and bullying on the increase give your kids a fighting chance to defend themselves, plus they’ll learn respect and get regular physical exercise. What could be better than that?

Self-defense is the use of reasonable force to protect oneself, or someone close by from harm in the event of an attack by an aggressor. Self-defense can avert disastrous results, such as injury or death.

Knowing how to defend oneself isn’t only physical, however, there is a mental aspect to it as well. No matter how strong or agile you are, if you lack the mental toughness and knowledge to execute countermeasures when confronted with an attacker, you will find yourself overpowered.

This is why it is important to invest in some sort of self-defense training for everyone in your household, especially children.

Why kids should learn Self-defense

The ability to protect oneself physically from harm is a basic human right that should be accessible to everyone, including children. Teaching children self-defense is something we often overlook in today’s society, but it is of utmost importance. In an age when the bullying epidemic in school is a huge problem, it is important to ensure that our children can defend themselves if the need arises.

Self-defense not only allows children to tangibly defend themselves against physical attacks, it also sparks various benefits to them in everyday life. Important values and principles can be learned, such as hard work, dedication, and perseverance, as well as the importance of maintaining personal relationships.

Martial arts teach self-defense and much more. There are so many benefits that children can pick up from martial arts, that it definitely becomes something you should consider for your child. Children go through many stages of development, so it is best that you make sure your child is exposed to the correct principles of self-defense.

If you’re looking to get your children into sports, provide them with a safe and fun after-school activity, or simply to have them learn proper self-defense, here are a few reasons why you should get them into martial arts training.

It empowers children with the knowledge of Self-defense

As has been stated before, self-defense is a basic right for any human being — children included. The knowledge and importance of self-defense in a child’s development cannot be overstated. Martial arts can empower children with this knowledge, and of course, the responsibility that comes with it.

Whatever form of self-defense you enroll your children in, martial arts will teach your children many intricate techniques and how to properly execute them.

Don’t think of it as fighting. Martial arts will teach children when and where to apply their knowledge and skills. Martial arts teach children that their own physicality isn’t a tool used to inflict harm on others, but rather, to merely defend themselves against any and all attacks.

By practicing martial arts, children will quickly understand the roles and responsibility that they as martial artists play in today’s society.

It helps deal with bullying in school

Bullying is every parent’s nightmare. We hear so much about it happening in schools, on the playgrounds, and even in our own child’s social circles. We dread the day we find out that our child is either a bully or being bullied.

School bullying has been a problem for years. While we as a society have really made the effort to stop bullying in our educational systems, the truth of the matter is that bullying still exists today. It’s somehow as big of a problem as it has ever been.

We have the power to end bullying by developing our children’s social skills. Any given child can be a bully or a bully target. One way to develop our children’s social skills is through the practice of martial arts.

Martial arts enable children to develop self-confidence, self-discipline, and self-respect, as well as respect for others. Because the change has to come from within ourselves, acquiring these essential personality traits can help stop bullying once and for all. Empower your children with martial arts and witness the immediate positive effect it has on their lives.

Martial arts teach important values

You have probably heard this by now, but martial arts instill in practitioners a lot of important values and principles. Through overcoming obstacles and allowing us a deep look inside our own capabilities, martial arts makes sure we learn many of life’s most important lessons right inside the dojo.

Some of the values that martial arts teaches include integrity, humility, honor, respect, courage, and discipline.

Another important principle is the significance of failure. Throughout life, people are bound to fail, but martial arts teach us to embrace failure and to see it as an opportunity to improve ourselves.

These teachings and principles are not learned from textbooks inside a classroom but are equally as important in our lives as academics.

Martial arts then become an amazing opportunity for children to learn these values by training in self-defense. Equip your child with the proper values they need to become good standing members of society.

It teaches children discipline and responsibility

Discipline and Respect – Part of Martial Arts is one of the most important lessons martial arts imparts on our children. We as individuals must be self-disciplined and responsible for our own actions. The earlier we learn this, the better. Give your children a sense of accountability by enrolling them in martial arts.

In real life, not everything goes our way. We are often met with challenges and obstacles, daunting roadblocks that impede us from getting across one side to another. It is how we choose to deal with these issues that determines if we succeed or we fail.

Martial arts teach our children to roll with the punches — that it doesn’t matter how hard you fall to the ground. What matters is that you can get back up and keep pushing forward. Martial arts for kids is the way to go!

It`s Good Exercise

The CDC recommends that children aged 6-17 get at least one hour of physical activity every day. Self-defense training for kids is a great way to help them get that activity in.

Self-defense classes increase children’s overall health and wellness. By participating in classes on a regular basis, children gain better control over their bodies while building muscle and strength. The movements required to learn effective self-defense techniques are excellent for refining a child’s balance and agility as well.

This type of training leads children to develop better hand-eye coordination. They are also known to have a higher understanding of general anatomy and how each part of the body moves. Martial arts for kids is the way to go!

Teaches Awareness of Surroundings

An integral part of self-defense is taking a proactive stance towards danger. Children who attend these classes learn to recognize and avoid dangerous situations. Children who are taking self-defense classes are taught to be aware of everything around them. Kids are given the tools to take on the outside world without fear and are ready when dangerous situations arise.

This concept is extremely useful, not only in avoiding stranger danger but in more common occurrences, like walking next to and crossing busy streets. Especially in this age of constant digital stimulation, children are often unsure of the differences in the virtual world of video games and reality. They may fail to see dangers in their path.

Children taking self-defense classes are not naive. They know that there are many ways for small people to get hurt in the big world, and they stay alert.

Teaches Spatial Concepts

Spatial awareness is the ability to be aware of objects in relation to oneself in that given space. This is a complex cognitive skill that children need to develop at an early age.

While spatial awareness comes naturally to most children, some find it more difficult and they are helped by self-defense classes.

Self-defense classes not only teach kids to be aware of what is around them but also understanding of how to navigate this space when the objects change place.

In a real-world instance, this may involve an attacker, but it can also involve something like a car that doesn’t stop when the child is crossing a street.

A kid with well-developed spatial awareness will act quickly when an unexpected danger arises. Self-defense for kids has so many positive benefits.

Builds Confidence

Martial arts for kids is the way to go! Up to one-third of all children lack confidence. By giving children the skills they need to protect themselves, self-defense classes build their confidence levels. They learn to use their fear in the event of an attack, to their advantage by transforming it for use as positive fighting energy.

The children are constantly learning new skills, and each one builds on the one before. The positions in self-defense classes require extensive loco-motor and manipulative movements.

These classes also teach kids to listen to their gut and rely on their own intuition for guidance. As they begin to master these concepts, kids will build pride and confidence in their newfound abilities.

