Whether you are looking to get in the best shape of your life or are inspired by your favourite sportsperson, regular workouts have way more benefits than just looking your best and having intense stamina.
For more than five decades, researchers have been presenting evidence on the positive effects of sports and physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity can help you improve cardio-respiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, improve mental health and reduce the risk of developing health conditions.
Dr Manjeet Singh Arora, senior general physician, Fortis Hospital, Mulund agrees. He says, "Several studies have shown that exercise may play a therapeutic role in positively influences depression. Physical self-worth and self-perception, including body image, have been linked to improved self-esteem. Children who play sports have lower body fat, stronger muscles and bones and have a much lower risk of becoming overweight or obese."
So, are you ready to begin training intensely like your favourite athletes? Well, Dr Arora suggests how you can do exactly that. He says, "The key is to be active throughout the day. Take your pick from a host of activities such as walking (recreational), fitness or gym, running or athletics, swimming, cycling, basketball, tennis, football, etc. In the pandemic, we might not get to engage in a few of the activities mentioned above, but some can be done, such as walking in isolation or cycling."
Apart from these, structure your workout to include all exercises instead of spot-reducing regimens. You can try out aerobic exercises at home, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening workouts.
However, he adds, one of the best practices that people engaging in sports activities must follow is a stringent diet. Here are his recommendations of healthy foods to include in your daily diet:
Starchy vegetables (sweet/white Potatoes, Squash)
Non-starchy vegetables (Broccoli, leafy greens)
Whole grain bread or crackers
High-fiber, non-sugary cereals
FOODS SPORTS PERSON MUST AVOID
Limit consumption of sports drinks
Avoid protein bars & energy bars
Avoid saturated & trans fat
"In the end, make it a habit to eat breakfast daily, within one to two hours of waking up; then eat again every three to four hours, for a total of five to six meals per day. These meals should comprise mini to moderate-sized meals, snacks, and pre-and post-workout meals or snacks throughout the day," he says.