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How going for a run can have a real benefit when playing sport

When the world was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic back in March of 2020, people were suddenly stuck at home not knowing what to with themselves. In the modern era, people had been busy, either working or socialising, not leaving much time for themselves & the chance to embrace some hobbies. So, when suddenly all we had was spare time, and no one to spend it with, people were suddenly frantically googling ‘hobbies I can do on my own’.

How going for a run can have a real benefit when playing sport

One of the main things that people took up was gaming. The popularity of , had been consistently rising over the past few years, but 2020 saw them absolutely sky rocket. All you needed was a console/PC, an internet connection and enough free time to get good at gaming, so it certainly makes sense that people flocked to Esports in their masses in the way they did.

Others went for slightly more homely pastimes such as cooking, gardening, or DIY. It is no surprise home improvements were so high on the list, given we all were stuck inside for the majority of the day, staring at the same cracked wallpaper or slightly wonky shelves.

Another hobby that sored in popularity during lockdown was running. Of all forms of exercise, it was definitely the easiest to prepar for, as all anyone needs are some trainers (running ones specifically if possible, but many people got by with just standard trainers) and some clothes you didn’t mind being seen getting sweaty in. As the streets were so quiet, it meant those who would have been previously self-conscious of going slowly/ looking out of breath didn’t have to worry quite so much, as they could gradually get better without being constantly watched.

There are plenty of benefits to running, not only physical ones but mental ones too. It also can prepare you for playing some of the Heritage Sports, such as soccer, tennis, basketball or cricket. Let’s look at just a few of the benefits that running can give you when participating in sport, either as part of a team or as an individual.

Cardio is key for any sports

Unless you are playing snooker or darts, to get to a good level, every sport requires a certain level of fitness. You could be the most precise passer of a soccer ball in the world, but if you can’t then move towards the goal, you’ll never be a good player. Similarly, you might be able to smash a ball into the outfield, but if you can’t run around the diamond to steal bases, you won’t ever excel at baseball.

Therefore, building your cardiovascular fitness is very important. Running is great for that, as it helps you to build stamina, building your muscles, and improving your lung capacity. You might only be able to run for a few minutes without stopping when you first start running, but within a few weeks, you’ll notice a massive difference. Suddenly those 2km runs turn into 5km before soon you’ll be able to keep going to 10km and beyond. Then, you’ll be able to keep up during a whole game of basketball, instead of asking for a time out every 5 minutes.

Fat burner

You do not see many overweight athletes anymore. The unhealthy culture of eating badly and drinking excessively that was seen in English soccer during the 1970s and 1980s has now gone, with all the top players being incredibly slim with washboard abs. This is because burning fat is very important for players, as they don’t want anything slowing them down when they’re chasing after a ball.

Running is a great form of exercise for burning fat. Obviously, the faster and longer you go, the more you burn, but even keeping at a steady pace will see the calories drop off you. This will then do wonders for your performance on the sports field, as you’ll be able to move around that much quicker without the excess fat holding you back.

Strong bones

Obviously strong muscles are key for fitness in any sport, but without something holding them up you wouldn’t get very far. Therefore, strong bones are very important. No longer can you get away with just drinking a lot of milk to improve bone strength, so running is a perfect way to build them up too. Knees and backs are two areas that people can injure when playing a sport, but running can help to improve both of these problem areas.

A 2020 study compared the backs of those who ran regularly, and those who didn’t, and it found that “middle-aged long-term endurance runners exhibit less age-related decline in their lumbar IVDs (intervertebral disc height)”. So clearly, those who run more will suffer less from back problems in later years than those who don’t, which will help to improve any sports career, whether amateur or professional.

These are just a few of the benefits running can bring to those playing sports, but there are countless more. If you want to improve or elongate your sports ‘career’, then there is no better place to start than by regularly going for a run,


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