Summary

I’m sure after reading this blog, you’ll agree, Martial arts gives you more than Self-defense, Discipline and Respect – Part of Martial Arts, and there’s so many positive benefits for your kids from learning self-defense, and what’s really good is the fact there’s so many different styles of martial arts available these days.

You know what’s even better? They’re all good! There’s no such thing as a bad martial art, you just need to find out what’s available near where you live and figure out what the best style is for your kids.

This will be one of the best gifts you can ever give your children, confidence, discipline, respect and safety. Martial arts for kids is the way to go. Remember, Knowing martial arts is an education!

Everyday Items Make Improvised Weapons

Everyday Items For Improvised Weapons

Everyday items make improvised weapons. Many apparently everyday harmless looking objects can be turned into improvised weapons. Anything that is handheld and heavy can be used as a striking weapon.

Remember, if you are holding an improvised weapon, that might be all your attacker is focusing on, this distraction leaving you with opportunities to attack with jabs, punches or kicks, which in turn can give you openings to utilize the weapon you have distracted them with in the first place.

For home defense, everyday items make improvised weapons too, it’s a good idea to locate objects than can be used as improvised weapons at various areas throughout your home, and get familiar with using them for self-defense. Keep them out of sight and reach of children of course. Can’t be too careful.

Many items that can be used as an improvised weapon

Cell phone light – Since we all seem to have a cell phone stuck in our hands, make use of it by shining the camera light directly in your attacker’s eyes simply by holding it out with one hand giving you the option to deliver a powerful punch with your other hand, while they are caught off guard by the light in their eyes.

Car key knuckle duster – You can arrange a bunch of keys into an improvised knuckle duster by inserting an individual key between each finger of one hand and gripping the center of the bunch in your palm. Have them easily accessible in your pocket, not at the bottom of a bag.

Steel pen – The best pen to be used as a weapon are the ones with a steel barrel, plastic ones work too, but can shatter upon impact, exposing your hands to cuts. Hold the pen in the center of your fist pointing downward, and deliver heavy stabbing strikes to your opponent’s arms, upper body, face and eyes. Basically anywhere you can hit will inflict pain to an attacker.

Use a bag as a shield – Improvised weapon aren’t just for attack, they can easily be used as defensive shields, such as a bag or back pack for example, can be used as a shield to protect against fists and weapon attacks.

Everyday weapons can be lethal – In everyday situations, the most common form of improvised weapons are cutlery and glassware, or gardening tools. Be mindful that the injuries inflicted by such items can be very serious and possibly lethal. S only use them if your life is in danger.

Credit card defense – Plastic credit cards can have surprisingly sharp edges. They can be used as slashing weapons, with a firm grip scrape with the corner across your attackers face, particularly the eyes. Even the toughest of people can’t take that kind of pain, and will back off.

Soda can blade – An aluminum soda can be turned into a weapon in a matter of seconds. Empty the drink and crush the can, an action that will produce many sharp cutting edges. One downside to this of course is that you might cut yourself too, but that’s a small price to pay if it prevents injury from the attack.

Drink distraction – If you happen to be carrying a drink, you can throw the contents into your attackers face as a distraction. If the drink is hot coffee, even better! The scalding effect can be enough to deter your attacker from pursuing you further.

Belts – If you’re wearing a leather belt, you already have one of the most versatile tools available with you. The best thing about it is it can also be used as a weapon and a restraint.

A belt with a big and heavy buckle (like rodeo buckles) can cause wounds, but any heavy-duty belt will do and leave at least stinging bruises. Wrap your belt around your hand and leave 6 – 12 inches of the buckled end and use it like a flail. Don’t leave out too much and be mindful of your swing—it’s just as easy to hit yourself if you’re not careful.

You can also use your belt to choke your attacker if the opportunity presents itself. Utilize your belt on your enemy after neutralizing them as an immobilizing or restraining device until help arrives.

Wrist watch – Turn your metal wristwatch into a quick and easy knuckleduster by holding the bracelet inside your fist and positioning its face across your middle knuckles.

Keep in mind that the impact of this move will likely break your timepiece. But you can write off the destruction of your watch, if it was that expensive. Losing your wristwatch will be a small price to pay if it saves your life. A watch can be replaced, your life cannot.

Newspaper club – You can get them almost anywhere, take them anywhere, and transform them into a weapon in less than a minute.

Take a newspaper, open it and roll it top-to-bottom as tight as you can. After that’s done, fold it in half. You now have a weapon! Used in a stabbing motion against the tender parts of the body, this improvised weapon can deliver serious pain on your attacker and provide you a window for escape.

Chairs – If you’re sitting on a chair, you can quickly use it to protect yourself. Lift the chair, its seat against your body and the legs pointed towards your attacker. This provides some distance between you and your attacker and at the same time you’re protecting most of your upper body.

The key to using this method is a stable stance so you won’t trip and get pinned by your own weapon. Spread your legs farther apart, with one slightly to the rear, and move your body weight slightly forward. You can push the chair against the enemy and pin them down with the legs, deflect their weapon, or throw it at them.

One of the biggest disadvantages to using this item as a weapon, depending on the kind of chair that you’re using, is the weight. It will tire you down quickly, so disable your attacker as soon as you can or keep them from hitting you until you can make your escape.

Umbrellas – You can use an umbrella to attack or distract your assailant in times of need. Opening the umbrella provides the distraction you need as it obscures their view and can trip them up as they’re approaching you, thus buying you time to escape or grab onto something that’s better to defend yourself with.

However, if you’re not interested in using it as a distraction, an umbrella can be swung like most other long, solid objects to deliver a painful blow to your attacker.

Hornet spray –  is pepper spray on steroids. The former can usually shoot up to 20 feet and provides a much more directed stream than you find with the latter. What’s more, the chemical used in hornet spray is much more potent than pepper spray and can potentially permanently blind an attacker.

Keep in mind, that due to the possible maiming effects of hornet spray, one should only use it in life-threatening situations (like during a home invasion). Using hornet spray as an everyday self-defense tool is illegal in most jurisdictions.

Glass BottlesA glass bottle to the head or other vital body part can cause a concussion, cuts or fractured bones. Glass bottles are one of the most common improvised weapons used, resulting in numerous injuries yearly.

If you have a tall and heavy bottle nearby, you can use it as a melee club with its liquid content adding to its mass. If there are enough bottles around, you can throw them at your attacker to deter them from closing the gap between you. Just remember to not throw everything away and save one as your melee weapon in case the aggressor keeps up with their attack.

While it’s common practice in the movies, breaking the bottle right away to make a shank isn’t recommended because glass bottles break in unpredictable ways— while it can look intimidating, it’s easy for you to cut yourself, or the resulting piece is too small as to be useless.

