Tag: Benefits of a new sport

How to ease yourself back into the gym

After what feels like a lifetime, gyms have finally reopened on April 12th. Let’s face it, trying to stick to a routine when you’re stuck at home during a global pandemic, is pretty difficult. So if you are looking forward to getting back into shape, you might feel like you’re starting from scratch again. Here we give you some tips on how to ease yourself back into the gym, after your unexpected holiday from working out. 

Don’t overdo it

Doing too much straight away can overwhelm you physically and mentally. It’s better to go into it knowing that you probably aren’t going to be as fit as you were, and that’s ok! Regardless of whether you are a runner, weightlifter, or crossfitter, taking time off from exercise means that you will lose some of your abilities. To ease yourself back into the gym, start slowly with lower intensity than you were used to, eventually build back up to the amount of reps, distance, weight, that you could previously do. You don’t want to cause yourself an injury on your first session back and it’s important to focus on form over intensity.  The good news is that you’ll also regain your strength quicker than it took for you to reach that weight in the first place thanks to muscle memory.

gym

Make a routine and stick to it

Jumping back in at 4 days a week will be a tough adjustment. We suggest starting with 1 or 2 days a week and sticking to it, to ease yourself back into the gym, after all, you need to form the habit and routine again. As you get more comfortable, build up your days. Rest days are so important, these are the days where your body repairs itself and makes the progress, so don’t try to make up for the lost time by working out every day. Recovery is part of being active.

Listen to your body.

The chances are, your body is going to let you know that it’s working hard, but pain is not always a sign of progress, it could mean you need to stop that activity. After being out of your routine for so long, your body may not have the range of motion it used to, so don’t push through pain, it’s probably a sign that something isn’t right. Going from sitting in the house for 3 months to a full workout, you will probably feel fatigued much quicker as you burn more calories than you have done and your body adapts to the increased stress. It’s really important to make sure you get enough sleep, so on gym days try and get yourself to bed earlier than normal, so as not to burn out. 

Improve your Tennis Game

There has been a huge influx of people taking up tennis during the lockdown, as outside sports were one of the first things to be allowed as restrictions eased. Here are some tips to help improve your tennis game, no matter your level.

Be Alert

You cannot prepare soon enough for the ball to be in your court. Keeping your eyes on the ball, your feet moving and turning your hips and shoulders before the oncoming ball bounces on your side will give you the best preparation to hit the ball.

Identify your opponent’s weaknesses. Every match should have a warmup beforehand. Use this time to not only get yourself ready to play, but also to test your opponent by hitting forehands and backhands to determine what they’re best or worst at returning. You can then strategize which shots will be best to use throughout the game.

Pull back on your serve speed. The serve is the most important shot in tennis, and that often means people think they need to wallop the ball as hard as they possibly can. Professionals however will only hit the serve at 80% velocity and focus more on accuracy. Setting up the serve correctly is more important than speed.

Stick with one pattern of play. Stop trying to get creative on court. An amateur player will scatter several types of shot, but the best players only have one or two patterns of play through a match, they always try to hit their strongest shots, they find that one pattern that works, and they stick with it.

One bounce policy

A great tip used by professionals is to never let the ball bounce twice. Always run for the ball straight away with the intention to hit it after one bounce, even if you think you have no chance to reach it.

Don’t pause to recover

So many players will hit the ball and then relax watching watch the ball fly to their opponent. A great tip to improve your tennis game is to hit and recover, then get straight back into position. However, during changeover, it’s important to keep up hydration and nutrition, by sipping water and taking a bite of an energy bar.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 3 winter sporting activities

In winter, the weather can really get us down in the dumps. Science shows that sunlight increases Serotonin, the chemical in the brain that’s linked to you being happy, and decreases Melatonin, the one that makes you feel sleepy. If you’re battling a bad case of the winter blues, it might be time to look for a new obsession.

Winter sports are an excellent way to invigorate and excite, and the joy of supporting a new team will bring you a refreshed sense of self, help to forge new friendships not to mention give your mood a marvellous boost. But where on Earth do you find a sport in winter? Truth is, there’s a lot. And we’ll fill you in on a few of the funniest and most fulfilling winter sports to fall in love with. Guaranteed to put those winter blues on ice.

1. Sledding

Sledding is the umbrella term for any kind of treacherous travel down an ice track on a land vehicle with a smooth underside. When you were younger, snow spattering meant two things. No school, and a chance to sled down the very tallest hill. Widely loved by everyone from families to fearless professionals, sledding comes in three main types.

Luge involves lying on your sled face up, as you hurtle down that ice-track feet first. The ice track is designed to increase speed quickly, leading the courageous sledder to career at tip-top speed to the finish line. The one who wins is the one who completes the course in the fastest time, so factors like your weight and how streamlined you can make your body come into play.

Skeleton sledding, then, involves the opposite posture. Instead of lying face-up on the sled, you lie face-down. The race also begins with a riotous running start, for you and the sled, and a death-defying jump into the run. It’s the most dangerous of the bobsled winter sports, and involves steering using just your head and shoulders. The fun side of this forward-facing feat is that you can film the flow of your Skeleton run using a head cam – so if this scary sport seems like it’s for you, head over to YouTube for an ice-eye view.

