Greenbelt

Commonwealth Games Work-Out Day Four

THE majority of the top Rugby Sevens nations in the world are coming to Glasgow next week. With Rugby Sevens set to make its Olympic Games debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will take on a new focus as the best teams in the Commonwealth look to get an early foothold in the sport for the next decade of competition.

Rugby might seem like an intimidating sport, but if you’re looking for an exhilarating, social and enjoyable way to get fit, perhaps Sevens is the activity for you.

While you may not have 13 extra friends at your disposal, it only takes a few people to enjoy the benefits that a heart-pumping game of rugby brings.

More often than not, rugby is “brain over brawn” and doesn’t require a bulging set of muscles for success. Agility, endurance and stamina are far more important than pumped-up biceps.

Touch rugby is a brilliant introduction to the game. Fast-paced, easy to follow and comparatively gentle, it will convert even the most shy of players, and is a really fun way to spend the day.

Why not gather a bunch of friends and have a “try” at rugby in your local park? And, yes, even your dog will benefit from a good run around.

Touch rugby is also an excellent way to enjoy the sport without the fear of injury.  We’ve all seen the Glasgow Warriors in action – Greenbelt are proud to be their sponsors for another season – and at times it can all seem a bit brutal.

But if you’re new to the game, touch rugby is a brilliant way to build confidence, social skills and ability – before attempting full contact.

Rugby players are known for their impressive physiques, and they train hard to hone their fitness and skills. Running around a field for 80 minutes is a fantastic way to boost your cardiovascular endurance, and learning to throw, catch and kick the ball correctly will sharpen your mind too. 

Being mindful of your body is also crucial. Set out clearly defined rules before you embark on a game, and minimise the risks by warming up correctly.

Stretching is great for preparing the muscles and a few basic yoga postures will help ease aches and pains and soothe weary bones.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re the next Carlin Isles or not: rugby is a fantastic all-round workout that is as social as it is intensive.

All you need is a ball, a few friends and a bit of gusto. Head to your local park and give it a try . . . you might just be converted!

Today’s secret ingredient…

Rugby players are typically muscle-bound and so eat a lot of protein-rich foods that keep them strong, fit and able to dominate the field for hours on end.

Avocados are a real gem of the food world – loaded with healthy fats, energy and countless vitamins and mineral, the benefits from eating them are endless.

As well as being vitamin-rich, did you know that avocados have 35% more potassium than bananas? A potassium-rich diet is vital for athletes as it keeps the body’s fluid balance in check, energy consistent and staves off muscle cramps and weakness.  We’ve never needed an excuse to enjoy delicious avocados, but with health benefits like this, every kitchen should have them. So who’s for guacamole?