Here's Why Kickboxing Is Good For Your Mental Health

Kickboxing is a martial art that not only involves punching and footwork, like regular boxing, but kicks as well. It originated in Thailand, starting as Muay Thai before evolving into its own sport, according to Verywell Fit. Many people who casually train in kickboxing do so for the cardiovascular benefit and to learn self-defense in a fun way. A 2014 study showed that after training three times a week for five weeks, kickboxing participants improved their body's cardiovascular endurance and their VO2 max.

Kickboxing also has benefits for your mental health. It is an exercise, and exercise has been linked to an improvement in anxiety, stress, and depression, per a 2017 study published in Maturitas. With the opportunity to punch and kick your stress away, it's not exactly a surprise that kickboxing is good for your mental health. Who doesn't want to hit a punching bag when they feel upset?

Kickboxing can regulate your mood and improve your resilience to stress

Kickboxing, like all combat sports, is mentally and physically exhausting. It's a constant battle between the body and the brain to not stop working and to keep pushing yourself to do better. Over time, whether you're exercising for cardio or self-defense benefits, you should build mental resilience (via Frontiers in Physiology). Kickboxing in particular "requires high levels of self-confidence, motivation, dispositional hope and optimism, mental toughness/resilience, and adaptive perfectionism", according to a 2017 study published in Biology of Sport.

Even if you don't plan on fighting, kickboxing workouts can regulate your mood. Having a hard workout improves mood and lowers anxiety, according to Frontiers in Psychiatry. Exercise helps to relieve mental pressure through physical action. In fact, a 2019 study published in American Journal of Men's Health noted that martial arts are linked with greater emotional stability, enhanced self-esteem, and, ironically, a reduction in aggression and violent behaviors.