Every year, we celebrate National Day of Sports to honour and commemorate the spirit of legendary sportsperson, Major Dhyan Chand who is regarded as the nation's greatest hockey player ever. The day was instituted to educate Indias youth on the importance of being fit and healthy, by practicing sports and other physical activities.
Along with a focused approach towards one's fitness levels, it is equally important to supplement this routine with good nutrition, a balanced diet, and healthy snacking. Good nutrition paves the way to a healthy lifestyle, and is a small investment towards long-term health. This can be achieved by simply making small, yet relevant and impactful changes to the diet.
Stressing on the need to eat right to complement one's sports schedule, Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head -Dietetics, Max Healthcare - Delhi, said: "The amount, composition and choice of food intake can profoundly affect a sports performance. Balancing nutritional needs while practicing a sport or form of exercise is very important as it helps build the foundation for success."
According to Madhuri Ruia, Pilates Expert and Diet and Nutrition Consultant: "Sports and physical exercise are very important for the body's overall growth and development. But, to optimize your physical training it's essential to consume balanced and nutritious diets including healthy snacks."
According to a recent research from King's College London, snacking on almonds everyday improved endothelial function of the arteries and also lowered "bad" LDL-cholesterol - both key indicators of heart health, she said.
Highlighting the need to snack right while engaging in physical activities, Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, said: "People in India are increasingly understanding the significance of sports and regular physical activity. More so now, as there is a greater interest around immunity especially with regard to foods and practices that can help strengthen it. Research has also suggested that regular moderate intensity exercise can also strengthen immunity. This is important more so for children, as they continue to attend online classes at home without much physical activity. Parents must ensure that they setup a routine, so that the child engages in some sort of sport/physical activity every day. Also, be sure to augment this routine by adding snacks to the child's diet."
Fueling the body with the right foods is essential while playing any sport or even maintaining a proper fitness routine. This year, take a pledge and commit to your health goals by eating well and staying fit.