Sport is a powerful tool to improve the quality of life, provided it is done it right. Many people play sports, but incredibly, only a small part of them draw long-term benefits, while others capture just a few advantages, and some even worsen their quality of life due to a misinterpretation of sports. Sport practiced correctly can –
– Protect against diseases that kill most people.
– Let us live in a more dynamic and active way.
– Let us remain active longer, slowing the decline of physical performance dramatically, especially after 40 years.
– Improving our physical appearance.
Improve our strength of will.
To be safe and really enjoy sports, we conclude that sport should be practiced:
– With sufficient intensity and frequency;
– With sufficient caution to avoid accidents;
Keeping motivation high, in order to practice forever.
Now science has demonstrated unequivocally that below a certain intensity sport is not able to modify our bodies in order to protect ourselves against diseases and make us live better and longer. One of the first studies was conducted early last century at Harvard, in 17,000 students followed from 1916 to 1950. This study associated the lower cardiovascular risk for those who practiced sport at medium to high intensity for 6-8 hours a week, then about an hour a day.
Other recent studies, like this, confirm that only those who practice sports with an intensity get real benefits in terms of health. Many studies have shown that physical activity can reduce the mortality, with a continuous and gradual increases of calories consumed per week. Minimum calorie consumption to gain the same result is 500 kcal per week, and the maximum of 3100 kcal. Thus, an average calorie expenditure of 200-300 kcal per day (1400-2100 kcal per week) can reduce mortality by about 30%, ie to reduce the risk of death of 1 / 3. How can we now find out if we are practicing sports in the right way?
Proper fitness tests verify that you are engaging in sports with the right intensity. The minimum time to consume 200-300 kcal per day is equivalent to 3-5 hours (depending on type of sport) days of actual physical activity (excluding heating and cool-down) for a minimum frequency of 3 times.