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#SportPanel focus

Panel members discuss the link between sport and health

Nicola

Everyone has their own personal struggles or stress they have to cope with. For me, sport is a way to cope with mine. If I’m having a stressful day or week, playing sport is an escape from it all. Nothing matters other than what I am doing right there and then, whether it’s what shot should I make or what skill should I perform next. It allows me to forget about any struggles for the time period that I am playing.

I feel my best when I am taking part in sports, and doing so with friends and family makes it even better as it allows me to have fun with the people I love.

"Sport gives me a clear head, allowing me to think better and tackle the stress or struggle I was having."

I also feel physically better after taking part in sport. If I set myself goals, once I accomplish them, I feel physically stronger and I believe I can take on anything. No matter the sport I play, I feel fantastic after, even though I may ache the next day. 

 

Anna

From a walk to the shops, to a marathon; any form of physical activity helps us to stay fit, healthy and happy.

I've found that there can be quite a bit of pressure with school work - especially around exam time, but scheduling in some time for physical activity really helps to refresh your mind and rebuild focus. It gives you a chance to do something completely different and get away from the stress of repetitive work; a chance to keep fit and boost your mental health.

I have always been a very competitive and driven person with a huge passion for keeping fit and healthy. From a very early age, I would take as many sporting opportunities as possible- from swimming to rugby, ballet, Netball, football, skiing and so much more.

I did reach a point where I had become extremely driven by my love for sport whilst unintentionally consuming less food. At the time, I had no "negative" goals or intentions; I just thought I was being quite healthy and it had become my normal routine. Whilst I was still eating 3 meals a day, the volume of exercise I was doing meant I was continuously burning more energy than I was taking in. This can, and did, become a dangerous downward spiral.

I am now in a position where my weight is stable, but sometimes I still underestimate the amount of energy exerted during exercise. Because of the position I found myself in, I continue to have an encompassing fear of running “out of energy”. Consequently, I find it easier to eat a high carb meal or snack before exercising and trying to get some extra protein in afterwards. But whether you want to get gains or maintain, a higher intake of calories is paramount.

Finding a healthy balance between sport and nutrition is crucial to getting the best out of physical activity: both mentally and physically.

 

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