Getting the Most out of Sports: December 27, 2012

It may be part of a new year’s resolution- many of us will take up a sport. An effort to burn pounds, build muscle or bring on competition.

“People when they pick up a sport, they need to start slow and make sure they’re in good enough physical condition for that sport to begin with. So they don’t injure themselves,” says Dr. James Bynum, orthopedic sports medicine on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

Maybe the fastest growing sport is running.  In 1990 there were 143,000 marathon finishers. By 2011 the figure took off, as 518,000 runners finished. Completing a 26.2-mile course is a journey in itself. The key is a complete training program.

“Practicing just for your specific sport is good, but we’ve found more and more that cross training, doing other exercises such as weight lifting or endurance training, regardless of your sport, is going to help you in the long run,” says Dr. Bynum.  

If you’re choosing a sport to take up, you might want to pick up on what your body is telling you. Some experts believe the sport picks the athlete, as much as the athlete picks the sport.

“Some examples like Michael Phelps he’s designed for swimming, his proportions are such that they call him the human fish. We’re all born with a certain mixture of different muscle types- some muscles are more adept for marathon running. Some muscle is more adept for endurance. Athletes that excel in those sports have perhaps a high proportion of the muscle that’s better for those events,” says Dr. Bynum.

Getting the most out of your muscles includes conditioning and nutrition. 

“It’s the differences in training, that are going make the difference,” says Dr. Bynum.

Even weekend warriors, can practice like the pros.