By Lydia Lincke, red belt
As a Moo Sul Kwan student at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, it can be easy to think that you are healthy enough because you have a couple of workouts every week. However, there is a lot more to being in shape. In order to be healthy, one must learn how to take care of their body, and, almost more importantly, their mind.
One of the most important things is eating healthy. With a healthy diet, a person will have increased energy levels, higher motivation, and better performance levels in anything they do. Eating a large, nutritious breakfast will wake a person up better than any amount of coffee will. If you have a large workout at the end of the day, it becomes even more important to make sure you are getting the right nutrients so you can make the most out of the exercises that are coming. The food we eat becomes energy, and if we want to get better at a workout we must first build up our body so that it can handle improving at something like pushups or situps.
Another very important thing in taking care of your body is keeping your mind healthy. After a large workout, it’s very easy to turn to the tv or computer and just tune out for a while. However, this is not healthy for your mind. After just one tv show it becomes extremely hard to get up to do productive things, and motivation for anything else is lost. Instead of immediately getting out the video games after a tough workout, it would be much better for a your health if you checked out an interesting looking book at the library, or made a healthy snack and sat down to draw a picture. After maybe an hour of this, it becomes much easier to get motivated for things like homework or cleaning your room because your mind is energized rather than lethargic and tired.
Additional exercises would be helpful in increasing your performance in Moo Sul Kwan classes. There are two general types: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic exercises help build your endurance and the strength of your heart. In MSK classes at the CTI, jumping jacks and extended sparring matches could be aerobic exercises because they increase your heart-rate and help you learn how to breath through long workouts. Aerobic workouts outside of MSK classes at the CTI are running around the block, riding your bike, or going for a swim. Anaerobic exercises build up specific muscle groups. In CTI classes, this includes things like pushups and situps. These types of exercises are very easy to do at home with the correct motivation. Things that would help in everything surrounding MSK martial arts would be planks (regular and side) to strengthen your core, pushups in different ways (knuckles parallel and perpendicular to each other, wider arms, narrower arms, palms, fingerprints, etc.) to strengthen your arms, and squats or running stairs to strengthen your legs.
Keeping your body healthy is not only important for Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts, but it is important for your spirit. Taking care of your body shows that you have a respect for it and that you want to take care of the most important object in your life that is sometimes taken for granted.