Kitchen UtensilsWhether you know it or not, your kitchen contains the most viable weapons for Self-defense instruments in your home. Whilst forks and knives are usually your first thought when it comes to defending yourself in the kitchen, you shouldn’t discount the other bits of cutlery and crockery you have lying around.

Mugs, bowls, and plates can cause a lot of damage if shattered against your attacker, especially if the glass or ceramic shards manage to break the skin. Your pots and pans also make excellent bludgeoning tools.

They’re heavy, easily handled, and can knock out an assailant if aimed at the right part of their body. The best place to aim for when using a pot or pan is the back of the head or the face and buy you enough time to escape and call for help.

Summary

If you find yourself attacked, you need to come up with a defense quickly. Unless you have overwhelming odds on your side, escape should be your priority. There’s really no way to accurately predict how a fight will turn out, and there are many things that could go wrong against you.

But if running is not an option and you’re forced to square off against your attacker barehanded, it’s reassuring to have a defensive tool to back you up. Weapons for Self-defense are very important for this reason.

What you just read, are just some of the most common items that can be you used as weapons for Self-defense to protect yourself in the event of an attack, but with enough creativity, there are a lot more that you can use if an assault against you does happen and you’re caught unprepared. So remember, you can defend yourself with almost anything, and everyday items make improvised weapons.

Do Anything Other Than Freeze!

Do anything other than freeze!

Do anything other than freeze! The best way to deal with an attack. Well, Sometimes, creating enough distance to be completely safe is impossible. It may be that you’re far away from safety and running will put you in a worse position. Standing and fighting your way out could be the most dangerous choice to make, so what is the best way to deal with an attack?

Evasion

In these cases, evasion, a close relative of distance, can be a viable option. If you see a potential attacker before he sees you, you may be able to hide. Hiding can be easier than you might imagine. If the potential attacker isn’t paying close enough attention, you can make yourself disappear by crouching next to a car or hiding behind a tree, for example, could be the best way to deal with an attack.

You might be surprised how easy it is to hide in the open. As long as someone can’t see or hear you, you’re effectively invisible. As a teenager, I went through a phase where I was pursued on numerous occasions by various people with bad intentions. It wasn’t pleasant, but I’ve been just a couple of feet away from people who were actively looking for me.

The key to hiding successfully is to either be safe and secure in your hiding place, or to remain mobile, to circle the object you’re hiding behind if the potential attacker is moving such that it becomes necessary. In isolated areas, where you’ll most likely need to use evasion, it’s even easier, as you don’t have to worry about anyone else seeing you and revealing your position.

You can use evasion with cover even if your attacker does see you, as long as he doesn’t have a projectile weapon (gun, pepper spray, etc.) that he is willing to use. If you’re as fast as your attacker and have good endurance (it is far more tiring than you might imagine), you can play the circle game, circling a parked car for example, while yelling for help. Few attackers who mean you serious harm will chase you around and around a car while you’re yelling for help and drawing attention to them.

Unfortunately, evasion may be difficult or impossible if you’re with family or friends who aren’t on the same page. They mean well, but, don’t always show the best way to deal with an attack.

De-escalation

When you can’t avoid a potential attacker through avoidance, escape, or evasion, de-escalation is the next best option. In terms of the choices you must make when faced with a threat, leaving, dominating, and complying can all be effective forms of de-escalation, and in this instance could be the best way to deal with an attack.

Every attack requires an escalation of some sort. The escalation may be more or less visible, but it will include a final closing of distance, it may include a verbal escalation, and it may include an “interview”, where the perpetrator goes through a process of questioning (verbally and/or non-verbally) the target to confirm his likelihood of success. The perpetrator may also tell the target to do something, and in some cases, complying can de-escalate the situation, preventing it from going physical.

Verbal compliance

Before many attacks, especially when robbery or violence isn’t the primary motive, a verbal escalation may occur first, where tension is noticeably built up leading to a physical assault. A typical build up many people will be familiar with is where one male might challenge another by saying something like “You got a problem?”, or “What are you looking at?”. If the answer is “Yeah, you’re my problem.”, or, “I’m looking at you, asshole!”, then the escalation generally progresses until physical violence occurs.

But often, simply saying, “I’m sorry man, I didn’t mean to stare.”, and following such a course, will be enough to stop the escalation and prevent the attack. Sometimes, it will take a couple of deflective statements, but by allowing the perpetrator to maintain his dominant role, there will be no need for violence. This is a form of compliance, as you’re allowing the perpetrator to maintain or increase his status. Simply leaving can also work in such situations, especially if you do so in a compliant manner. Again, this could be the best way to deal with an attack.

In the case of violence for conflict resolution, where an argument usually precedes a physical attack, you can also comply by letting your opponent win. Don’t participate in escalating the situation further. Saying something like, “Well, you could definitely be right. I need to think about this a little more.”, for example, can both end the escalation and the discussion. If you feel a person is beginning to feel provoked by something you’re doing or saying, reverse course and/or leave.

Verbal and physical dominance

If you feel threatened by someone that you think may want to rob, attack, or abduct you, dominating the situation and leaving can work very well during the interview stage, or as the predator is attempting to close the distance. One of the best ways to de-escalate an attack using physical and verbal dominance without physical contact, is to put both hands up as a barrier, create distance, and say in a very loud, commanding voice, “BACK OFF!”. Doing so absolutely requires practice.

I’ll repeat that. Doing so absolutely requires practice. We are not socially conditioned to yell at a stranger before being physically attacked. Most adults aren’t accustomed to yelling at all. It takes practice to say, “Back off!” in a loud, commanding voice, to mean it without looking scared or self-conscious. If it’s not practiced, and if it’s not meant and done in a dominating way, such an attempt will come across as weak and fearful. It will have the opposite effect. Practicing establishing distance, putting your hands up as a barrier, ready to attack, and giving the “back off” command is a valuable exercise.

Physical compliance

A loud command can be literally stunning. A potential attacker will not expect you to yell at him before he attacks. It will be unexpected, and it will shock him. It will serve to show him you’re not a good target, are unwilling to cooperate, draw attention to what he’s doing, or give you the time to attack while he is taken off guard. So, if you can pull this off, this could well be the best way to deal with an attack.

If the threat of violence has already been made, if you were taken unaware and by surprise, especially where deadly weapons are involved, compliance is one of the safest choices a person can make. If a predator puts a gun in your face and demands your wallet, your money, your keys, etc., giving him what he’s asking for is highly likely to de-escalate the situation. This is difficult for many self-defense and martial arts practitioners to accept.

They train hard to be able to take out an opponent and feel that giving a predator what he wants is giving up or losing. But the goal of self-defense is not to beat up, incapacitate, or take out an attacker. The goal of self-defense is to survive and prosper, minimizing injury or damage. And the best way to do that when faced with a deadly threat, where giving up a physical object will end that threat, is to comply.

