Play a Sport, Get Fit and Lose Weight

Learn to Love Sports

Do you love sports? This chapter looks at the important role that getting involved in sports can play in a weight loss strategy. And I’m talking about the taking part, not the sitting down and watching!

While this isn’t about joining a professional football or hockey team, unless of course you are fit enough and skillful enough to do that, it is about getting together with a local sports club at amateur level and finding a sport that you enjoy and can do on a regular basis.

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The first consideration is your current fitness level as well as the amount you are overweight as these factors must be carefully monitored by a doctor or qualified sports trainer before you get your kit on and start running around a football pitch for 90 minutes. If you’re not ready for it, it could kill you -literally!

As a real life example of this, several years ago I worked with a guy who was 36 years old and quite overweight, although he believed he was still fit enough to play soccer, a game he enjoyed watching as a spectator. The company we worked for had its own sports centre and its soccer team competed in a small time, inter-company league. This guy decided one weekend that he wanted to play. As the team happened to be short handed, he got the call up. Well, he ran around for about 10 minutes and all seemed to be fine. But then he walked off the pitch, threw up on the side lines and keeled over with a heart attack. Although the meds got there fast they were unable to revive him.

So be very careful about playing any sport before you’ve had a chance to build up your fitness levels. You can do this by starting slowly and gradually building up the time you play for as well as the amount of strenuous work you do on each occasion. You should also do some stamina training to coincide with your chosen sport, such as distance running or jogging which will boost your fitness levels. Again, start small and build up the distance that you run for. Swimming is also a good fitness building exercise as it makes you use most of the muscles in your body depending upon the stroke, so vary this to include breaststroke, crawl, backstroke and sidestroke.

Some good sports to take up if you need to build up your strength and stamina are badminton, volley ball, basket ball or tennis, where the focus is not so much on the physical running around as it is in games like hockey, soccer or football or strength related as it is in weight lifting, shot put or javelin throwing. You can also play for a few minutes at a time then stop and get your breath back before continuing if you feel you can.

Once you get used to a sport and can play at amateur match level once or twice a week, then you will have attained a level of fitness that will naturally decrease your weight!

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