Any form of Martial Art is an excellent way to help keep fit. Tae Kwon Do however is a superb choice and is very popular with Adults and the over 50’s community. There are fundamentally four sequences to the art: Toning, Sparring, Forms and Self Defence. It is a fully equipped fitness schedule that encompasses muscle toning, stretching and flexibility, increasing strength and stamina through aerobic sparring and mental challenges through adapting proficient at the patterns or forms. Improving your Tae Kwon Do technique will help you become more flexible. It’s an excellent aerobic exercise. Learning the forms or patterns can actually tax your brain. Many of the forms have 26+ more uncommon movements. It’s your job to not forget them, in order, and learn them proficiently, as a result it is an all inclusive fitness schedule. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s a common way to get in or to remain in shape. As with any exercise program, start slowly and consult your general practitioner. If you haven’t participated in much physical exercise for some time, your muscles will categorically be very sore for the first few weeks.
Training in martial arts offers physical benefits for Adults and over 50’s. This is a time when they start to experience health problems, e.g. cardiovascular disease, weight gain, menopause, osteoporosis, joint problems, and lost of bone density. By engaging in martial arts the training includes exercises that help improve cardio conditioning, strength and power, endurance, weight lost, muscle mass, and toning. It has also been noted that it reduces stress, builds confidence and self-esteem, and aids in cognitive awareness, which is of particular importance to people older than 50, who may be starting to experience memory loss.
In a 2004 study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine, it stated the benefits of martial arts for middle-aged people. For their study researchers had nine middle-aged practitioners of Soo Bahk Do, a Korean martial art, tested against a group of non-exercisers. Both control groups focused on exercises for aerobic capacity, strength, flexibility, and body-fat percentage. The results revealed the martial artists, ages 40-60, significantly out performed the non-exercisers.
“Strength, coordination and endurance diminish in old age. These are precisely the things that Martial arts can train very well and help improve,” noted Martin Halle, a sports medicine physician at the Technical University of Munich.
In fact, hospitals see over 300,000 older patients annually for broken hips because of falls. Additional benefits for older people who engage in martial arts include improved balance, coordination and range of motion, which helps them avoid falls.
When it comes to elder abuse it can include physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Older people are at greater risk for abuse due to factors associated with aging. Elder sexual assault has not been well researched and is often not recognized or acknowledged. Perpetrators of sexual assault search for vulnerable persons to victimize. The physical and cognitive impairments that can be a part of aging make older people more vulnerable. Being dependent on family members or professional caregivers puts them at an even higher risk. Senior citizens are also less likely to report sexual abuse due to the dependency on others, and they feel a greater sense of shame and guilt.
Martial arts training will sharpen older people’s mental state, which will help reduce cognitive impairments, plus improve strength and cardio conditioning, flexibility and power throughout their entire body. Plus, people over age 50 will learn how to protect themselves against rape, sexual assault or other violent attacks.