Interest in sports in our country is increasing. Young people are looking beyond cricket and hockey. This is sure to increase further, especially after India’s commendable performance in the recent Olympics.
Good performance at any level always requires commitment and training. As a sportsperson climbs the ladder of sport from the school level to inter-school, then from state to national tier, and finally competing at international levels – the amount of dedication and training required obviously increases. It is exhilarating to watch Neeraj Chopra throw the javelin or Mirabai Chanu lift uncanny loads for her weight category. However, one needs to appreciate the degree of hard work, training and dedication required not only of the athlete but his entire team to accomplish that level of performance.
The bane of every budding, as well as established sportsperson, is injury. Unfortunately, a sports person’s career can be cut short by injury. Most injuries, however, are preventable.
Different kinds of sport puts stress on different parts of the body. For example, the flexibility needs of a javelin thrower is going to be very different from that of a weight lifter whose leg and core strength demands will be much higher. By this simple example, it is evident that the scientific training of sports people is now an advanced science. Once one develops an interest in a particular sport and wishes to take it up seriously, it is imperative for one to seek the appropriate coach for the discipline.
Any person interested in keeping fit knows the benefits of warm-ups, cardio, weight training, stretches and cool down. Exercise and training are not all that an athlete requires to put on their best show and performance. The food that they eat equally matters! Healthy eating and proper nutrition is the key to good health. Without adequate nutrients, the individual’s body won’t be able to support them in their sports endeavours. Calories are essential to gain energy. For a sportsperson, the calorie intake might differ from 2000 to 5000 depending on the kind of sport they pursue. Their daily diet must include nutritious food filled with calcium, potassium, iron and vitamins. Another critical factor here is hydration. Athletes generally tend to lose a lot of water from their bodies while working out or playing the game. Hence, drinking enough water, electrolytes are necessary to stay fit.
However, training, diet, exercise all have to be customised for the dedicated sportsperson to optimise their performance and reduce the risk of injury. Every sport has different needs. If you are a serious sportsman, do seek out the best experts to help you. They will not only be able to guide you to achieve your best but also reduce the risks of injury.
–Dr. Ronen Roy, Director, Orthopaedic, Fortis Hospital, Anandapur, Kolkata