Last updated on July 19, 2023
Editor’s Note: This article is a part of the Holos Project, a four-way partnership (ENGin, The Los Angeles Times Insider, Published Points of View, The Outspoken) established to empower the voices of Ukrainian students across the world through one-on-one journalism mentorship. This article was written by Sophie Lebyd from Ukraine with the mentorship of Ava Tambayong from the United States. “Holos” is the Ukrainian word for “Voice”.
Why do you need to do sports? To improve your physical and mental health? What impact does sport have on our lives? Where and how should we start?
“Movement is life.” Every person has heard this quote at least once in their life. But, is “being in motion” really important to people? Nowadays, many individuals have sitting and inactive jobs, which can lead to physical problems in middle age.
Thus, an active lifestyle can extend your life for decades and provide a beautiful, strong, and healthy lifestyle! Besides that, any activity can improve your mental state: long walks help take a break from the city bustle and focus on your thoughts. Sports raise the level of dopamine hormone, which is responsible for happiness. And, that is just a small part of what sports can do!
Where do you start if you are inspired to do so? To start in sports: define your goals, pick the right one, and realize the importance of nutrition.
Firstly, set your goals. Motivation is key to any undertaking.
To maintain proper motivation, you must always remember why you do this. You can choose any motivation which will inspire you: watching your favorite blogger, sharing your achievements on social networks, or buying new clothes for the gym that you like. (This one inspires me most!)
Afterward, go straight to picking a kind of activity that you will like. Group sports, such as volleyball, football, and so on, are great for active and communicative people. For those who prefer solitude and peace, yoga and pilates are suitable; individuals who appreciate the freedom of action and diversity fit the gym. Jogging and regular walking in your spare time is great for busy people. If you have the equipment – you can try cycling and cardio training. As we can see, plenty of variants will please anyone.
Besides that, the second but no less important key is proper nutrition. There are only three rules: stick to your norm of calories, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, drink enough water, and make it a lifestyle!
Maintaining your daily macronutrients is easier than you think. Nowadays, there are plenty of macro calculators that can give you information on your calorie ratio per day on mass support, deficit, and proficiency. Specifically, I use the Macro Calculator. It has the most accurate calculation for all components, including even examples of food. A statement that is misleading to many is that proper nutrition or a calorie deficiency is boring, and you need to eat, for instance, a porridge with chicken breast. This is far from true! Even such a meal can be very diverse. Plenty of different and extremely tasty recipes for healthy and quality food exist. Sometimes include your favorite, perhaps expensive food, otherwise, sooner or later, you might fall off of your set diet. What has just been mentioned is also important for your pleasure and mental health. It could be your favorite ice cream, fast food, or “unhealthy” food.
Training properly requires suitable exercises and resources for training. Okay, we have decided which sport we are about to do. What is next? If you are going to engage in team sports or with a coach, you will likely not have any problems with the exercise technique and so on because of all the questions you can ask the coach directly. But with gym and home sports, it’s better to know the proper form of exercise. Otherwise, you have a high risk of getting injured or not getting results. Here are some general sports tips for beginners:
1. Always warm up before and stretch after your workout.
2. Develop your joint mobility.
3. If you are a beginner, do a full-body workout, so your muscles will develop
4. Learn a form of exercise and general body biomechanics.
5. Maintain your hydration balance.
Training resources at home include (YouTube channels): Chloe Ting, MadFit, and Pamela Reif.
Gym resources (Instagram and TikTok accounts): Leana Deeb, Analis Cruz, and Cela Marr.
Also, MuscleWiki could be extremely useful for understanding technique basics.
Always remember: technique and proper form are key. At all times, an active lifestyle is incredibly important, but times are changing, and now most people have a sedentary lifestyle. Nevertheless, almost everyone wants to be healthier and arise in their ideal shape, so sport and proper nutrition will help you do it! In this article, we discussed the importance of motivating yourself, controlling your nutrition, choosing your favorite activity, trusting the process, and, most importantly, enjoying and making it a habit!