Bobsled then, is the safer option to these two. It introduces a Bobsled vehicle, usually operated down the dizzying heights by two or four people. It’s the sport championed in the film Cool Runnings, and the popularity of this pure-hearted film lead to the image of sledding many folks have today.

Winter sports

2. Ice Skating

Since there has been ice, people have been trying to slide on it.  The winter sport ice skating began over 3,000 years ago in Finland, when skating concerned a more ski-like contraption that skated on top of the ice rather than cutting into it. Flash forward to today and there’s a reason that Dancing on Ice is one of the world’s highest-viewed television programs. Ice-skating channels raw power and strength into floaty, fabulous forms. Again, it comes in many incarnations.

Figure skates differ from competitive skates. They have spikes on the back that can slow down, start up or spin out your skating. Figure skates have two grooves, and it’s preferred that you skate on one or the other. Lower scores will be given in competitions if you skate on both!

Figure skating routines are similar to cheerleading routines, as they will require you to lift, jump, turn and throw. The more complicated your rave routine gets the more advanced your moves will be, including crowd-pleaser, the death spiral.

Many other sports have moved ice-wards in an attempt to increase how difficult they are. Ice hockey, for example, uses the ice as a propellant for the puck, and is known for being played at a fast pace, and being highly physical. Speed skating seeks to increase the speed of the race via ice, and short-track speed skating will often be referred to as Nascar On Ice due to its speed and skater velocity.

ice skating

3. Yukigassen

Ready. Get set. THROW! One of the joys of winter is, of course, snow; and we couldn’t leave you without letting you in on the ultimate winter sport – competitive snowball throwing. It’s Japanese, and called Yukigassen. Yukigassen will translate directly to snow battle, and is top of the list if you enjoy a bit of cold in your chaos.

Yukigassen takes place in two teams of seven players each. Your aim? To capture the enemy’s flag by speed, strength, or just knocking everyone else out. If you’re hit by a snowball you’re eliminated, and out of the game. It has to be a direct hit though; snowballs ricocheted off of an off-hand object do not tag you out. You can only use pre-rolled snowballs, if you’re caught making a snowball during the game, you’re out. But don’t fear! There’s help when you’re advancing on your enemy in form of pre-made snow boxes to crouch, peer, and throw from.

If it sounds a bit like dodgeball, that’s because it is. But it must be doing something right – Japan is famous for boasting the lowest crime rate in the world, and these stress busting sports contribute to that!

Which winter sports is your favourite? When you’re leaning more toward playing, rather than watching, your new passion; why not download Write Up – the app that lets you read, rate and review everything fitness related.

4 Reasons why you should learn a new sport

Every New Year brings with it new aspirations. Largely these revolve around fitness, and trying something new. Well, why not combine these particular goals by trying a new sport? Getting involved in a new sporty hobby has many benefits. To this end, we’ve put together a list of why you should learn a new sport, the number of benefits it leads to, and ultimately, why it’s the best way to reach your goals.

1. Make new friends

When trying anything new, you’re thrown into new situations with new people. This will eventually lead to new friendships. By signing up and learning a new sport – especially if its one you’ve been harbouring an interest for already – you’ll meet like-minded people with the same interest. You’re then put into team-building training scenarios, and maybe even matches, where a likely outcome is friendship. Team-based sports, such as Rugby, Hockey or Football, focus on you and your other team members working together. How well your team does largely counts on how successful you are as a team. This reliance, and relationship on the field, is naturally applied off the field too. Sport relies a lot on trust, a trait necessary for friendships. The two go hand in hand.

2. Learning something new

Learning anything new is exciting, not to mention good for you, and your brain. It challenges you, and improves cognitive functions. We, as individuals, are made to be challenged. It helps us problem solve, in addition to teaching us new skills. Our advice? Pick that one sport that you’ve always liked the idea of, and go for it, without holding back. You’re sure to make mistakes in the beginning (it’s the only way to learn) but it’ll leave you a more rounded, stronger person.

3. Getting yourself out of your comfort zone

Your comfort zone is what it says on the tin: comfortable. While sometimes, it’s great to be comfortable, it’s also great to step outside of this zone, and be uncomfortable. Stepping out will teach you to reimagine your comfort boundaries in addition to making you empowered. Two very good ripples! Learning a new skill, like a new sport, does exactly this. It lifts your spirits, and helps you get out of a rut, as well as widening your horizon.

4. It’s fun

Life can sometimes fall into periods of routine. By trying something new you add some much-needed zing to your life. By trying a sport you’ll be doing this in a healthy way, learning many new techniques, and with every game making friends. While the gym offers an environment for getting fit and healthy, it doesn’t offer an environment to play a game, and have fun while doing it.

While there are many reasons for you to try a new sport, namely, it’s a great way to improve your stamina, flexibility and general wellbeing. In addition, it helps you make new friends by learning something new – something which is well out of your comfort zone. All in all, it makes you a happier and healthier individual.