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American Women Kick Their Way Into Healthier Lifestyles
In an effort to take charge of their health, women across America are learning Karate and other martial arts.
The martial arts have become one of the leading new fitness activities of choice for Adult Women in the U.S. Karate schools across the country have noticed that the male to female ratio is changing. In an activity that has almost always been male dominated, women are participating in the martial arts, but not for the reasons most would assume.
Jennifer Martin, a 34 year old Technology Project Manager, in Raleigh, North Carolina, was looking for a fun way to stay active after losing 140 pounds. Jennifer found Karate classes to be the answer. She attends classes at Karate International with other adults 3 to 4 days per week. Jennifer had her 18 month follow-up with Duke University Hospital this week and she is officially down 157lbs. She attributes karate to helping her get past her plateau. Jennifer is among a growing trend of adults finding fitness through martial arts classes. Her instructor, Kathy Olevsky, 8th Degree Black Belt in Raleigh, North Carolina, attributes the growing adult trend to the new awareness to combat obesity. "Everywhere you turn, we are now seeing messages about eating right and being fit. Adults are seeking out lifetime fitness activities to enhance their healthy lifestyles. Karate and the martial arts have replaced the older aerobics type classes. Women can workout indoors, in clean, air conditioned facilities. They learn Self Defense while getting in shape."
Jeanne Taylor, 51, had no idea of all the added benefits of Karate until she enrolled in a summer program at Bill Taylor's Bushido School of Karate in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She was surprised and delighted to find at a recent doctor’s appointment that the bone mass in her lower spine had increased by six percent after only nine months of Karate and no medications. Kathy Orstein, 45, a self employed mother of 3 from Shirley, New York has found that since joining Vitale's Karate Academy 5 months ago she feels more confident and her stress level is way down.
As a person who had played team sports throughout her life, Debbie McCarron, a 43 year old mother of two and office manager, found adding martial arts classes to her workout regimen increased her physical fitness and also gave her a skill set to defend herself. The life skills taught at TriStar Martial Arts in Eldersburg, Maryland are not just for kids. It reinforces ideals such as goal setting, perseverance and confidence. After not playing soccer since middle school, she found the confidence to join a women’s team and has been playing every Sunday night for the last 7 years. After receiving her 2nd Degree Black Belt, she became an avid runner and just finished her 2nd half marathon.
The marital arts are apparently the new fitness choice for this generation of health conscious adult women of all ages, throughout the United States. The average martial arts class is one hour in length and meets the requirement of vigorous physical activity. Most adults attend two to four classes per week. Olevsky advises women to search for a facility in their area that promotes adult fitness and adult martial arts classes. “Many martial arts schools cater to large children’s programs. Great martial arts schools do a good job of defining the difference between a children’s class and an adult class, and provide both to their community.”
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Karate International of North Carolina was formed in 1974 with locations in Apex, Cary, Garner, Raleigh, West Raleigh and Durham.