Compliance is an active choice. As hard as it might be to accept, it’s often the smartest choice you can make, far smarter than resistance. It’s very important to realize this. You should practice giving up your money against a deadly threat.

Of course, when a predator wants you or your family, compliance is not a good option, especially when the predator’s goal is the act of violence or murder. You can and should try to escape or use verbal and physical dominance at the interview stage if possible, but even with the threat of deadly force, complying is not a de-escalation strategy in such situations.

If a predator points a gun at your head and tells you to get in his car, come with him, go inside your house, etc., it’s highly unlikely to end well. Your chances are probably much better choosing to sprint away as fast as you can instead of complying. If you can’t safely escape, this is where the line between de-escalation and physical self-defense is crossed. If there is one rule in self-defense, it is never to comply with a predator who wants you. Remember, the best way to deal with an attack is to do something other than freezing.

Preventing the freeze

As mentioned in the previous section, a surprise attack can cause a person to freeze, as a fast, overwhelming attack can be too much information for the mind to orient to. Fear can also cause the freeze. And the combination of fear and an overwhelming attack, even worse.

The nature of a freeze is that you’re “frozen”, or not doing anything. And it’s triggered by someone or something else that is doing something. The key to preventing the freeze (and breaking a freeze) is to actively do something. This may seem obvious, but there’s more to it, as described below, and it should be a fundamental part of your self-defense strategy. Run or fight, do not freeze!

Pre-positioning

Most predators will attempt to take their victims by surprise. And when you get nailed by an assault you didn’t see coming, you will at least momentarily freeze. Everyone will. First, your body and mind will be shocked by the physical nature of the assault.

Second, you’ll either be completely paralyzed on a primal level, stuck trying to figure out what’s going on, or you’ll pause for a moment while you switch from your everyday mind to a more aggressive state. During this period, you may very well be getting mauled by your attacker. One way to prevent this from happening is to use what I call pre-positioning.

Pre-positioning requires you to be aware of the threat before the situation goes physical. Ideally, you’ll position yourself far, far away, and there won’t be a physical attack at all. But when you can’t avoid the threat, (and he’s closing in on you) pre-positioning involves becoming the predator yourself, mentally and physically.

You pre-position yourself to attack the threat. Mentally switching from being a victim to be a predator, makes all the difference in the world. Pre-positioning is active. It involves doing something. And doing something is the opposite of freezing. Freezing certainly isn’t the best way to deal with an attack.

Anyone who has sparred just a bit, standing and with strikes, knows that standing flat footed, chest to chest, with your hands down, and directly in front of your opponent is a very bad idea. But circling to the outside of your opponent, for example, minimizing his options while maximizing your own, works well. Pre-positioning involves setting up your position relative to your opponent and seeing your opponent as your prey rather than as your attacker. If he moves to attack, he’s giving you something. He’s creating an opening that you will use to your advantage.

You’ll need to practice pre-positioning in order to understand and use it, but it should be part of your physical martial arts and self-defense training. Sparring will help with your ability to pre-position, and it will be covered in later chapters on the Fundamental Five and Environmental Applications.

Conditioned default responses

The second strategy, conditioning effective default responses to various types of attacks, is a last-ditch option when you are attacked by surprise. If you’ve conditioned yourself to unconsciously respond to a physical assault, even if you are surprised by the attack, your body will execute the conditioned response. Immediately after the response, you may freeze as you try to figure out what just happened. Hopefully, your training will kick in and you’ll continue to act as quickly as possible.

Violence, danger, and paranoia

The nature of violence and its prevention. The material isn’t light or nice. It is important however, and it can save your life. With that said, for most people reading this blog, the world is a safe and enjoyable place. Physical violence can happen, but for the majority of people in first world countries, it’s an exception. The purpose of this blog is to give you the knowledge to avoid or prevent violence without having to use physical self-defense and teach you the best way to deal with an attack.

At first you may need to practice modifying your behavior and become more aware of your environment. But in time, these behaviors will become second nature. You won’t need to think about them. Prevention is about minimizing your risks. And when you’ve done that, when you’re well prepared, there will be little to worry about.

As always, there are exceptions. Some places are dangerous. And you may live in one of them. Life is too short to be obsessed with violence. Minimize your risks, learn what to watch out for and how to respond if you do get into trouble, and then forget about it.

The best thing about functional self-defense and martial arts practice has nothing to do with violence. The best thing is that it’s healthy and a great deal of fun. It’s fantastic for exercise, incredible for balance, and a physical and mental challenge.

The variety and range of movement and force is liberating for your body. You can do it for the rest of your life, and you’ll always have room to improve. Stand up, clinch, ground, striking, grappling, blunt objects, sharp objects, and projectiles, with a partner, in a group, or alone, indoors and outdoors, there’s a near infinite amount to practice and enjoy.

Summary

There are different situations that require the best way to deal with an attack, and many need different solutions. But, whatever potentially dangerous situation you may be facing, your chances of staying safe will be greatly increased by a little self-defense knowledge.

It could be the chance you need to escape and survive, and sometimes that’s the only chance you need. Do yourself a favor and learn today, it will teach you the best way to deal with an attack. Always remember, run or fight, do not freeze! Do anything other than freeze!

Boxing is a No-Nonsense Way to Stay Safe!

Boxing is a No-Nonsense Way to Stay Safe!

Boxing is a no-nonsense way to stay safe! Boxing training is tough but great! Look at it this way, if it were easy everyone would be doing it. But it`s not, and everyone isn’t doing it!

Boxing training offers so many benefits. Boxing, a great form of exercise and sport. Boxing as a sport requires a high level of athletic prowess: strength, speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, endurance, nerve, and power, just to name several required attributes. Boxing as a fitness activity enables the average person to hone those same athletic skills, all without having to take a punch.

If you’re hoping to get in great shape and improve your health, you just might want to sign up for a membership to your local boxing gym. There are a number of reasons why, and here’s just a few of the benefits of boxing.

Many people would be surprised to see boxing categized as a martial art. However, boxing is one of the purest forms of martial arts in history. It is highly effective in MMA as well, teaching fighters head movement and footwork technique.

It is also extremely effective in self-defense situations, as most fights start standing up. Boxing is a sport that has been celebrated by the masses throughout history. It’s also not that hard to become a better boxer with practice.

You don’t need fancy and elaborate moves to defend yourself, boxing is a straight forward no-nonsense defend and counter attack, perfect in a street fight really, and as that’s the most likely place you’ll get attacked, you’ll be glad to have some boxing skills under your belt.

Enhanced Cardiovascular Health

You hear it all the time: You need to do cardio to protect yourself from heart disease, burn calories, and lose or maintain your weight. But “doing cardio” doesn’t have to mean hopping on a treadmill to log your required minutes – how boring is that?

