A fight can last seconds but your body needs to last your entire lifetime. In this article, we’ll discuss 10 practices that should be adhered to in order to develop the right mindset and physical capability to not just survive the fight, but be prepared for everything around it.
No matter your belief system or particular philosophy on life, various schools of yoga will improve your flexibility, mobility, breathing, and mindset. Yoga has gotten quite popular over the past few years, so you are bound to find numerous classes in your area. But you can also find yoga poses and exercises online for free as well as apps that will allow you to do yoga from the comfort of your home. Just pick up a yoga mat and get started.
You don’t have to break any records for powerlifting to engage in weightlifting. Weightlifting improves your bone support as well as your muscles. There are most likely numerous gyms you can join in your area. You’ll also want to check with your health insurance plan as a lot of them provide free or discounted gym memberships. If you aren’t up for going to a gym then you can buy your own weights and workout from home. You may not think you have the room but a foldable weight bench and a set of Powerblocks don’t take up much room at all.
Your core muscles get used a lot in a fight. Isometrics involve using your own weight against you to develop core strength. You won’t become some hulking beefcake through core isometrics, but you will learn to balance your own body’s weight. And since you are using your own body weight that means you don’t need any special equipment to get started. A quick search online will give you tons of core isometric exercises you can get started with.
Just getting down on the ground and doing push-ups is a start. Calisthenics is similar to isometrics in that you are often using your own body against yourself for resistance. Calisthenics can involve classic exercises such as jumping jacks, push-ups, pull-ups, and other staples of high school PE class and it can also involve advanced moves such as star jumps, inclined push-ups, and other exercises meant to target specific muscle groups.
Eating right can mean different things to different people but we can all agree it doesn’t involve hitting fast food three times a day. A good diet that is balanced in nutrients, carbohydrates, protein, and fat can keep us ready and able to deal with heavy exertion and high-stress situations.
Medical studies suggest an uninterrupted eight hours a night for optimal results but life doesn’t always hand us those conditions. Some have even suggested that humans are capable of sleeping in shifts — hence why we get tired in the middle of the day and late at night. Whatever your schedule allows, make sure you get an adequate night’s rest. This not only improves your immune system but enhances your cognitive ability to pick up on details in your environment. There’s a lot of good information out there on how to get a good night’s sleep but one of my favorites is How to Hack Your Sleep: The Art and Science of Sleeping.
Drink water! Pure, clean water gives us better control over our body. Every part of our body improves with proper hydration. Drink above the daily recommended amount and continually push water. Instead of getting a soft drink, full up a glass of water. It’s not just good for self-defense, it’s good for your life.
We all get busy with day-to-day duties. Do we remember to go for a walk or a jog, though? We can make excuses all day long, but nothing substitutes daily movement and cardiovascular activity. Even as little as 20 minutes a day can keep our hearts and pulmonary systems optimized to handle the stress of combat. And if you need a little motivation, tons of activity trackers will track your steps and other activity throughout the day to help keep you on track.
It really doesn’t matter what school of martial arts you subscribe to so long as you practice it regularly and diligently practice it. Some fighting styles are much more aggressive than others but, honestly, so long as you maintain proficiency and continually improve, you will be better prepared than most to defend yourself.
Communication is pivotal for self-defense. People judge others in milliseconds. A background in public speaking can help you communicate your intentions not just with words but also non-verbal cues.
Do you have any daily practices you’ve found helpful to maintaining the right defensive mindset? Tell us about them in the comments section below.