“No Pain – No Gain”?
How many times have you heard the phrase “No Pain – No Gain”? Our guess is probably too many to count. This is a common notion across Western nations when it comes to getting active and staying in shape. While we agree that effort is necessary in order to elucidate a noticeable, and often desired, response, we also think the preceding phrase is extremely outdated and not very accurate.
Rather than telling you that everything to do with Western exercise is wrong, we would simply like to highlight a few ideas that can provide balance to your life without compromising your entire routine.
Boxing and Martial Arts
Boxing is an incredible way to get in shape, no question about it. I have seen the personal benefits to boxing and martial arts, but I have also seen other people with many different levels of fitness see great health benefits from boxing, and perhaps most importantly, also have fun doing it.
Most boxing gyms are happy to sell memberships to recreational folks looking to get in shape, and whether you’re in excellent condition or beginning a journey to a complete lifestyle change, there’s something for everyone. Boxing focuses mainly on body-weight exercises, so you don’t have to worry about lifting really heavy weights or placing an undue amount of stress on any joints. Rather, it’s a high intensity workout that combines cardiovascular training with resistance training under your own body weight. The exhausting nature makes it effective, fun, and perhaps most underrated, stress-relieving!
Lastly, boxing is a affordable, as there is minimal equipment you would need to buy, unless you’re buying something like a heavy bag or a speed bag for your own home, which would also offset the cost of a membership.
Tea and Acupuncture
So if you partake in such an exhausting workout, how can you offset that in order to achieve balance in your lifestyle, but without also compromising your fitness benefits? Here are a couple ideas:
Try substituting your daily coffee with tea, ideally herbal tea. Many boxing and martial arts trainers discourage the use of coffee in order to reduce the reliance on it, as well as to prevent any dehydration. However, tea contains much less caffeine than coffee, especially green teas, and this can offer a nice replacement without eliminating your daily hot drink altogether. One tea we would really recommend is Japanese Sencha (derived from ryokucha). This is a delicious green tea that usually isn’t too expensive, has a low but existing caffeine content, and is widely available. Green teas are known to provide numerous health benefits, even long term.
Additionally, one could try incorporating acupuncture into their weekly routine. Mentally, acupuncture can leave one feeling rested, which works well for those who find strenuous exercise does the opposite. Furthermore, there is some research suggesting it alleviates low back pain, helps with sleep, lowers blood pressure, decreases weight in obese individuals, and strengthens the immune system. When combined with an effective exercise like boxing, there are too many benefits to ignore.
We understand that those who live in Western nations will likely maintain at least some western health and wellness practices, which are often very beneficial. But when looking for something to compliment your routine or to help alleviate other problems, we always recommend considering practices derived from Eastern culture. You don’t need to buy-in completely, but rather, become informed of the pros and cons to Eastern medicine, and understand how they can apply to your own personal health and wellness.