We played sports, fell down, injured ourselves and went on to become doctors and architects. Eventually, age creeps in as well as fat, we hit the gym but that’s not fun and motivating enough. Well you can always get your gang back together and shoot some hoops, a goal, or hit a six. It will help you de-stress, keep you alert, and on your feet, and also help you shed weight. In short, you will improve your overall fitness. Here is what you may have not known about sports and how they can help you.
Lose it: Whether it’s quick weight loss, mental and physical agility, muscle tone, cardiovascular, or just plain and simple entertainment – sports always scores over gym and aerobic routines. Here’s a quick look at how many calories you burn per sporting activity:
Martial Art: 580
(A quick reminder – The heavier you are, the more calories you’ll burn. So a person weighing 90kilos will burn almost twice the calories with the same activity, in the same time, as someone weighing 50 kilos.)
Avoid sport injury: The most common sports injuries are strains and sprains. Sprains are injuries to ligaments, the tough bands connecting bones in a joint. Suddenly stretching ligaments past their limits deforms or tears them. Strains are injuries to muscle fibers or tendons, which anchor muscles to bones. Strains are called “pulled muscles” because over-stretching or overusing a muscle causes tears in the muscle fibers or tendons.
You too can consult a sport medical doctor: It is a myth that sports medical doctors are only meant for professional athletes when they suffer from severe injury on or off the field and are looking for speedy recovery. Sports doctors are meant for people like us as well, since their field deals with the human body’s challenges, nutrition and well-being with respect to any sporting activity, whether light or heavy.
Water versus sport drink: During exercise or sports activities a lot of sweating takes place to maintain the body’s core temperature. This leads to loss of body’s fluid and electrolytes and if not controlled can lead to dehydration. Also the body’s carbohydrate stores are depleted during exercise.
Plain water can replenish the fluid lost during exercise but not the electrolytes and the carbohydrates. It also gives a feeling of fullness and increases urine output. Sports drinks do not hydrate better than water, but provide carbohydrates and electrolytes which are lost during the exercise session. They can be consumed in larger quantities as compared to water because of their sweet taste.
It is advisable to take sports drinks (natural or packaged) immediately before, during and after the exercise session or the sports events, if you are involved in high intensity training. But otherwise water is a better source of hydration taken on a regular basis for the average gym-goer.
For Women only: Bra basics. The importance of wearing a well fitting sports bra is quite under-rated. While exercising you might just think that exercising right should be high on your agenda, without giving much thought to the kind of clothes you might be wearing. However, wearing the right sports bra is quite important for women, because a good sports bra offers optimum support while adding to physical ease and comfort – two ingredients that no workout can ever be fun without.