When we think about exercise, certain motions come to the forefront of our thoughts: running, jumping, maybe even a coordinated series like soccer. Often, we forget that highly technical sports such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can have just as much of an impact on a healthy adult lifestyle as more traditional workouts. Just like any other sport, you’ll have immediate results from a single session, as well as the long-term benefits from working on the mats over time.
Let’s start with some of those instant gratifications. Immediately, you’ll get a rush of endorphins after a class. Regardless of how your day shapes out, that extra kick of feel-good juices is going to make it better. If you’re like me, and have trouble sleeping at night, getting a session in on the mat always makes the body more receptive to sleep at the end of the day, which leads to a better night of sleep, and subsequently, a better morning. If I do not get some sort of training every two days or so, my body refuses to give me some decent shuteye.
Jiu Jitsu Benefits Over Time
There are more advanced benefits as well, the ones that we tend to see over time. At the heart of it, Jiu Jitsu is a bodyweight exercise. This type of workout has shown a history of great benefits, one being to reduce the likelihood of casual injury. People who are used to moving their own weight around (and maybe someone else’s at times) tend to have a lower injury rate on a day-to-day basis. Any time your muscles are under strain, they develop generally harmless micro-tears. Those micro-tears created during class repair themselves and make muscles stronger. The bruises that we tend to see after the first few classes gradually stop showing up as easily, as our bodies get used to the hard work and pressure it’s getting. I won’t even go into the specifics of cardiovascular health, but you’ll start to notice a barely perceptible increase in your endurance, increasing gradually, until one day you finish up and realize you could have gone on longer.
Making Fitness Routine
As adults, we no longer have that set routine as we did when we were younger, there’s no recess in the middle of our day to give us a physical outlet. Something as consistent as Jiu Jitsu in our everyday lives is going to grant us a certain stability. Having someplace to go, at a specific time of day, to focus on bettering ourselves in an environment we can control really gives a renewed sense of purpose. As the world is constantly telling us, we need to keep exercising as we get older, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a great way to help us do that.