Three fried egg sandwiches with cheese, lettuce, fried onions and mayonnaise, a five egg omelette, a bowl of cereal, three slices of French toast and three chocolate chip pancakes.
Sounds like a picnic basket packed for 5, right? WRONG! That’s just breakfast for one Olympic gold medalist in training! That list of food is what swim champ Michael Phelps, the athlete with the highest number of Olympic medals ate for breakfast everyday at the peak of his career in 2008!
Now, while all of us aren’t Olympic swimmers spending 4-5 hours every single day training in the pool and at least another couple of hours at the gym making our bodies stronger, fitter and healthier, healthy food and physical activity belong in all our lives.
‘Let’s play tennis’ doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing today as it did ten years ago. No more lacing up your shoes and running to the nearest court with your racquet to hit a bunch of neon yellow balls over the net with a friend or two. Today, a game of tennis can mean sitting on the couch, switching on a PS4-type device and swatting at the air with a remote control. Easy! You won’t even break a sweat.
Sounds like fun? Sure, you get to hang out with your friends, not doing homework and ‘playing’, but the reality of the matter is, nothing can compare to actually getting outside and running around an actual tennis court, football field or athletics track.
Why is exercise important? Exercise is as important for kids as it is for adults. In fact, probably even more so. If you think that a 10-year old Serena Williams or Cristiano Ronaldo stayed home playing sports on a video game console, think again! They developed their skills the old-fashioned way, out on the playground!
If you get involved with a sport, it does so much more than just help to keep your body in good shape. Being active builds stronger bones and muscles, helps you get taller and builds up your immunity, which means you get sick less! It also triggers your brain to release endorphins throughout your body. These make you happy, and relieve stress and anxiety.
Through physical activity you also learn to be part of a team, how to handle both winning and losing with grace and dignity and how to be disciplined. All of these things are useful as you grow older, both in school and outside.
So, grab a ball, a racquet, a pair of skates or your running shoes and head outdoors with your family and your friends. Work up a sweat, learn a new skill or simply dust off an old one. Your body, your mind and your future will thank you for it!
Written by: Disha Mirchandani. Disha is a former lawyer turned freelance content writer. She is a fitness enthusiast and amateur aerialist with her own fitness photo-blog as well.