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How to stay fit and safe

health-and-fitness Updated: Jan 09, 2012 00:24 IST
Charu Sharma
Charu Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Imagine you find a fitness mantra that not only keeps you fit, but also boosts your confidence by teaching you self-defence techniques. If this sounds exciting, cardio-kickboxing is meant for you.

FitCardio-kickboxing is a modified version of the Thai sport of kickboxing martial arts, and combines aerobics with boxing. Prince Singh, a fitness trainer with Fitness First, says, "It is a martial arts-based easy-to-follow workout that can burn up to 600-700 calories in an hour’s session."

Full body workout
Cardio-kickboxing comprises a series of punches and kicks synchronised in a rhythmic way. The kicks are an effective way to strengthen the legs, especially thigh and hamstring muscles.

“With a combination of dance, hand and kicking moves, it is a great way to tone your lower body hip, thigh and waist,” says Singh.

Although, cardio-kickboxing largely concentrates on the lower part of body, the punches and jabs, which are an intrinsic part of the workout, can strengthen and tone your shoulder and back muscles.

Cardio kickboxing also involves a lot of jumping, twists and turns. This ensures that the whole body is put through a rigorous workout. Also, the knee moves involved in this workout can help firm abdominal muscles.

Hearty ways
Since cardio-kickboxing speeds up the blood circulation in muscles in all parts of the body, it can make your internal system stronger too. Anuj Sharma, chief instructor at Invictus, says, “It’s an intense workout and can give you even better results than an hour of swimming.”

Life skill
The most important thing about cardio-kickboxing is that it can be a great way of self-defence. Anuradha Sharma, who has been doing cardio-kickboxing for the last six months says, “Apart from my fitness level, my self-confidence has gone up many folds. Now, if l land up in a tricky situation, I know I will be able to handle it well.”

So, wear your training shoes, and get kicking to be fit as well as safe.

Get kicking the right way
Necessary training: Before you begin a cardio-kickboxing routine, get trained by a qualified trainer, or learn the right moves from a self-help DVD. Else, you might injure yourself.
Right gear: Don’t wear too tight-fitting or too loose clothes as they can restrict your movement. Wear comfortable shoes to reduce the impact on your knees and joints while kicking and jumping: Avoid doing kickboxing bare foot, especially on hard floors.
Slow start: If you are a beginner, be careful with your kicks and punches. Start with low intensity to avoid unnecessary strain on your joints and muscles.
Accurate posture: Maintain right balance and proper foot position while kicking and punching to avoid excess strain.