Cardio kickboxing is an aerobic workout regimen that features dancing, punching and kicking set to upbeat music. While it takes elements from martial arts and boxing, there is no body contact involved in this routine. Rather the kickboxing moves are done repetitively at a fast pace, causing heart and respiratory rates to rise. It is an ideal exercise for strengthening the cardiovascular system and getting rid of excess body fat. It began in the 1970s as karate and martial arts competitions began to grow in popularity in the United States. Instead of focusing on fighting, cardio kickboxing focuses on performing the moves to promote fitness and bodily health. While it can give an exerciser a basic idea of the proper ways of kicking and punching, it does not really hold any value in terms of self-defense. This is not a martial arts regimen but rather an exercise program.

A kickboxing routine for fitness usually begins with a warm up. Jogging in place and jumping jacks are the usual routines that mark the beginning of the regimen. It serves to prep the body by elevating the heart rate and warming up the muscle so that the main kickboxing routine can be done without injury or strain. The actual kickboxing routine is a series of repetitive motions involving punches, kicks and knee strikes. These stylized moves are done without the use of special equipment. No punching bags are used. Instead practitioners punch to the air. After the main workout session, a cool down period involving some stretches mark to end the exercise.

The atmosphere of fun pervades the entire session. And since the moves are set to music, it's an easier workout to follow. The rhythm helps individuals get to their weight loss goals faster since they are more inclined to stick with the routine. A regular hour long session can burn 300 to 400 calories, making cardio kickboxing an ideal workout routine for those seeking to lose weight. And because it is marked by continuous movement, it also encourages the heart to work harder, strengthening it in the process. In case you are new to this routine, don't go beyond your comfort zone during your first few tries. Kick low until you have confidently mastered proper form and technique to kick higher. When you punch, be sure that you don't lock out your elbows. Don't jog if you have joint issues, but walk in place instead. Should there be any pain during the regimen, stop right away and resume only when it has dissipated. Should the pain persist, consult your doctor. In fact, if you have any preexisting conditions or are fifty years old or above, you should always consult your doctor before beginning this regimen.

There are many gyms offering cardio kickboxing instruction under certified fitness instructors. The main advantage of working out in the gym is that you can get motivation from your peers who are in the same boat as you are. If you don't have time or feel that a gym environment is much too crowded for comfort, you can always buy a video and do the exercise at home.

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Author's Bio: 

Happily married mother of 2 beautiful children, fitness enthusiast, and traveler extraordinaire.