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Krav Maga is an exciting type of martial art that was developed in the 1940’s for Israeli combat soldiers.  It includes self-defense techniques that work all major muscle groups and gets your heart rate up.  Krav Maga incorporates different martial art forms, such as jujitsu, taekwondo, judo, and muay Thai.  It is becoming more and more popular in the United States as a challenging workout, especially with women.

Benefits: Krav Maga is a high-intensity cardiovascular workout, beginning with a warm up and ending with a cool down.  The moves are designed to burn calories, build muscle tone, improve balance and flexibility, and increase endurance.  Like other martial arts, consistent practice helps sharpen mental acuity and focus.  Learning self-defense also has the added benefits of boosting self-confidence and a positive body image.

Getting Started: There are DVD’s especially made for beginners, but it is advisable to take a class at a certified Krav Maga center.  The specialized kicks, punches, and all-around aerobic moves require proper form for maximum efficiency and advancement and should be supervised by a seasoned Krav Maga professional.  There are also hybrid classes that mix Krav Maga with yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, aerobics, etc., as well as many women-only classes.  Unlike other martial arts practices, you do not need a special uniform nor any new gears.  Your regular workout clothes and shoes are just fine for Krav Maga.

Give Your Body a Rest: Just like with any high intensity workout, be sure not to overdo it in the beginning.  Your body needs to recover after being worked in Krav Maga, so be sure to give it a rest for a couple of days after your class.  Muscles need time to repair in order to become stronger as well as to prevent injury and strain.  Listen to your body and do not push a strenuous workout if you are feeling sore.  It is much better to do a low-intensity and gentle workout (yoga, walking, swimming) on the day or days after a class and add some extra stretching.

Medical Weight Management: Eating real, whole food is the key to losing weight and a successful medical weight management program.  Always remember that exercise practices, such as Krav Maga, should be in addition to a medical weight management program but not a substitute for one.  Note: As with any new exercise program, it is advisable to speak with your medical professional before starting.

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