While it’s common knowledge that physical activities go a long way in keeping you fit, here we will delve deeper and talk about the HOW part of it and which specific sport is good for which specific health problem you are facing.
In a peer-reviewed British journal on sports medicine, it has been found after intensive research and survey that people who regularly swam, played racket sports (tennis, squash or badminton) were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, than were people who did not participate in those sports. The reduced risk for cardiovascular death was 41 percent for swimming and 56 percent for racket sports. On the other hand, cycling and running did not reduce the odds of cardiovascular death. Swimming and racket sports engage various muscles of the body into an intense workout, including the lung and the heart. In swimming the resistance provided by the water helps in controlling your body’s blood sugar level. Also. It boosts your metabolism, giving rise to the good cholesterols in your body while the fat burning effect gets rid of the bad cholesterols.
If your aim is to accelerate your weight loss, then you should be going for basketball or running. While most sports facilitate weight loss, these two can help the cause quicker because of the quick and intense movements required. An effective hour of basketball can burn upto 700 calories. Running is an effective calorie-burning activity that requires no special equipment but it can be harder on your joints than swimming. However, if you don’t have joint problems, running is the easiest way to shed those kilos. The pace of your run determines the number of calories burned. Running at a 4-minute kilometer pace burns nearly 1,400 calories an hour, while running at an 5-minute kilometer pace burns 1,165 calories per hour.
For people with joint problems, especially knee pain, cycling would be the best way to ease back into exercise. While cycling is an effective exercise for your muscles and lungs, it is easy on your joints. Cycling also strengthens your calf muscle which is also known as the second heart of your body.
For people prone to back pains, the number of sports one can do gets limited. Yet, you can work on your fitness by swimming and walking (at a measured pace), while avoiding back pains.
For strengthening your muscles and increasing bone density, you should get yourself involved in weight bearing sports like football, basketball, field hockey, squash etc. Weight-bearing physical activity causes new bone tissue to form, and this makes bones stronger. This kind of physical activity also makes muscles stronger. Bones and muscles both become stronger when muscles push and tug against bones during physical activity.
If you are looking towards improving your health more holistically, then boxing would be the way to go. If you can avoid being punched too often then boxing not only improves the heart’s functioning but also helps in strengthening bones and muscle. It also works on your senses and improves coordination and balance which eventually makes you more alert and attentive. Boxing has also been shown to lift mood.