Families Get Kung Fu Fit
Practicing martial arts can keep you and the kids
by Selene Yeager
If your waistband is a little tight, try a slimming
new black belt--a martial-arts belt. And bring the kids.
Take a trial run. Try a class before you sign
researchers at New York Institute of Technology tested 18 men and women,
those who practiced a Korean karatelike discipline called soo bahk
do at least twice a week for 3 years were slimmer, stronger, and
more flexible than their sofa-bound counterparts. Their body fat
composition was a slim 19 percent, versus 31 percent in the sedentary
group. Bonus: "You can do martial arts with your kids, so the whole
family gets fit," notes lead researcher Peter Douris, EdD.
proof? "I lost 30 pounds," says Edwin Tolon, 45, a Weston, FL, insurance
broker who has taken martial arts with his 13-year-old daughter, Elaine,
for 6 years. "She's strong and fit, and her grades improved to straight
As," he says.
To find a martial-arts school that suits your
Know your dojo. Teachers range from gentle to
Inquire about competition. Does sparring make
you shudder? Find a school that emphasizes individual skills instead.
Selene Yeager is a health journalist and
author/coauthor of more than two dozen book