Sports and Fitness
Sports are a great way to manage weight and stay fit. Not only are they effective, but they are also extremely fun and generally do not require the same amount of mental push that you need to do other forms of exercise. There might not be a single person on this planet who hasn’t played a sport as a child. However, as we grow older and priorities change, playing sports gets into the back-burner, before giving up on it altogether. It’s often towards the end of those teenage years or even later that we realise the importance of keeping fit. If you have decided to embark upon the fitness journey, it might be helpful to wake up your inner child, and just get back to sports.
Benefits Of Playing Sports
- Sports provides the following benefits:
- It helps you lose/manage weight.
- It improves heart health.
- It improves lungs functions
- It improves blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
- It makes you more flexible
- It improves coordination, movement, and balance.
- Not only physical health, playing sports helps in improving mental health too as it helps with stress and anxiety.
- It improves mood.
- Playing sports improves balance, concentration, and confidence.
- It also helps in building team spirit.
- It also helps you in building leadership qualities.
Sports You Can Choose For Better Fitness
- Running is a great exercise to improve your fitness level.
- When you run, it increases your heart rate, which is good for cardiovascular health. It also helps in muscle building, toning, and increasing strength.
- If beginning, start small, by running at a normal pace for 15-20 minutes. You can increase both your time and duration thereafter.
- Cycling is a sport that you can continue throughout your life.
- It builds and tones muscles, improves strength, flexibility, increases mobility, and stamina.
- A low-impact exercise, it doesn’t put much stress on the body, making it a good choice for the elderly.
- If you don’t want to cycle outside, you can join a gym that gives the option of stationary cycles.
- It’s an effective sports option you can take up at any stage of your life.
- Not only is it a great workout, but it’s also not as grilling as other sports. Also, it is soft on the joints, and thus, can be taken up by those suffering from joints problems.
- It improves flexibility, builds muscles, and improves heart health.
- Playing tennis is fun, competitive, and effective.
- It is both an aerobic and anaerobic exercise, that improves heart health, and builds leg muscles at the same time.
- While playing it, you need to focus on the ball, it improves coordination, balance, and reflex.
- Just like tennis, badminton is also a highly effective and fun way to burn some calories and get fit.
- It improves cardiovascular health, helps in muscle building, toning, building strength, and improving overall flexibility.
- Since it also wants you to focus on an object, in this case -- the shuttle, it improves focus, balance, and coordination.
- If you have played football, or seen someone play it, you know it is a great cardiovascular exercise.
- It is great for muscle building, toning, improving heart and lungs stronger, and the overall strength of the body.
- A highly competitive sport, it helps in building up confidence.
- A team sport, it also helps you learn how to work in a team.
Sports For Kids
When started young, playing sports can ensure a lifetime of good health. When your kid plays sports, he/she is not just having fun, the activity has several health-benefiting properties. When children play sports, it:
- Reduces their risk of getting obese.
- Improves their cardiovascular health.
- Makes their bones and muscles strong.
- Improves their focus, balance, and coordination.
- Improves sleep.
- Boosts their confidence.
- Make them understand how to function in a team.
- Improves their social skills.
- Boosts their leadership skills.
As you saw the immense benefits of sports for kids, here are the options they can pick up:
With the modern lifestyle, academic pressure, and millions of gaming options available on the internet, it might take some effort to encourage your kids to take up sports. Here is where parents can play a crucial role:
- Lead by example. Pick up a sport yourself, this will encourage your child to play too.
- Incorporate sports in the list of activities you do together as a family.
- Encourage your child to make small lifestyle adjustments. For example, for shorter trips, instead of traveling by car, tell your child to ride the bike.
- There are millions of gaming options available online. Set a time limit on screen time to prevent your child from adopting a sedentary lifestyle.
- If your child is good at sports, make sure you are there cheering for him/her at matches.
Sports For The Elderly
With age, a person’s movement is hampered. Also, there is a loss of muscle mass, and your movement slows down. If you want to choose a physical activity that is light and doesn’t put too much strain on the body, here are some sports options for you:
If you are in good physical shape, you can also take up sports such as tennis and badminton.
Things You Should Keep In Mind Before Taking Up A Sport
Getting excited about something is easy, but putting in consistent effort to reach your goals takes patience, willpower, and confidence. This is true for any goal, including for the one for which you are picking up the sport. But before you start with it, here are some tips you should keep in mind:
- Assess Your Fitness Level: Even before choosing a sport, the first step is to access your fitness level. If you are someone who kept fitness on a back-burner for a long, you should begin small. Walking, cycling or swimming are ideal for you. Similarly, if you have sound health, you can take up more strenuous activities such as badminton and tennis. However, in the end, it all boils down to your personality. Choose the sport you enjoy and can be consistent with.
- Set A Realistic Goal: ‘Rome was not built in a day.’ Similarly, you cannot become Usain Bolt, Virat Kohli, or Simone Biles with just a few training sessions. Set realistic goals regarding both the fitness level you want to achieve and how good you want to get in that sport. Starting small is the key to a sustainable journey.
- Sustainable Effort: In the end, consistency is the key that determines how far you’ll reach in your fitness journey. Make a small and consistent effort, but incorporate it as a habit, a part of your lifestyle.
A thing that should be kept in mind is that physical activity is not the only thing that will ensure good health. Have a balanced diet and stay hydrated for good health.