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Your Brain on BattleGroove: How My Cardio Kickboxing Formula Stimulates Positivity

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

I want to take you on a journey back to a time when I had big dreams of sharing my cardio kickboxing format, BattleGroove, with the world. It was my way of duplicating myself, reaching more people, and making a positive impact.

Cover of BattleGroove Cardio Kickboxing Instructor Training Manual (2013)

Although those plans didn't materialize, I still hold onto the manual I created back in 2013 while I was in Morocco, working as a nutritionist for a member of the royal family. The choreography I developed for BattleGroove evolved over time, and I discovered something truly special—moves that not only slapped (in a good way) but also felt completely addictive.

Even before I wrote those words in 2013, I was acutely aware of how movement can influence our brains and emotions. Let me share a snippet from the manual that highlights this fascinating connection:

There are certain moves in every BattleGroove cardio kickboxing class that are there to stimulate the expression of joy. Just as posture and facial expression can affect our attitude, exercises we do in combination with the endorphin rush we get from movement can make us feel happiness. Any time we are reaching up, making large expansive circles with the arms, or are opening our hearts within the format - we are physically expressing JOY which has an effect on our brain chemistry.

Let's dive deeper! And remember, this was a manual for future instructors.

Whether you naturally sport a beaming smile or need a little extra encouragement to smize, let's embrace the power of genuine smiles. They are contagious and have the ability to uplift others by tricking our minds into feeling happiness. Let your enthusiasm shine through, in your own unique way. Remember, it's about being your authentic self and showcasing your best self.

The consideration of the importance of smiling while leading classes was something I picked up from Susan Whitbourne, my Psychology professor at UMASS Amherst. This was only reinforced for the many years that followed.

When it comes to leading a fulfilling life, gratitude plays a vital role. Here's one more screenshot from the Instructor Manual.

HAVE GRATITUDE Gratitude acts as a natural mood enhancer, extinguishing negative thoughts that hinder our reality. Professor Emmins from UC Davis conducted a fascinating study that revealed incredible results. Participants who kept a Gratitude Journal for just three weeks experienced a 25% increase in life satisfaction. They also exercised more, reduced alcohol consumption, and their loved ones noticed a positive shift in their demeanor. The effects lasted beyond the study period, transforming their lives in lasting ways. Let's practice gratitude together with a simple exercise: List 10 things you're grateful for.

By infusing movement, joy, and gratitude into our lives, we unlock a powerful combination that shapes our mindset and overall well-being. 🤍

Amira Lamb and throwing a kick in Vibram Five Fingers shoes, short black shorts, bright pink sports bra, and boxing gloves. She's on a street on the Lower East Side in Manhattan NYC in front of colorful Joey Ramone mural.


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