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Sport: is it so good for your health?

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 As a sports practitioner and follower, you should know that there are benefits to the practice of sport. Obviously, if it is beneficial, it is also necessary to pay attention to certain excesses. Explanation.

Sport is it so good for your health?


"A healthy mind in a healthy body"

Already in ancient times, the practice of physical exercises was recommended. In fact, that's where the phrase "a healthy mind in a healthy body" came from. This is still relevant today, thanks to campaigns led in particular by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, which encourage the practice of sport as a source of benefits for our health.

The health benefits of sport are multiple, concern all dimensions of health, and are recognized regardless of the public:

Sport is good for the skeleton of each individual. Practiced regularly, it slows down bone resorption and thus better fights against osteoporosis.

Sport can provide well-being, pleasure. It can help boost self-esteem. It decreases anxiety, emotional instability, improves mood, and increases resistance to stress.

The practice of sport promotes the harmonious development of the adolescent. It promotes bone building, the proper development of morals and lungs. It channels the energy of some children and promotes sleep.

It makes it possible to fight against a sedentary lifestyle. Older people who engage in physical activity are more autonomous and less dependent.

In an asthmatic, the practice of the sport increases the threshold of triggering symptoms and thus increases the tolerance to the effort.


The 5 sports  practices to stay healthy

Here are 5 health-promoting sports:


  • Running: it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in the long term. N.D.L.R.: According to a recent study, running regularly would even be beneficial for the back.
  • Swimming: it is probably the most complete sport. This practice allows a greater energy expenditure, the improvement of the level of fat in the blood, and also it does not produce any impact on the joints.
  • Tennis and more generally, racket sports: these disciplines reduce blood pressure and improve the function of the heart.
  • Cycling: this activity reduces the risk of suffering a heart attack thanks to the balance of blood pressure, it reduces cholesterol and the risk of suffering from thrombosis.
  • Walking: it promotes good blood circulation while having many benefits for the heart.

Apart from its fun aspect, sports practice is specific to everyone. Some will go to a team sport (football, handball, rugby ...) to play as a team, still, others will go to a sport of "duo" to compete against someone (tennis, boxing ...), and still, others will prefer to work in solitary sports (walking, running ..). If competition is a source of galvanizing, the challenge we throw at ourselves gives us even more desires.


Important: As a general rule, practicing sports or physical activity regularly helps to maintain a healthy body and improve its health at any age. However, some excesses contradict this traditional virtue of sport. Choosing an inappropriate activity or the desire to exceed one's limits can sometimes make physical exercise harmful to health.


Beware of excesses: sport yes, but in moderation!

"You do too much", "be careful not to hurt yourself", each of us has already heard this phrase at least once in our lives. Indeed, beyond a certain threshold, we go from healthy sport to intensive sport, and finally, we go from good for health, too bad for health.

  • People over 40 years of age returning to the practice of physical activity, must favor aerobic sports (endurance effort such as cardio-training) where the intensity of the practice is progressive and where we will favor the duration of the exercise: swimming, walking, jogging ... Anaerobic type of effort, of high intensity, but brief, should be avoided.
  • Some sports appear inappropriate for certain specific audiences suffering from particular pathologies. Tennis for back pain, but also horseback riding, breaststroke, etc.
  • For the child, intensive training prevents him from living his childhood and therefore essential phases of his development.
  • The cult of thinness is also a harmful point of health. The obsession with becoming thin and looking like mannequins can lead to overtraining or undernutrition.

On the side of high-level athletes, harmful points are also present:


  • Doping cases show that by dint of always wanting to do better and more, athletes jeopardize their health. EPO can promote heart and bone pain. Cortisol weakens the athlete's immune system and weakens tendons.
  • To do too much, overtraining leads to states close to depression. Indeed, too much stimulation of stress hormones can cause a condition like this.
  • Also, pay attention to the risks associated with the practice of a sport in cold weather.


How do I know if I'm doing too much?



The answer to this question is quite simple in the end. Just listen to your body and head. Thus, it is necessary to be careful in case of:

  • Repeated injuries
  • Unusual fatigue and especially that persists over time
  • Sleep problems
  • Unfortunate consequences of behaviour and mood
Sport is only really beneficial if it is part of a "regular, moderate, and diversified practice" that is part of a global lifestyle.

Advice:

  • Regularity is the essential basis of the practice of a sport. It is therefore advisable to practice physical activity 2 to 3 times a week over a period of 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Before each session, it is important to prepare your body and muscles for the effort by practicing a warm-up. Thus, the beginning should always be smooth.
  • Also very important, you have to know your limits. Don't go too fast, too hard, too far. It is important not to force yourself, but to listen to your body and stop as soon as necessary.
  • It is important to always stretch at the end of a sports practice, but not just in any way (see how to stretch).
  • Sleep. Indeed, the quality of sleep is important to be in great shape when practicing sports.
  • Finally, it is necessary to hydrate well for optimal performance, but above all to remain healthy. Before, during, and after exercise. All while keeping a diet adapted to the type of sport practiced as well as its intensity. Prefer, during the effort, an isotonic drink.

Conclusion

Even if some excesses show that the practice of sport can, in certain situations, be harmful to health, in most cases it remains beneficial to our body. That said, for sport to be beneficial, it must be integrated into the lifestyle (a lifestyle must go hand in hand) and not simply a source of performance. "Sport is good for health insofar as it is practiced in an adapted way, according to the physiological possibilities of each one," summarizes Dr. Gilbert Pérès, director of the department of sports medicine at Pitié-Salpêtrière.

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