Tae Bo is an exercise regimen that incorporates elements from Tae Kwon Do and boxing combined with dance movements. It is a system devised and introduced by Tae Kwon Do adept Billy Blanks and has since been brought to millions through videos and classes.
The name Tae Bo comes from the Korean word ‘tae’, meaning foot and leg, and ‘bo’ which is a shortened form of boxing. It is a system of kicks from the martial arts aspect, punches from the boxing and dance moves borrowed from various genres, normally set to music to aid rhythm and co-ordination.
It is designed to be a holistic exercise routine that addresses the mind, body and soul equally.
Does Tae Bo Work?
A Tae Bo work out is what is known as cardiovascular exercise. This is sometimes referred to as an aerobic workout. Although in modern usage the words aerobic and cardiovascular have become interchangeable, they are not strictly speaking the same thing. As this is quite a complex argument in itself, for the purposes of this explanation, we will use the word cardiovascular only.
Cardiovascular means ‘pertaining to the heart and surrounding blood vessels’. A cardiovascular exercise is one which works the heart muscles by increasing the heart rate. In simple terms anything that makes you out of breath for a sustained period. Over time this will lead to a greater efficiency within the body for distributing oxygen to the muscles and allowing for any exercise to be performed for longer and longer periods without fatigue.
Tae Bo is widely accepted to be a very efficient form of cardiovascular workout offering an all-round greater benefit than many other forms of ‘aerobic’ titled classes.
For example, Tae Bo performed over a 1 hour session can burn up to 800 calories, twice the amount that the standard type of ‘aerobic class’ exercise would offer.
What are the Benefits of Tae Bo
The three way combination of boxing, dance and martial arts is designed to offer a wide variety of benefits. The boxing is aimed at developing speed, power, strength, mental agility and quick reflexes. The martial arts is aimed at developing some of the benefits named above plus confidence, self belief and spiritual well being. The dance is aimed at developing flexibility, balance and co-ordination. The overall benefits are a stress free mind and a fitter, healthier and well toned body.
Cardiovascular exercise has been shown to provide benefits to the participant by decreasing the resting heart rate and lowering blood pressure; by decreasing cholesterol levels within the body; by strengthening all body muscles; by strengthening the muscles used in the respiratory system and lungs; by improving circulation and the efficiency of oxygen distribution around the body; by decreasing fat levels present in the body; by improving mental clarity and mental health thereby reducing anxiety and stress levels.
The list is quite an impressive one. It has been suggested that one of the main reasons Tae Bo is successful is because it combines all the benefits of cardiovascular fitness with a stimulating and fun activity. In studies it has been found that many people cite boredom with the exercise as one of the main reasons for not continuing it.
Many exercise classes seem to be a lot of effort for little reward where as Tae Bo seems to offer an efficient exercise routine for maximum benefit.