Greenbelt

Commonwealth Games Work-Out Day Five

For those who like their sports a little gentler, badminton is ideal. Tactical, pacy and good fun, it will work up those endorphins without leaving you feeling completely drained. It’s also popular with players of all ages. 

Some of the Commonwealth competitors are known for smashing the shuttlecock at speeds of 300+ km per hour, but badminton is as equally enjoyable at slow pace as it is at a fast pace. 

It’s often touted as a game of “brain over brawn”, so a bit of tactical thinking will keep both body and mind sharp.

Players have to be light on their feet to dominate the compact court, and precision and agility are key factors. 

While it is more commonly played indoors, summer is an ideal time to head outside with your racquets and shuttlecock for a game – just make sure it isn’t too windy!  Aside from racquets and a few good quality shuttles, all you need is a net (why not improvise and use the washing line?) and a small piece of ground to act as your court.  Even the smallest of gardens can be used for a game. 

Badminton is also a very social sport, and there are ample opportunities to join clubs at most local community centres. If you’re not ready to showcase your skills in public, then pair up with a friend and enjoy an afternoon playing in the park or garden.

Most community centres rent out court space by the hour, too, so there’s no excuse to miss out, even on rainy days.

If you’re already a bit of an aficionado, perhaps honing your technique will take your game to the next level?

Heightening your reflexes and learning a bit of fancy footwork are ideal ways to own the court, while a bit of solo shuttlecock-hitting practice will add precision to your shots.

For those that like the more social side, why not gather a group of friends for a game of doubles? It needn’t all be serious competition!

Today’s secret ingredient – chickpeas.

A sharp body and mind requires a hearty dose of protein and chickpeas are an excellent source. Loaded with protein, this wonder food also packs a punch with plenty of essential nutrients, iron and dietary fibre. And they’re versatile too. From falafels to stews to houmous, there are countless ways to introduce this tasty legume to your diet.