Men…you NEED to train!
I’ve been saddened to hear statistics that more and more men are living in isolation, loneliness, and anchored to video games and other digital offerings that keep them from engaging regularly in social, friendship, and even romantic situations. It’s as if men of all ages, married, committed relationship, or not have found it easier to check out than engage fully in life.
In this blog I want to offer some reasons beyond fitness and physical health that should drive men to train in fitness and martial arts such as Jiu Jitsu. I’ve included references that can help you become more educated about these issues to help yourself, or perhaps a loved male family member, friend, or even acquaintance to get more active and escape from the isolation and loneliness many men are suffering in 2023.
5 Benefits From Fitness and Martial Art Training
(focused on guys – but relevant for women as well)
- Mental Well-being and Combatting Isolation: I have been hearing that in 2023, many guys are dealing with isolation and loneliness, and it’s become a real concern. Engaging in fitness and martial arts is like a lifeline to improving mental well-being (Penedo & Dahn, 2005). Exercise releases those feel-good endorphins that can help battle loneliness. It’s a way to break free from the isolation bubble and start feeling better about yourself and the world around you. Now, I know gaming can be fun, but it’s not a substitute for real human connection. Getting out there and being part of a fitness or martial arts community can make a world of difference in not only how you feel physically, but how you feel about yourself.
Reference 1: Penedo, F. J., & Dahn, J. R. (2005). Exercise and well-being: A review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 18(2), 189-193.
- Rebuilding Relationships: It’s tough out there, especially when it comes to maintaining relationships. But here’s the thing – by engaging in fitness and martial arts, you’re not just improving your physical health; you’re also rebuilding and strengthening your relationships (Aron, Norman, & Aron, 2000). Working out together with a partner or friends isn’t just about the exercise; it’s a chance to bond, support each other, and beat loneliness. This is especially important to men who need to interact with other men, playing and working toward common goals. And while gaming can be a way to connect with others online… it not “in real life.” Remember that real-life interactions have a unique magic to them that can help you see yourself more clearly when interacting with other men, other people across difference social settings.
Reference 1: Aron, A., Norman, C. C., & Aron, E. N. (2000). Couples’ shared participation in novel and arousing activities and experienced relationship quality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(2), 273-284.
- Confidence and Security: In today’s world, where disengagement from expected social roles can leave you feeling adrift, self-defense skills can give you the confidence and security you need (Burke & Vassallo, 2019). It’s not about being aggressive; it’s about knowing you can handle yourself and protect loved ones. Both expectations men have of each other and how men see their roles in society. And, while the emerging AI-generated social relationships and other online tools might offer some comfort, there’s no substitute for the real-world confidence that comes from knowing you can handle real-world situations.
Reference 1: Burke, M., & Vassallo, S. (2019). Confidence and fear in self-defense training: Gender and experience effects. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 34(10), 2055-2076.
- Building a Supportive Community: Loneliness often arises when you feel disconnected from a supportive community. Engaging in fitness and martial arts is like finding your tribe (Dunton et al., 2019). It’s more than just about breaking a sweat; it’s about finding buddies who genuinely care, motivate you, and help you combat those feelings of isolation. Being with men who are manly, who will challenge you to be more and do more. While AI-generated on online social relationships can be convenient, they can’t replace the bonds, the brotherhood formed with real men who understand you even when your under stress and pressure.
Reference 1: Dunton, G. F., Berrigan, D., Ballard-Barbash, R., Graubard, B. I., & Atienza, A. A. (2019). Joint associations of physical activity and sedentary behaviors with body mass index: Results from a time use survey of US adults. International Journal of Obesity, 43(4), 888-895.
- Personal Growth and Rediscovering Roles: Sometimes, men disengage because they feel disconnected from their expected social roles. Martial arts are like a journey of rediscovery (Wang & Liu, 2018). They teach you discipline, perseverance, and goal-setting (Wang & Liu, 2018). These qualities not only help you grow personally but also can help you reclaim a sense of purpose and engagement in your expected social roles. As you begin to feel your self confidence build and see yourself reflected in the eyes of men; and women, you can feel more pride in yourself and a confidence in your place on this earth.
Reference 1: Wang, J., & Liu, L. (2018). Effects of martial arts on health status: A systematic review. Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine, 11(3), 202-211.
In a nutshell, engaging in fitness and martial arts in 2023 isn’t just about getting fit; it’s about combating isolation, rebuilding relationships, gaining confidence, building a supportive community, and rediscovering your expected social roles. These steps can help you navigate the challenges of a changing world and reconnect with the vibrant, social life you deserve.
Until next time — Move Better, Live Better!