The whole point of cardio is to place a moderate amount of stress on your heart and lungs so that they’re challenged enough to make beneficial physiologic adaptations to support the higher level of physical activity. But how you choose to place stress on your heart and lungs is up to you. As long as you keep your heart rate up during your workout, there’s no reason you can’t punch, kick, and jump your way to a healthy heart at your local boxing gym.

Improved Total-Body Strength

All that punching, kicking, and jumping requires a surprising amount of strength. Think about it – most professional heavy bags weigh at least 100 pounds.

During a boxing workout, you may punch or kick a bag hundreds of times, requiring your upper body, lower body, and core to engage as you make contact with the bag. Plus, most boxing gyms incorporate other strength training moves into a boxing workout. For instance, squats, pushups, planks, and weighted medicine ball exercises.

Better Hand-Eye Coordination

You may not think about the importance of hand-eye coordination and its effect on total health, but hand-eye coordination plays an important role in a person’s motor skills. Individuals with good hand-eye coordination tend to have faster reflexes and reaction times and tend to have better physical coordination as a whole. This is particularly important during aging, as coordination and balance become compromised, increasing the risk of falls.

Boxing can help hone hand-eye coordination. When you’re tasked with punching a speed bag (a lightweight boxing bag suspended from a disc that turns and bounces quickly with each punch), or you’re paired up to spar with a partner (practice punching your partner’s padded mitts), you must be able to see the target, react to the target, and hit the target, all while the target is moving and changing position. It’s tough, but with practice, your hand-eye coordination improves substantially.

Decreased Stress

Almost any form of moderate to intense physical activity can decrease stress. Exercise increases endorphins, boosts mood, works as a form of meditation, and improves sleep, all of which help reduce stress.

But sometimes you need more than a walk around the block to help you forget your stressors. Boxing provides the needed increase in physical activity.

Boxing is a great outlet for stress for two reasons: First, during a boxing workout you typically transition between high intensity bouts of exercise and moderate intensity recovery periods. When you’re pushing yourself through a couple minutes of high intensity punching or kicking, you don’t have much mental power left to worry about how awful your job is, or how dirty your house is. And even during rest periods, you’ll be focused on sucking wind and mentally preparing for the next round, not stressing over your packed schedule.

Second, there’s an incredibly cathartic release when you get to take some of your stress out on a punching bag. It’s an empowering feeling to punch your stress to oblivion.

Improved Body Composition

Boxing is great for improving body composition – and some might say it’s great for weight loss. Ultimately, if you want to lose weight, what you really want to do is improve your body composition – to increase your muscle mass and decrease your fat mass.

Boxing is an incredible mechanism for improved body composition because it perfectly combines muscle-building strength training moves and calorie-torching bouts of cardio. By regularly participating in a boxing program and following a nutritious eating plan, there’s no reason you won’t see changes in your shape and improvements to your fat mass percentage. And if you’re hoping for a pat on the back from your bathroom scale, you’re likely to see changes in your weight as well.

Increases Physical and Mental Toughness

Boxing is as much mental as it is physical.  When starting out, someone going at you and threatening physical harm is a scary thing.  Many new people just turn their backs and try to get away as soon as the barrage of punches come.  The fight-or-flight response kicks in and your body starts to react by retreating.

But the more you spar, the more you train your brain to stand and fight, instead of retreating (flight).  You eventually learn how to take a punch and how to stand and fight even when you are getting your butt whooped.  In essence, you are training your mind and body to persist.

The physical and mental toughness gained from boxing will translate into other parts of your life.  You will find that your pain threshold will increase, you will become less scared of physical harm, and you will become grittier. There is not much that will make you tougher than facing physical harm.

Ability to Defend Yourself

This is probably the most obvious benefit of boxing aside from the conditioning.  Boxing is a very effective form of fighting.

In order for boxing to be an effective form of self-defense though, you can’t just keep hitting focus mitts and heavy bags, you actually have to do some sparring—some real sparring.

Boxing teaches you to be controlled with your movement and strike at the right time.  So, when you are sparring with someone that knows how to box, the sparring is used to work on technique, not to kill one another.  People that don’t know how to box however, go into a sparring match with 100 percent power and speed.  It can feel like they are trying to kill you.

Improving Your Coordination

The next big benefit that you can reap from boxing and training for boxing on a regular basis is that you will develop better hand-eye coordination.

Training your hand-eye coordination works in the same way as training your cardiovascular endurance or your muscle strength, in the sense that the more you challenge it, the better it will get.

Boxing involves a lot of coordination because you need to be able to bounce around and move in certain direction with your feet, while at the same time landing punches on your opponent. Moreover, you have to be able to aim your hands perfectly to get that big punch in on your opponent’s sweet spot, something that requires a lot of coordination.

Moreover, training for boxing, such as skipping rope, or better yet using a speed bag, also helps to train hand-eye coordination and the connection between your brain, the part that tells you to do something, and your hands and feet, the parts which execute the maneuvers which your brain has instructed them to do.

Strong Bones & Joints

One of the things that we really like about boxing is that it is a bone building exercise per extraordinaire. Of course, having stronger and denser bones is fantastic for your overall health, especially as you get older. Bone building exercises are very important because as you age your bones tend to get weaker, thus increasing the incidence of broken bones and even degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis.

However, a good way to solve this issue is by building your bones through weight bearing exercises. Boxing is actually a weight bearing exercise, and it is so in more than just one way. First of all, boxing gets you up on your feet and the nature of boxing means that you are always bouncing around, thus putting weight on your legs and knees.

Moreover, every time you strike or punch, your elbows, shoulders and the rest of your arms also have weight put up against them. Punching may not be your classic weight bearing exercise, but it actually does function in much the same way. There is also the fact that the sport of boxing involves a lot of training through various exercises such as runningjumping ropedoing pushups, and other various activities which all qualify as weight bearing exercises.

In case it is not clear, your bones work in much the same way as your muscles do, at least in the way which they get bigger and stronger. The more weight you put on your bones and joints, the more those bones, or to be exact, your osteoblast, produce bone mass. That bone mass serves to enlarge and thicken your bones, thus making them stronger.

Summary

Boxing is a truly fantastic sport and it isn’t just for those giant beasts of men that you see on television. Boxing is a sport that everybody can participate in and that makes a huge difference.

Of course, you don’t actually have to step in the ring in the form of competitive boxing. We realize that not everybody wants to fight other people for fun, not to mention that taking a few shots to the head can definitely hurt your brain, but you can always box for fun and you can definitely engage in all of the training that comes with it.

The benefits of boxing are quite numerous, and they all go a long way in keeping your mind and your body as healthy as can be. If you are interested in just what exactly boxing can do for you and your body, you should give this a try. You might just be surprised as to the many benefits that boxing gives you.

