Cycling is one of the most fun ways to build endurance, lose weight, see sights and be close to nature. It is a low-impact, full-body workout, which when combined with the right diet and nutrition intake can work wonders for your athletic ability. Cycling works on your legs, hips, lower back, shoulders, and particularly helps build muscles around the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Not only that, cycling is beneficial for your cardiovascular and mental health too, reducing the risk of heart diseases, cancer, and depression among other ailments. But before you dive into this exciting, holistic workout, there are a few things to be kept in mind.Here are some tips to excel at your passion:
Choose the Right Bike
Choosing the right bike is as important as choosing the right partner – because that is what your bike is going to be for you. Posture and comfort are the two key aspects to keep in mind. The right bike will help you maintain the correct posture for longer durations significantly reducing the risk of injury or early fatigue. Bicycles come in many shapes and forms these days – from road bikes to mountain bikes to hybrids and casual ones, which are great for beginners. It all depends on where – specifically on which surface – you intend to ride, and how much experience you have with cycling. Don’t forget to test ride your bike for at least 10-15 minutes before buying.
Get the Right Gear
Because cycling involves being outdoors on roads and other rough terrains, your safety is a top priority. Gear like helmets, knee pads, and gloves are necessary to protect your body in case of a fall or accident. Lights and reflectors are essential if you are biking on city roads, and are mandatory in many cities now if you plan on cycling after the sun sets. And don’t forget your water bottle. A portable water bottle can be a life-safer, especially if you are planning to get into adventure or long-distance biking.
Like all other workouts, it is imperative that beginners start slow. There’s no point in burning out on your first day, and then crashing out for a whole week. You have to give your body and muscles a chance to get used to this new posture and recover. Otherwise you run the risk of injury to muscles by overexerting. It’s better to build your endurance gradually but consistently. Start with small but achievable goals and incrementally increase your distance and speed.
Remember to Hydrate
Staying hydrated is essential for all sports, and more so when cycling as it involves almost all parts of your body. Dehydration can cause the nutrients from your diet not being absorbed properly in your body. Cramping during cycling, due to dehydration, can be more dangerous if you are on the road or on a steep hill. So, don’t forget that water bottle – and juice up your water with electrolytes and salts which you tend to lose faster when cycling longer distances, especially during the summer months.
Aside from giving you a ‘runners high’ or adrenaline boost, running has plenty of other benefits. Running is often a good way to achieve more defined muscles, burn calories and fat. Running is also said to improve your quality of sleep as a way for the body to recover from the run.
It is also believed that running reduces the incidence of illnesses and improves mental health, helping you fight diseases like Alzheimers, cancer and depression. A good run can leave with a high and a sense of accomplishment that is unlike any other sport.Here are some tips to excel at your passion:
What to Wear
Running, as a sport, exerts more pressure on your knees and feet. This is why it becomes especially important to choose the right shoes. When choosing a shoe for running, first and foremost, pick a shoe that is especially made for running. This may range from the everyday running shoe to the lightweight running shoe, to one designed specifically for running on trekking paths. It is also important to understand what level of cushioning you prefer- whether that is a more natural/barefoot-esque experience or a plusher one. Shoes should also be choses basis the intensity and frequency of your run. In terms of clothing, it is important to choose lightweight, moisture wicking and wind resisting clothes that enhance your running experience. Polypropylene and nylon make for especially good fabric choices in running clothes.
Short Running Intervals
Interval training or running short intervals at a faster pace is said to increase your fitness faster than any other type of running. Interval training helps build strength and endurance by pushing the body to run at a faster pace than it is usually able to. It is also beneficial in improving form as the body adjusts itself to run more efficiently. Finally, it helps utilize your full power by using even those muscle fibers that are typically unused during a regular run.
The principle of progression says that the key to becoming a better runner is to transform your body slowly, and over time. Always start your training slowly, keeping the duration and intensity of your run low and build this over a period of 3-4 weeks or more, depending on your comfort. It is important not to be too caught up in tracking your speed and duration, and pushing yourself when your body needs a rest. Learn to trust your body and take things slow. It is especially crucial to be mindful of any injuries you may feel and give yourself adequate time to heal before running again. These steps will ensure that you don’t face a burnout from your run and leave each run feeling energized.
Keep yourself Hydrated
The importance of hydrating pre, during and post your run cannot be emphasized enough. When running, your body loses essential electrolytes and salts, which not only impacts performance, but can also have adverse effects for your healthy. Drinking plenty of water pre and post run and sipping on water during your run can help replenish the salts you lose while running. Electrolyte-replacement sports drinks are also an excellent way to replenish the sodium and potassium salts quickly, giving your body the boost it needs post run.
An excellent total body workout, swimming is a low injury activity that is suitable for a wide variety of individuals. Often recommended as a good form of rehabilitation and recovery exercise, swimming helps increase your heart rate without stressing out your body. It is especially well suited for toning muscle, building strength and building endurance. Since it is a low impact activity, it is generally considered safe for people with pre-existing conditions like sports injuries, arthritis etc.
Moreover, swimming is highly effective in helping burn more calories than a similar low-impact activity like walking with the added benefit of improving your mood and sleep.Here are some tips to excel at your passion:
Get Your Gear in Order
For most swimmers, minimal gear is needed to get in the pool and start doing your laps. A well-fittedsuit that is comfortable to swim in and a pair of goggles, is really all you need to swim. Some pools also require a cap for hygiene reasons; that can also help keep hair out of your hair (and goggles) better.Other non-compulsory but important items include a good sunscreen to help protect your skin from the harsh sunrays when swimming outdoors.
