National Sports Day: Inspiring tales of people who share how playing a sport daily changed their lives | | Fitness tips of the day

Do you enjoy playing sports? It gives you a chance to reconnect with friends, break some sweat, unleash that exciting competitive spirit and have a good time. Your choice of sport could be anything, and you could play it anywhere!
The National Sports Dayin India is celebrated on 29 August every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand Singh.This year, Etimes Lifestyle spoke to several people across ages and different walks of life, who invest their time in some sport everyday and how it has impacted their lives.
14 year old Akshat loves to play badminton, football, and cricket on a daily basis. “Playing my favorite sports gives me a way to allow myself to relax from all my stress, not only physically but also mentally. Cricket is personally my favorite sport — watching it as well as playing it makes me happy. I also like to socialize with people who like the same sports as I do,” he told Etimes Lifestyle.


Why don’t adults play as often as kids do?

“Time management is the main thing. They should be able to manage their time for playing and getting some outdoor activity,” he answers.
Still, many adults ensure playing some sport on a regular basis. Alok Kumar, 41, who practices consultancy in the shipping industry, enjoys playing lawn tennis, table tennis, badminton, and cricket. “It is important to make sure how your body is able to cope up with the sport you play, especially as you age. Lawn tennis at this age is a bit difficult, so I can’t play everyday for an hour but I play it during the weekends. I play badminton every day,” he shares.


Parenting and sports

“Sometimes I play badminton or lawn tennis with my 14 year old son. When kids see that their parents are quite active, they do not want to be dull themselves and just sit and watch TV. So there is a positive long term impact on the health of your kids as well as your own health,” he adds.
Not just parents, your school also plays an important role in shaping your attitude towards sports and fitness. Suman Saini, 49, PGT Physical Education teacher, St. Rosier Public School, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi, trains students in athletics, volleyball, kho-kho, kabaddi, and all other kinds of games.
“Many parents have this misconception that playing sports may interfere with their child’s academics. However, this is not true. Sports is a great recreational activity that provides recovery to your child and also boosts their energy. So it is important to allow your child to play sports everyday and improve their strength, power and flexibility,” she explains.

Managing stress with sports

“As adults, if you are unable to go to the field to play, then you can also engage in other sports like chess, carrom board, ludo etc., which will also help you destress. Sports can help reduce your level of stress. Even if you are too busy to take an hour out for yourselves, just spare 15 minutes to engage in any such simple sport everyday,” she adds.

Girls and sports


It is often observed that boys may be encouraged more to take part in sports, compared to girls.
Suman mam shares, “It is the responsibility of parents and family to encourage their daughters to freely engage in sports. This is something that is still missing in many Indian families. Some parents are afraid that if their daughter engages in physical activity during her periods then her cycle may get disturbed and it may lead to some negative impact on their reproductive health in the future. But this is also a misconception. I have myself taken part in a Kabaddi match on Zonal level during my periods.”
Many parents encourage their girls to practice sports regularly. Mishita and Medha, 12 year old twins, studying at Montfort School, Ashok Vihar, Delhi, go for basketball coaching for one and a half hours every morning.
“It is very fun and I have gotten very tall. I wake up at 5:30 every morning,” Mishita shares her exciting experience. “One day when I went for coaching, sir was teaching a new shot to the senior players and when he asked us to try it too, I aced it in the first attempt while everyone struggled.”


Sharing how sports has brought the sisters closer, Medha shares, “I don’t play as good as Mishita, so she guides me with her tips and tricks on how to improve my game. I have also made a lot of new friends with whom I play basketball. Sports has taught me a lot about teamwork and how to grow your circle and adapt around other people who may not be your best friends.”

Sports and family time

“Papa knows how to play very well, he was in his school team, so he trains us too. My mumma also plays badminton regularly. During the lockdown period, our entire family used to get together at the park for cricket matches. After that, we all would ride our cycles to get ourselves some ice cream,” Medha adds.

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