Give it a try, and see for yourself! Boxing is a no-nonsense way to stay safe! Boxing training is tough but great! Are you tough enough?

Which Martial Art Should I Learn First?

Which Martial Art Should I Learn First?

Which Martial Art Should I Learn First? That’s the question. So, you want to start studying a martial art, but don’t know where to start. This might sound strange to some people; however, a true martial artist can understand the difficulty in choosing your first martial art.

What’s available where you live? – The good thing is that they’re all good, there’s no such thing as a bad martial art! But you still have to figure out which suits you best. First of all, see what’s available where you live, I mean, if you’re looking for a particular style and it’s not accessible to you, that’s not an option. So, narrow it down that way.

Picking the right martial art to study is crucial if you’re going to enjoy yourself and ultimately stick with it. Joining a martial art can be extremely rewarding for your fitness and overall well-being. You might like your first martial art so much that you start studying another one, and another.

There are countless stories of people who take their first kickboxing class and fall in love with it, and suddenly years later they are living in Thailand. Having been there 15 times I can truly understand why someone would do that as Thai boxing is readily available professionally and on an amateur level to attend at very little cost.

So many benefits – Whether you want to practice a martial art because your goal is to seriously be able to defend yourself, or learning just out of interest as a hobby, they will give you those things plus much, much more especially for kids, teaching them respect and discipline.

The knowledge and importance of self-defense in a child’s development cannot be overstated. Martial arts can empower children with this knowledge, and of course, the responsibility that comes with it.

Whatever form of self-defense you enroll your children in, martial arts will teach your children many intricate techniques and how to properly execute them.

Don’t think of it as fighting. Martial arts will teach children when and where to apply their knowledge and skills. Martial arts teach children that their own physicality isn’t a tool used to inflict harm on others, but rather, to merely defend themselves against any and all attacks.

This will be one of the best gifts you can ever give your children, confidence, discipline, respect and safety. Martial arts for kids are the way to go! Remember, Self-defense is both positive and beneficial, and Martial arts give you more than Self-defense! So, learn today.

By practicing martial arts, children will quickly understand the roles and responsibility that they as martial artists play in today’s society.

First Things First

There are many downsides to studying martial arts. First off, it’s usually going to cost you a lot of time and money. Depending on which classes you take, martial arts can start getting expensive with the various equipment required (gloves, shin guards, mouthpiece, etc). There are going to be times when you want to give up, or at minimum take a couple of days off.

Your body will be sore, and there will be times that you question “is this even worth all the trouble?” The answer will be different for everyone. Only a true martial artist keeps their mind strong through the best and worst of times. If your goal from learning martial arts is to win a street fight, you’re probably learning martial arts for the wrong reasons as that’s not what it’s about at all.

Types of Martial Arts

So, you’ve decided you want to learn a martial art, this is great news. There are so many different styles of martial arts that a person could learn, and they are available to learn at any age. Whether you’re 7 years old in a karate class, or 60 years old starting Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, there is no age limit on learning.

There are self-defense martial arts you can learn like Krav Maga, or more traditional arts like Tae Kwon Do. The martial arts world is yours to explore.

My first martial art experience

The reason I got into martial arts was simply because of the Bruce Lee movies what all kids were obsessed with, now back in England in the 70`s there were no Kung-Fu classes available so that wasn’t a good start for me. But, undeterred, I looked around, anything was better than nothing, right?

The only style available around me was Taekwondo, so that’s what I did and just simply couldn’t get into it at all, being a young 8-year-old impressionable kid, this wasn’t what I wanted as it wasn’t Bruce Lee! Of course it wasn’t and why would it be?

My first class I showed up wearing several Bruce Lee badges, the instructor wasn’t too impressed, and asked me nicely to remove them if I came back again. I thought he was being mean! Why wouldn’t anyone want to wear a Bruce Lee badge?

My head was full of the movies and thinking those crazy techniques were real, so walking up and down a room punching and kicking while screaming held no interest for me at all. My thinking was Bruce Lee didn’t do this in his movies, so neither will I! Laughable now to think how my mind set was as a young kid devoted to Bruce Lee.

To cut a long story short, I quickly became bored and quit. There’s nothing wrong with Taekwondo at all, it`s great, just not what I was expecting.

Twenty years later

I had just started a new job, and the guy who was training me had just passed his black belt in Japanese Ju-Jitsu, and naturally that’s all he talked about. All day, every day.

After a few months of brainwashing me, he eventually succeeded in talking me into tagging along for a lesson, which I reluctantly agreed to, but when I did, I was completely blown away with this style, totally action packed the whole lesson!

The rest is history as they say, 10 years later I had earned a 3rd degree black belt and never looked back. I had found my martial art.

So, basically what I’m saying is experiment, if you don’t like the first one you try, try a different one until you find your martial art. It’s out there waiting for you to discover it.

Summary

Learning a martial art is one of the greatest things you can do, at any age. Understanding the traditional values that martial arts hold is just as important as learning the technique.

It’s extraordinary to think about, somewhere across the other side of the world someone created an art-form that is studied by millions today. With the advancements in martial arts, we now have the capability to learn so many different styles and techniques that have been passed down for centuries.

No matter the martial art you choose on this list, give every day 100% of your heart and effort. Always respect your instructors who pass down their knowledge onto you. Respect your fellow students as well, who at the end of the day are trying their best to learn the martial arts. 

Respect and discipline are very important in all martial arts.

Correct Nutrition Before and After Working Out

Correct Nutrition Before and After Working Out

Correct nutrition before and after working out. In today’s blog we tackle the issue of what to eat before and after a workout. Over the years, I have personally tried many combinations of food and supplements before I got the correct combination for myself. It takes time.

People are different, and their needs are different, depending on their chosen activity. For example, a bodybuilder would require a totally different pre-workout than let`s say a long-distance runner. So, experiment a little until you find what best suits you.

Pre-Workout Nutrition: What to Eat Before a Workout

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are always looking for ways to improve their performance and achieve their goals. Good nutrition can help your body perform better and recover faster after each workout.

Optimal nutrient intake prior to exercise will not only help you maximize your performance but also minimize muscle damage.

Here is everything you need to know about pre-workout nutrition.

Knowing What to Eat Is Important

Fueling your body with the right nutrients prior to exercise will give you the energy and strength you need to perform better.

Each macronutrient has a specific role before a workout. However, the ratio in which you need to consume them varies by the individual and type of exercise.

Below is a brief look at the role of each macronutrient.

Carbs

Your muscles use the glucose from carbs for fuel.

Glycogen is the way the body processes and stores glucose, mainly in the liver and muscles.

For short- and high-intensity exercise, your glycogen stores are your muscles’ main source of energy.

