Outdoor sports can be a blast. They can also be a drag. Take into account the following points if you want to make sure everyone’s having a good time.
Agree On The Rules
It’s completely okay to change the standard rules of a game as long as everyone agrees to the rules ahead of time. This is called house rules. Make sure that everyone is clear on what the rules are before you start the game. The fun of a sport can be sucked out when one person feels like another is cheating or bending the rules.
Make Sure You Have The Right Equipment
Most sports involve some degree of skill; often, the right equipment can improve your precision or take away from it. Take golf, for instance; if you want to play your best game, you need to have clubs that suit your height. In other sports, having shoes that offer adequate support to your ankles, knees, and hips is vital if you want to avoid injury or nasty blisters.
Take a bit of time to research the sport you’re playing and the recommended equipment. Pay attention to information surrounding the ways in which a particular sport is hard on your body and seek to adequately protect yourself from that.
Hydrate The Right Way
Hydration is a tough topic to write about because there’s the surface level of it which is: drink more water, but there’s also the level beneath that, which is: drink the right water and get enough electrolytes. First and foremost, stop drinking your water out of plastic bottles. Get a stainless steel water bottle or a glass one. No, BPA-free isn’t okay. All BPA-free means is that there isn’t BPA present in the plastic; it says nothing about the other chemicals that are just as harmful. It’s a marketing scam.
All plastic is bad for you, and it’s especially bad for you if it gets heated (left out in the sun) or cooled (kept in the fridge or a cooler) because that speeds up the leeching of chemicals out of the bottle into the water. Microplastics are known endocrine disruptors. They negatively influence your fertility, mood, appetite, weight gain, ability to handle stress, and sleep.
You also want to be drinking filtered water. Tap water is loaded with microplastics, chlorine (which has been linked to cancer), and remnant pharmaceutical drugs like SSRIs and birth control which can have brutal effects on your emotional state.
Finally, you want to be getting adequate electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electrical charge, and they’re necessary for hydration and bodily functions like the beating of your heart and muscle contractions. Make sure you’re getting enough sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous in your diet. Yes, there are sports drinks that come with some of these dissolved in them, but often those drinks are so packed with sugar that the inflammation and other side effects make them decidedly unhealthy. Whole foods are always the best source of minerals and nutrients.
It’s also important to replenish the fluid levels in your body to prevent dehydration, as lots of it is lost when you break a sweat. Rehydrating properly can help prevent unpleasant experiences such as feeling fatigued, unfocused, and excessive thirst after engaging in your favorite outdoor sport.
Mix Up The Teams
If you play with the same group of people on a regular basis, you’re all probably aware of how you stack up against each other. To keep things fun and interesting, make sure to rotate team members so that different combinations of people get to play against other combinations. This will also help improve everyone’s skills as it requires you to really think about what you’re doing if you’re playing with a new group of people.
Protect Yourself From Sunburn
If you’re playing outside in the sun, you need to be taking protective steps to prevent sunburn. This being said, you need to be extremely careful about sunscreens. Not only do many sunscreens run when you sweat, getting into your eyes and burning them, making it harder to see and play your best, but many sunscreens are also toxic. There’s no need to be rubbing cancer-causing chemicals (yes, you read that right; one of the great jokes of our era is the toxicity of sunscreen) all over your skin. Look for mineral-based sunscreens like zinc sunscreen or focus on using sunglasses, hats, and protective clothing to keep your skin safe from the sun.
Watch People Play Your Chosen Sport On YouTube
It turns out that humans are highly complicated group-oriented creatures. One of our wacky quirks is that when we watch people do something well, we get a little bit better at that task too. Studies were done on people with no dance experience. Some were shown professional ballet videos while others weren’t. They were then taught and asked to perform basic ballet movements. Those who had watched the videos did far better than the ones that hadn’t. Our eyes and the rest of our bodies are intimately connected. We can comprehend what muscle movements are part of successful movements just by watching them.
The above information should have drawn your attention to a few things you can do to make outdoor sports more fun. Remember to always listen to your body and stop for a rest if you feel like you need one.
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