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Kicking Into Shape

People across the country are kicking and punching their way to better fitness, reports Correspondent Sandra Maas of CBS Station KFMB-TV in San Diego.

A recent study by the American Council on Exercise took a closer look at kickboxing to see if helps improve and maintain cardiovascular fitness. Heart rate, caloric consumption, oxygen consumption were measured to weigh the benefits of a typical kickboxing session.

Researchers found an average of 350-450 calories are burned during a kickboxing session— enough to be considered a good workout.

Those who practice kickboxing say it is an intense workout that helps relieve stress.

At the Twenty-Four Hour Fitness Center in San Diego, instructors said the kickboxing classes they couldnÂ't fill a year ago are now packed.

Â"It keeps your brain going, you donÂ't have to think about anything else...you concentrate for the whole hour...when the hour is done, it seems like it went just like that,Â" says instructor Tim Fatchett.

Â"One of the benefits of cardio kickboxing is the added benefit of strength, conditioning and increased flexibility and because youÂ're in a class setting with other people and thereÂ's music itÂ's a lot of fun,Â" says Christine Ekeroth of the American Council on Exercise.

The number of calories burned during an hour long class is roughly equivalent to an hour of brisk walking or light jogging. Cardio kickboxing, however, provides additional benefits not associated with walking or jogging such as improved coordination and sharper reflexes. ItÂ's also a good way to brush up on your self-defense.

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