For most swimmers, minimal gear is needed to get in the pool and start doing your laps. A well-fitted suit that is comfortable to swim in and a pair of goggles, is really all you need to swim. Some pools also require a cap for hygiene reasons; that can also help keep hair out of your hair (and goggles) better. Other non-compulsory but important items include a good sunscreen to help protect your skin from the harsh sunrays when swimming outdoors.
Time Your Food
As with any workout, it is imperative to have the right nutrition pre and post your swim. A meal consisting of complex carbohydrates, that helps your body slowly release energy is ideal before a swim. This can be consumed in the form of whole grains, sweet potatoes etc. as well as pre-workout supplements that can be added to your smoothies and keep your body fuelled for the duration of your swim. As a post workout meal, it is beneficial to add protein (for muscle repair and development), fluids and electrolytes in addition to carbohydrate to replenish the body.
Guidance from Experienced Swimmer
When engaging in an activity like swimming, it is always recommended to get expert advice from a coach to ensure that you avoid injury and get the most health benefits from your swim. In general, experts advise (1) lengthening your body (especially your arms) to power through the water, (2) keeping your head still and breathing by slowly lifting your mouth and nose out of the water, not your head as this disturbs the alignment of your body, and (3) using your feet effectively by keeping your legs taut and feet flexible, and taking small but regular kicks to synchronize with your upper body.
Cricket, and especially fast bowling, is a high endurance sport. Players maintain high heart rates, often for several hours or the duration of the game. Additionally, as running is a big component of cricket, players need to build endurance to sustain the pace throughout the match. It therefore comes as no surprise, that athletes involved in the sport of cricket need proper nutrition and regimented endurance training.Here are some tips to excel at your passion:
A physically demanding sport, cricket requires you to have a fluid body, which can be achieved through proper strengthening and conditioning. Players need to focus on mobility, strength and aerobic fitness. A combination of high intensity interval training on full workout days and light to moderate intensity training on recovery days is ideal for this. In addition to these exercise, bowlers need to pay special attention to exercises that strengthen arms, abdominals, obliques and back muscles, which are all integral in bowling.
Eat for Endurance
On average, players can burn anywhere from 200-600 calories per hour. It is therefore extremely important to consume the right nutrition to fuel energy. To perform optimally, you must take a balanced diet of carbohydrates during intense training and protein for muscle repair post training. Foods and supplements rich in these nutrient groups stimulate the body for both training and actual game performance.
Beware of CNS Fatigue
CNS or Central Nervous System fatigue occurs when the brain becomes chronically tired. Since fast bowling is a CNS dominant activity, overtraining or training to the point of exhaustion can over time cause long-term fatigue to set in. In order to avoid this, cricketers especially bowlers should focus on more frequent rather than long duration practices. Getting adequate rest is also crucial to avoid CNS fatigue, and should always be prioritized. Balancing mental health with physical is key to maintaining consistent performance on the field.
Work with Your Power
As with any sport, cricket requires you to be physically and mentally strong for every game. This includes varied exercises such as running, weight training, muscle strengthening exercises and stretching to maintain the body’s readiness. Don’t be afraid to work with your power by consistently pushing yourself to reach your goals. Marginal gains when compounded over time help you reach the outcomes you may have not thought were possible.
Whether you want to increase the distance of your run or run the same distance faster, your body needs endurance. This is precisely why you, as an athlete, need to train under the right guidance, identify strategies that boost you endurance and most importantly consume the right nutrition.
Jogging, as a form of exercise, has immense benefits- from helping you achieve your ideal weight, building your immune system to helping boost your insulin resistance. For athletes, jogging is an essential part of the exercise routine to improve aerobic fitness. In combination with strength training, jogging is a great form of exercise to spur your fitness.Here are some tips to excel at your passion:
Wear the Right Gear
The most important gear for jogging- the shoes. To prevent injury from splaying, the shoes should be well fitted i.e. not too snug or too large for your feet. The shoes should be selected based on your training experience as well. For newer runners, cushioned shoes may be more comfortable as opposed to lightweight shoes that more seasoned athletes might prefer. Other fun, but not necessarily essential, gear could include sports watches to track progress, running belt for a hands free experience and water to stay hydrated.
Don’t Push Too Hard
As with any form of exercise, it is important to build your endurance for jogging slowly but consistently. Avoid overdoing your jog, especially if you are new to jogging as it can lead to injury and burnout. Instead focus on slowly increasing your pace and/or distance by setting incremental goals that are achievable and allow your body to recover. Use your starting point as a gauge for this new incremental goal rather than setting one arbitrarily that might push your body to an extreme.
Remember the Recovery Time
As you increase your running distance, running speed, or both, your body’s need for recovery time increases. This recovery includes eating the right nutrition, stretching post run and getting optimal sleep. It is advised to eat foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates within 30 min of your jog, as it helps replenish the nutrients it has lost and recover faster.
Right Food to Eat
When jogging, your body needs a few key nutrients that impact performance and recovery. Carbohydrates pre and post running are extremely important as they fuel your body and therefore your run. Carbohydrates are found in food sources like bananas, granola bars and supplements like BCAA. Protein on the other hand is one of the most important nutrients for your body to recover and rehabilitate from jogging and can be consumed through eggs, meat and whey protein supplements. Electrolytes and salts can also be very beneficial in replenishing the salts your body loses during a run.