Move Your Body & Your Mind - The Mental Health Benefits of Kickboxing

Move Your Body & Your Mind - The Mental Health Benefits of Kickboxing

Kickboxing is an increasingly popular fighting style and an excellent all-around exercise. It provides strength and cardiovascular benefits, not to mention the healthy stress relief we get when practicing this form.

While we know kickboxing is used in the ring and as an exercise, many don’t learn about the mental health benefits of this fighting form and style. Let’s talk about it.

Mental Health Benefits of Kickboxing

Before discussing kickboxing's mental health benefits, let’s talk about what it is. Kickboxing is a combative sport involving two competitors, each directing forceful strikes using their hands, elbows, shins, knees, and feet. There are a few different styles of kickboxing, including:

  • Muay Thai
  • American Kickboxing
  • European Kickboxing
  • French Savate
  • Chinese San Shou

Now that we’re all up-to-date on this combat sport let’s talk about those benefits.

Regulates Mood

The weight of our stress can become heavy and overwhelming, and our mind needs to release or let go of that mental pressure through physical actions. Physical action can provide temporary relief, increasing the body’s production of endorphins. This is why kicking and punching a heavy bag feels so good. It allows us to channel our stress release through strikes and blows while reshaping any chemical imbalances. Regular kickboxing training can help relieve the symptoms of anxiety, stress, depression, and ADHD.

In general, our mood improvements can be seen from participating in physical activity because of the release of endorphins. These endorphins are chemicals in our brains that affect mood regulation, feelings of happiness, excitement, and euphoria.

Stress Relief

According to various research, regular exercise like kickboxing and typical workout routines can build resiliency to stress. It is similar to how exercising regulates our mood; it helps reduce stress by producing endorphins. The intense cardiovascular demand required for kickboxing releases these lovely feel-good chemicals, effectively decreasing feelings of stress.

Confidence Boost

Practicing kickboxing has been shown to require and improve our self-confidence, dispositional hope, optimism, motivation, resiliency, mental toughness, and adaptive perfectionims. Learning the different techniques in kickboxing can give us confidence in our ability to defend ourselves. This, in turn, allows us to feel more at ease in spaces because we know we have the skills to protect ourselves if it’s needed.

Increases The Ability To Complete Tasks & Boosts Motivation

Each kickboxing workout session provides us with the opportunity to create meaningful movements and moments. Things like finishing challenging rounds, recognizing a difference in our output, and the sudden comprehension of a strike all benefit our mental health.

Following the routines it takes to center much of our activity, our kickboxing practice can lead to long-lasting effects on our motivation to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle.

Memory, Sharpness, and Focus Improvement

Kickboxing techniques require coordination and balance. These types of movements can improve brain and cognitive function. Believe it or not, the necessary balance training to standing on one leg and kick, spin, or knee leads to spatial awareness and memory improvements.

Kickboxing provides benefits for both physical and mental health. Especially since it’s a stress reliever and a safe way to relieve and release tension. When we center our physical activity around habitual kickboxing practices, it carries over into our overall well-being.


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