There is a saying that variety is the spice of life. I find this so true when you’re trying to stay fit and healthy.
Part of the reason is that if you’ve been exercising regularly, there’s a point where your body hits a certain plateau.
A plateau is when the same level activity doesn’t help you to achieve your fitness or body goals as it used to.
One way to introduce this variety is by choosing a new activity altogether. And Jiu-Jitsu is one of those plateau busters.
What is Jiu-Jitsu?
Jiu-Jitsu loosely means “the yielding way.” The focus of Jiu-Jitsu is using your opponent’s strength against him.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the commonly known form of this training. It focuses on grappling as its major technique.
And this technique involves strangulation, joint lock techniques (wrist, arm, ankle, knee, and leg), knee on belly, and immobilization maneuvers.
All these techniques involve specific high and low-intensity exercises that make Jiu-Jitsu a top choice for keeping fit and breaking out of the fitness rut.
Although it needs a lot of time to master, this martial art has some surprising benefits that are enough to get you started on the Jiu-Jitsu.
1. Increases body strength
In Jiu-Jitsu, you are constantly grappling and maneuvering the weight of another opponent. This becomes a good form of resistance training.
Not only are you recruiting different parts of your body. But resistance helps you to increase bone strength and core muscles.
If you’ve ever thought weightlifting or the use of dumbbells are the only ways to build strength, you’ll be in for a shocker during Jiu-Jitsu training.
Whatever weightlifting does for your muscles, Jiu-Jitsu does the same to those muscles.
2. Lowers blood pressure
One of the many Jiu-Jitsu benefits is the movements. Jiu-Jitsu movements are continuous and at high intensity.
This means your heart (the organ) works extra to make sure blood with oxygen is being pumped to all parts of the body.
With time, the heart gets accustomed to this new routine and blood is pumped with little effort or strain on the arteries.
This reduces the risk of high blood pressure. This keeps your cardiovascular system very healthy and lowers blood pressure. All this leads to a healthy heart.
3. Improves aerobic capacity
Most of the grappling movements in Jiu-Jitsu happen with you on the floor, wrangling in different positions with your opponent.
All these are intense and depend on every muscle from head to toe. It needs a lot of energy to keep up. As you train, you go beyond your normal strength.
This leads to you increasing your endurance and strength capacity each time you go the extra mile as you use your muscles each time. This leads to keeping our heart healthy and your respiratory system in good shape.
4. Improves flexibility
The grappling technique in Jiu-Jitsu has many benefits. It includes flexibility. The technique engages the muscles, joints, and tendons in different motions which improve flexibility.
This helps to protect these body parts from sprains, strains and other injuries in your everyday lives.
5. Improves mental health
Every form of workout plays an important role in the maintenance of our mental health.
It is important to note that we end each day with some form of stress and anxiety. Physical activity or more specifically exercising can help to get rid of these stresses.
Also, physical activities lead to increased production of norepinephrine – a chemical that helps the brain respond to stress levels.
Physical activities have a lot to do with hormones that help to release stress and prevent degenerative mental illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Exercises have also proven to keep the hippocampus, a part of the brain in good shape by keeping chemicals necessary to ensure its survival at required levels.
6. Boosts confidence
Life takes us by surprise sometimes and that is how it can be on the Jiu-Jitsu mat. Most of the time you wouldn’t know where your opponent is going to strike next or how he’s going to do that.
A lot goes on in the mind when you are on the mat but it all comes down to confidence.
If you’re going in for his left leg, you have to be sure that move is going to work else your opponent will just use that lack of confidence in yourself against you.
This confidence reflects in your daily activities in taking decisions, making choices and being in control. This is one of the many Jiu-Jitsu benefits I enjoy the most.
7. Maintains a good sugar level
Jiu-Jitsu is a vigorous exercise. It is intense and needs a lot of energy to execute the moves.
With this, the body needs to make use of your sugars and convert them into energy to do exactly that.
If your blood sugars are high, jiu-jitsu is a good way to get them to a healthy level and this will reduce your risks of diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
8. Improves sleep
You know all the energy your body had to lose to get you through an hour of jiu-jitsu training. You know the pressure put on those muscles when you did all the grappling.
All those and every other thing will leave you exhausted at the end of the day and this state makes it very possible to get more restful sleep.
Jiu-jitsu being a workout that tires you out makes it perfect to enjoy some quality sleep at the end of the day.
9. Increases mobility
Jiu-jitsu requires movements, not just movements but fast movements to beat your opponent. Over time, it helps to build your reflexes, coordination and general movements.
10. Improves memory
Jiu-jitsu has over a hundred moves for beginners and climbing up the ladder, there are even more of them.
You cannot move up without committing your beginner moves into memory and performing them well the next time.
As you commit each new move into memory you train your brain capacity to keep items and expand its capacity.
Soon you will be able to remember every detail of your actions, kind courtesy jiu-jitsu!
11. Improves metabolism
If you want to lose belly fat or lose weight in general, Jiu-Jitsu might be for you. It’s all because your metabolism process has spiked up and Jiu-Jitsu deserves the thanks you.
One of the several Jiu-Jitsu benefits is that it’s an energy engulfing training. All the actions are taken need with a lot of energy to be performed.
This means your body is always working on an extra level to provide the energy required. This increases your metabolism process thereby leading to your drastic weight loss.