How Muay Thai is (Surprisingly) Beneficial for Your Body


By Isabel Speckman

Known as the "Art of Eight Limbs," there's a lot more to Muay Thai than just learning kicks, knees, punches, and elbows. In fact, like many martial arts, learning this ancient style offers a lot of rewarding health benefits.

Besides equipping you with vital skills to protect and defend yourself, you will also notice some changes in your appearance and behavior. How so? Well, the Muay Thai mindset is aimed to push you to your limit, but more on that later.

It Helps You Get Leaner and Stronger

With that, an hour of practicing Muay Thai is way better than having an hour swimming lesson which can help you burn 400 calories or lifting weights at the gym (300 calories)!

Physical benefits are one of the most rewarding benefits that Muay Thai has to offer. Since a Muay Thai class moves typically at a fast pace, students can usually burn up to 1,000 calories an hour spent on the mat (as this article from Vivotion outlines).

The good thing about learning this traditional sport is it allows you to manage your weight and shed those excess pounds in a much more straightforward. Bonus points if you coupled this sport with a healthy diet.

But wait here's more! Taking each class of Muay Thai provides each of your muscle, such as your biceps, triceps, glutes, and abs, a proper body workout.

It Boosts Your Confidence

This is particularly true with Muay Thai. The thing with Muay Thai is it seeks to push you well over your limit. When you feel like you’ve hit a wall, the Muay Thai mindset screams at you to break through that wall, kicking and punching all the way.

Learning martial arts is a lifelong journey, but it sure makes it worth the time and effort as it helps you increase your confidence in the long run.

“If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.” —Fred DeVito.

For most people, when they walk into a Muay Thai gym for the first time, they tend to find themselves trying to learn and apply a new technique that almost seems too complicated and impossible to do.

Most schools only teach students a few techniques during each class. Most students leave if things get too difficult. But those who stick around end up with a large repertoire of skills by the end of it.

As was mentioned earlier, learning a martial art is a lifelong journey, and one of the benefits that can come is an increase in confidence knowing you’ve conquered something difficult.

But this slow progression through difficulty is, in fact, one of the reasons why those who give this ancient sport a shot end up becoming more confident. Don't you just love the feeling when you manage to overcome obstacles that have once seemed so impossible?

If that doesn’t boost your confidence, then knowing you can kick ass and defend yourself surely would.

You Make New Friends

While Muay Thai is an individual sports affair, most gyms end up like huge extended families. The people you train with are the ones who will help you practice techniques. They will also act as the support system that will motivate you to push through and keep up with your training session even at your lowest and weakest point.

With all the drills, and hitting each other during sparring, who would have thought that by learning Muay Thai you can make new friends? Yes, you've read that correctly!

Your passion for this Thai sport will act as a foundation to build lasting friendships.

It Lowers Your Stress Level

Exercise has been known to reduce stress levels. But did you know that intense workouts such as training Muay Thai are more effective?

During Muay Thai sessions, your dopamine levels shoot up. This helps in lowering stress levels and eventually improving your overall mood.

But for many other people, Muay Thai can just be a way for them to punch and release their frustrations and anger in a healthy way. This is actually a super great way to deal with stress. Rather than being angry at home or with friends, punch that bag during a session. It’s totally ok.

It Helps You to Defend Yourself

When it comes to having the ability to defend yourself against the attacker, few martial arts can compare to Muay Thai.

During cross-competition, Muay Thai practitioners, tend to outperform those from other striking-based martial arts styles. Also, practitioners get to learn a few things about grappling, too!

What's good about this sport is you can learn not only to defend against strikes, but you also learn how to defend against takedowns, and even trip your opponents to the ground.

It Improves Your Quality of Life

How can learning this ancient and complex sport improve your quality of life?

When you get back from a class, the endorphins that were released during your training will help you feel more relaxed, putting you in a better mood. As a result, you will have a good night's sleep, which will give you that extra energy when you wake up the next day.                                                   

Are you thinking about learning Muay Thai? There's no need for you to be hesitant about giving it a shot. You are never too young, too old, or too busy to start your martial arts training.

This sport is something that anyone, including you, can learn and benefit from. Not only it will give you the skills you need to protect yourself (if necessary), but it will also teach you self-discipline, improve your overall fitness levels, and, most importantly, push you past your own preconceived limits. 

What are you waiting for??

About The Author:

Isabel Speckman is a North Carolina-based freelance writer and work-from-home mother of three. In her 10 years as a professional writer, she’s worked in proposal management, grant writing, and content creation. Her writing skills may be confirmed independently on She’s passionate about teaching her family how to stay safe, secure and action-ready in the event of a disaster or emergency.


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