But for longer exercises, the degree to which carbs are used depends on several factors. These include the intensity, type of training and your overall diet.

Your muscles’ glycogen stores are limited. As these stores become depleted, your output and intensity diminish.

Studies have consistently shown that carbs can increase glycogen stores and utilization while boosting carb oxidation during exercise.

Carb loading, which involves consuming a high-carb diet for 1–7 days, is a well-known method to maximize glycogen stores.

Protein

Many studies have documented the potential of pre-workout protein consumption to improve athletic performance.

Eating protein (alone or with carbs) prior to exercise has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis.

One study showed a positive anabolic response after participants consumed 20 grams of whey protein before exercise.

Other benefits of eating protein before exercise include:

  • A better anabolic response, or muscle growth
  • Improved muscle recovery
  • Increased strength and lean body mass
  • Increased muscle performance

Fat

While glycogen is used for short- and high-intensity bouts of exercise, fat is the source of fuel for longer and moderate-to-low-intensity exercise.

Some studies have investigated the effects of fat intake on athletic performance. However, these studies looked at high-fat diets over a long period, rather than prior to exercise.

For example, one study showed how a four-week diet consisting of 40% fat increased endurance running times in healthy, trained runners.

Carbs help maximize glycogen stores for high-intensity exercise, while fat helps fuel your body for longer, less intense workouts. Meanwhile, protein improves muscle protein synthesis and aids recovery.

The Timing of Your Pre-Workout Meal Is Key

The timing of your meal is also an important aspect of pre-exercise nutrition.

To maximize the results of your training, try to eat a complete meal containing carbs, protein and fat 2–3 hours before you exercise.

However, in some cases, you may not be able to get in a full meal 2–3 hours before working out.

In that case, then you can still eat a decent pre-workout meal. However, keep in mind that the sooner you eat before your workout, the smaller and simpler the meal should be.

If you eat 45–60 minutes prior to your workout, choose foods that are simple to digest and contain mainly carbs and some protein. This will help prevent any stomach discomfort during exercise.

It’s recommended to consume a full meal 2–3 hours before your workout. For meals eaten closer to your workout, choose simpler carbs and some protein.

Some Examples of Pre-Workout Meals

Which foods and how much to eat depends on the type, duration and intensity of the workout.

A good rule of thumb is to eat a mixture of carbs and protein prior to exercise.

If you eat fat with your pre-workout meal, then it should be consumed at least a few hours before your workout.

Here are some examples of balanced pre-workout meals:

If Your Workout Starts Within 2–3 Hours or More

  • Sandwich on whole-grain bread, lean protein and a side salad
  • Egg omelet and whole-grain toast topped with avocado spread and a cup of fruit
  • Lean protein, brown rice and roasted vegetables

If Your Workout Starts Within 2 Hours

  • Protein smoothie made with milk, protein powder, banana and mixed berries
  • Whole-grain cereal and milk
  • A cup of oatmeal topped with banana and sliced almonds
  • Natural almond butter and fruit preserve sandwich on whole-grain bread

If Your Workout Starts Within an Hour or Less

  • Greek yogurt and fruit
  • Nutrition bar with protein and wholesome ingredients
  • A piece of fruit, such as a banana, orange or apple

Keep in mind that you don’t need to eat many pre-workout meals at different times. Just choose one of these.

For best results, experiment with different timings and nutrient compositions.

A combination of carbs and protein is recommended for pre-workout meals. Fat can also be beneficial, but it should be consumed at least two hours before exercise.

Supplements Can Also Be Useful Before Exercise

Supplement use is common in sports. These products may enhance performance, improve strength, increase lean body mass and reduce fatigue.

Below are some of the best pre-workout supplements.

Creatine

Creatine is probably the most commonly used sports supplement.

It has been shown to increase muscle mass, muscle fiber size and muscle strength and power, all while delaying fatigue.

Even though it’s beneficial to take creatine before a workout, it seems to be even more effective when taken after a workout.

Taking 2–5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day is effective.

Caffeine

Among many other benefits, caffeine has been shown to improve performance, increase strength and power, help reduce feelings of fatigue and stimulate fat burning.

Caffeine can be consumed in coffee, tea and energy drinks, but it can also be found in pre-workout supplements and pills.

It doesn’t really matter how you consume it, as its effects on performance are usually the same.

Caffeine’s peak effects are seen 90 minutes after consumption. However, it has been shown to be effective even when ingested 15–60 minutes prior to exercise.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs refer to the essential amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine.

Studies have shown that taking BCAAs before workouts helps decrease muscle damage and increase muscle protein synthesis.

A dose of 5 grams or more, at least an hour prior to exercise, is effective.

Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that increases your muscle stores of carnosine. It has been shown to be most effective for short- and high-intensity exercises.

It does this by increasing exercise capacity and muscle endurance while reducing fatigue.

The recommended daily dose is 2–5 grams, of which at least 0.5 grams should be consumed prior to your workout.

Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplements

Some people prefer products that contain a blend of the supplements mentioned above.

The combination of these ingredients may have synergistic effects and improve performance significantly.

Caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, branched-chain amino acids, arginine and B vitamins are among the most commonly used ingredients in these products.

These pre-workout supplements have been shown to increase work output, strength, endurance, anaerobic power, reaction time, focus and alertness.

The particular dose depends on the product, but it’s generally recommended to take them about 30–45 minutes before exercise.

Creatine, caffeine, BCAAs and beta-alanine are often recommended before a workout. Multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements combine many different ingredients for optimal benefits.

Hydration Is Also Crucial

Your body needs water to function.

Good hydration has been shown to sustain and even enhance performance, while dehydration has been linked to significant decreases in performance.

It’s recommended to consume both water and sodium before exercise. This will improve fluid balance.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends drinking 16–20 ounces (0.5–0.6 liters) of water at least four hours before exercise and 8–12 ounces (0.23–0.35 liters) of water 10–15 minutes before exercise.

Additionally, they recommend consuming a beverage that contains sodium to help retain fluids.

Water is important for performance. It’s recommended to drink water and sodium-containing beverages before exercise to promote fluid balance and prevent excessive fluid loss.

Summary

To maximize your performance and recovery, it’s important to fuel your body with the right nutrients before a workout. Knowing what to eat before a workout takes time to get the correct combination.

Carbs help maximize your body’s ability to use glycogen to fuel short- and high-intensity exercises, while fat helps fuel your body for longer exercise sessions.

Eating protein helps improve muscle protein synthesis, prevent muscle damage and promote recovery. Good hydration is also linked to enhanced performance.

Pre-workout meals can be eaten three hours to 30 minutes before a workout. However, choose foods that are easy to digest, especially if your workout starts in one hour or less. This will help you avoid stomach discomfort.

