Monday, August 18, 2014

Kickboxing Dacula FIghting Depression

“Kickboxing and Boxing Improved My Mental Health” ; written by Rheyanne Weaver

This past week the world mourned Robin Williams and became a little more aware of depression and mental illness.  The subject is “trending” and almost every other facebook post is a quote from the famous comedian/ actor.  My guess is that people are asking, “How could someone so funny and full of life be that desperate?”  The answer may be that mental illness is just that~ an illness.  Like any other illness, cardiovascular exercise can improve symptoms.  This month, in honor of Robin, I researched how kickboxing can improve mental health. 
The article I read is written by a kickboxing student who found that through kickboxing, she felt relief of depression and anxiety.  She cites that she not only feels better about herself, but has benefited from less overall physical health problems through kickboxing.  Punching and kicking is a great way to relieve negative emotions such as anger, frustration, irritability, stress in a healthy, positive outlet.  Losing weight and gaining physical strength is an added bonus.  Instead of a downward spiral common with negative thinking and depression, kickboxing gives a mental boost and builds confidence.  It also fuels motivation which counteracts depression.  Each class gives a sense of accomplishment as well as being fun.  Both are good for fighting mental illness.  Learning new skills and meeting new people are also benefits of kickboxing.  By learning new skills, a student is exercising their mind~ occupying it with something positive.  Being a part of a class provides the opportunity to socialize/ build relationships that also counteract the loneliness and isolation associated with depression. 
The author, a woman, also cites that by doing a traditionally “masculine” workout, she is empowered and feels strong and able to defend herself.  Again, this counteracts feelings of helplessness.  Having a trainer to encourage and push her, gave her very satisfying results. 
Although I was saddened to hear of Robin Williams' struggles, I think it can be an opportunity to take a serious look at safeguarding mental health.  Sometimes, we can get too focused on losing weight or another physical goal.  It is important to be aware of one’s own mental health and taking care of it.  Kickboxing has so many benefits~ It’s good for body, mind and soul.  Most people are aware that exercise lowers blood pressure and is good for arthritis and diabetes.  The cardiovascular benefits in kickboxing are also that feel-good chemicals are released in the brain.  For those suffering from anxiety and depression, kickboxing can be a healthy alternative for coping.  Instead of retreating into self, kickboxing class is an opportunity to socialize with others.  It’s also a distraction that stops the cycle of negative thinking for a time. 
The calming effect after kickboxing is felt throughout the day; enabling a person to think and process more clearly.  This month, I’m choosing to honor Robin Williams' memory by having this awareness. 

Written By: Kerry Carron Kickboxing Instructor

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