PROMOTING HEALTH & STRENGTh
Since the Tae Kwon Do artist is dedicated to developing the whole self, it requires more than just the time spent practicing in the dojang. The discipline includes a healthy diet to sustain the body, meditation to focus the mind, stretching to increase flexibility and prevent injury, and massage to rejuvenate the muscles and joints and help repair injury
Both mind and body depend on nutrients to function at their peak. Try to choose foods which are high in nutrients and low in sugars and fats such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, berries, and whole-grain foods. Empty calories like candies, chips and sodas do nothing to nourish the body. Sugars cause one’s energy level to rise and fall quickly, they do not sustain the body and can inhibit concentration. Complex carbohydrates (like whole grains) provide longer lasting energy. Protein is important for building muscle and repairing tissue. If you eat meats, choose those which are lean and preferably not processed. In all categories, try to choose natural foods over those which are processed with additives. Eat a variety of foods to insure a balanced diet. Avoid eating to relieve stress, exercise is a better method for reducing anxiety.
Stretching is an important part of training. Prior to stretching it is a good idea to warm the body with some brief aerobic type exercises such as jumping jacks or running in place. Once the body is warmed up begin stretching slowly to prevent injury. Start with the head and neck area and then move to other parts of the body. Stretch with 90% but not 100% effort. Being too eager to increase flexibility may work against you; besides being painful, injuries will slow your progress.