Additionally, many different supplements can aid performance and promote recovery.

At the end of the day, simple pre-workout nutrition practices can go a long way in helping you perform better and recover faster. So get the most out of your efforts by knowing what to eat before a workout.

Eating After a Workout Is Important. So, what to eat after a workout? You put a lot of effort into your workouts, always looking to perform better and reach your goals. Chances are you’ve given more thought to your pre-workout meal than your post-workout meal.

But consuming the right nutrients after you exercise is just as important as what you eat before, and the correct nutrition can certainly aid in recovery.

Here is a detailed guide to optimal nutrition after workouts.

Post-Workout Nutrition: What to Eat After a Workout

To understand how the right foods can help you after exercise, it’s important to understand how your body is affected by physical activity.

When you’re working out, your muscles use up their glycogen stores for fuel. This results in your muscles being partially depleted of glycogen. Some of the proteins in your muscles also get broken down and damaged.

After your workout, your body tries to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow those muscle proteins. Without the correct nutrition your results will be seriously affected.

Eating the right nutrients soon after you exercise can help your body get this done faster. It is particularly important to eat carbs and protein after your workout. Doing this helps your body:

  • Decrease muscle protein breakdown.
  • Increase muscle protein synthesis (growth).
  • Restore glycogen stores.
  • Enhance recovery.

Getting in the right nutrients after exercise can help you rebuild your muscle proteins and glycogen stores. It also helps stimulate growth of new muscle.

Protein, Carbs and Fat

This section discusses how each macronutrient — proteincarbs and fat — is involved in your body’s post-workout recovery process.

Protein Helps Repair and Build Muscle

As explained above, exercise triggers the breakdown of muscle protein.

The rate at which this happens depends on the exercise and your level of training, but even well-trained athletes experience muscle protein breakdown.

Consuming an adequate amount of protein after a workout gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild these proteins. It also gives you the building blocks required to build new muscle tissue.

It’s recommended that you consume 0.14–0.23 grams of protein per pound of body weight (0.3–0.5 grams/kg) very soon after a workout.

Studies have shown that ingesting 20–40 grams of protein seems to maximize the body’s ability to recover after exercise.

Carbs Help With Recovery

Your body’s glycogen stores are used as fuel during exercise, and consuming carbs after your workout helps replenish them.

The rate at which your glycogen stores are used depends on the activity. For example, endurance sports cause your body to use more glycogen than resistance training.

For this reason, if you participate in endurance sports (running, swimming, etc.), you might need to consume more carbs than a bodybuilder.

Consuming 0.5–0.7 grams of carbs per pound (1.1–1.5 grams/kg) of body weight within 30 minutes after training results in proper glycogen resynthesize.

Furthermore, insulin secretion, which promotes glycogen synthesis, is better stimulated when carbs and protein are consumed at the same time.

Therefore, consuming both carbs and protein after exercise can maximize protein and glycogen synthesis.

Try consuming the two in a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein). For example, 40 grams of protein and 120 grams of carbs.

Eating plenty of carbs to rebuild glycogen stores is most important for people who exercise often, such as twice in the same day. If you have 1 or 2 days to rest between workouts, then this becomes less important.

Fat Is Not That Bad

Many people think that eating fat after a workout slows down digestion and inhibits the absorption of nutrients.

While fat might slow down the absorption of your post-workout meal, it will not reduce its benefits.

For example, a study showed that whole milk was more effective at promoting muscle growth after a workout than skim milk.

Moreover, another study showed that even when ingesting a high-fat meal (45% energy from fat) after working out, muscle glycogen synthesis was not affected.

It might be a good idea to limit the amount of fat you eat after exercise but having some fat in your post-workout meal will not affect your recovery.

A post-workout meal with both protein and carbs will enhance glycogen storage and muscle protein synthesis. Consuming a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein) is a practical way to achieve this.

The Timing of Your Post-Workout Meal Matters

Your body’s ability to rebuild glycogen and protein is enhanced after you exercise. For this reason, it’s recommended that you consume a combination of carbs and protein as soon as possible after exercising.

Although the timing does not need to be exact, many experts recommend eating your post-workout meal within 45 minutes.

In fact, it’s believed that the delay of carb consumption by as little as two hours after a workout may lead to as much as 50% lower rates of glycogen synthesis.

However, if you consumed a meal before exercising, it’s likely that the benefits from that meal still apply after training.

Eat your post-workout meal within 45 minutes of exercising. However, you can extend this period a little longer, depending on the timing of your pre-workout meal.

Foods to Eat After You Workout

The primary goal of your post-workout meal is to supply your body with the right nutrients for adequate recovery and to maximize the benefits of your workout. Choosing easily digested foods will promote faster nutrient absorption.

The following lists contain examples of simple and easily digested foods:

Carbs

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chocolate milk
  • Quinoa
  • Fruits (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi)
  • Rice cakes
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Dark, leafy green vegetables

Protein

  • Animal- or plant-based protein powder
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Protein bar
  • Tuna

Fats

  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters
  • Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)

Sample Post-Workout Meals

Combinations of the foods listed above can create great meals that provide you with all the nutrients you need after exercise.

Here are a few examples of quick and easy meals to eat after your workout:

  • Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables.
  • Egg omelet with avocado spread on toast.
  • Salmon with sweet potato.
  • Tuna salad sandwich on whole grain bread.
  • Tuna and crackers.
  • Oatmeal, whey protein, banana and almonds.
  • Cottage cheese and fruits.
  • Pita and hummus.
  • Rice crackers and peanut butter.
  • Whole grain toast and almond butter.
  • Cereal and skim milk.
  • Greek yogurt, berries and granola.
  • Protein shake and banana.
  • Quinoa bowl with berries and pecans.
  • Multi-grain bread and raw peanuts.

Make Sure to Drink Plenty of Water

It is important to drink plenty of water before and after your workout.

When you are properly hydrated, this ensures the optimal internal environment for your body to maximize results.

During exercise, you lose water and electrolytes through sweat. Replenishing these after a workout can help with recovery and performance.

It’s especially important to replenish fluids if your next exercise session is within 12 hours.

Depending on the intensity of your workout, water or an electrolyte drink are recommended to replenish fluid losses.

It is important to get water and electrolytes after exercise to replace what was lost during your workout.

Summary

Consuming a proper amount of carbs and protein after exercise is essential, and the correct balance will stimulate muscle protein synthesis, improve recovery and enhance performance during your next workout.

If you’re not able to eat within 45 minutes of working out, it’s important to not go much longer than 2 hours before eating a meal.

Finally, replenishing lost water and electrolytes can complete the picture and help you maximize the benefits of your workout.

So, what to eat before and after a workout? That’s the question that hopefully we`ve helped to answer during this blog.