Benefits of sport: how to practice it and which is the most complete

It was in 2002 when the World Health Organization (WHO) decreed the annual celebration of the World Physical Activity Day. The aim is to raise awareness of the importance of daily physical exercise in a technological and sedentary world.

This year’s slogan is “Active child, healthy adult”.

Benefits of sport

Sport is a physical activity that allows maintaining the body with great benefits for the musculoskeletal system, the circulatory system and the neuroendocrine system. So says Dr. Aramberri Gutiérrez, traumatologist of the Real Madrid first team and the National Rugby Team. For him, the benefits of sport can be summarized as follows:

  • Sport keeps the musculoskeletal system, comprising bones, muscles and tendons, in tune. This allows us to face daily activities with ease, in addition to reducing muscle pain that affect many people (back pain, neck pain, etc.).
  • It prevents osteoporosis, since the mechanical stimulus on the bones prevents their decalcification and delays its appearance.
  • In many occasions, it improves the circulatory system.
  • The neovascularization that is generated in people affected by ischemic heart disease who perform continuous exercise, such as regular walking for periods longer than 30 minutes, has been widely studied.
  • Thanks to muscle toning, it prevents or improves the appearance of varicose veins in the lower limbs.
  • Improves cardiac contractility.
  • Facilitates the release of endogenous endorphins, which are essential for sleep control and are mediators in mood and pain.

Before doing sport…

If there is a lack of training or a previous pathology, sport must be practiced on an individualized basis. In addition, according to Dr. Aramberri, CEO and physician at Alai Sports Medicine Clinic, if a middle-aged person who has not practiced sport for a long time decides to resume it, it is advisable to have a medical check-up that includes blood pressure, blood tests and an electrocardiogram. In certain cases, it will also be necessary to add a stress test to rule out coronary involvement. This is more important in patients with higher risk factors such as hypertension, obesity with increased abdominal perimeter or smoking.

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In general, aerobic sport is the one that provides the most benefits for a healthy life, such as running, cycling or swimming. The most complete is the one that allows a greater muscular activity of different muscle groups of the body, although it all depends on the intensity with which it is performed.

On the other hand, since a single sport can exercise some muscle groups more than others, the ideal is to alternate the type of sport, for example, running and elliptical or swimming with different styles.

The sport that carries more risks is the one for which the body is not prepared. It is necessary to have a certain physical shape that allows you to perform sports with the greatest guarantee. Sports with sudden starts are those with the highest risk of muscle injury, such as soccer, paddle tennis and tennis, among others.

Sports in children

According to Dr. Drobnic, specialist in Sports Medicine at the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Barcelona, children should practice sports at least one hour a day. This routine would help them to optimize their long-term health, that is, to reduce their cardiovascular risk as adults, to have less metabolic and respiratory pathology, and to improve their musculoskeletal structure and quality.

It is necessary, explains Dr. Drobnic, for children to exercise all parts of their bodies. To this end, the most effective sports are those in which they jump and run, whether in groups or individually, and in which play is always present. On the other hand, the most complete sport is the one he likes, while the most risky is the one he practices without supervision.

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Doctors who have collaborated in the article:

  • Dr. Aramberri Gutiérrez; Twitter, Facebook.
  • Dr. Drobnic; Twitter, Facebook