Everybody wants to be trim, everybody wants to stay in shape but not everybody enjoys going to the gym, I believe the best answer is finding a sport you love is the best way to get in shape as you’ll enjoy getting a sweat on more and it won’t feel like such a chore.
Playing Badminton is a great way to lose weight as it ticks a number of boxes that the best trainers recommend to lose weight. Playing Badminton a couple of times a week can dramatically improve your weight loss progress so let’s look at five reasons why playing Badminton will help you lose weight.
It’s just like HIIT training
This is a big plus for Badminton, because of the nature of the sport you need to move fast to cover the court especially if you’re playing singles. If you watch the best you can see how they’re footwork flows into a seamless display but in fact, a single rally consists of lots of small very sharp and explosive movements followed by a short cooldown between rallies. It’s precisely this aspect of the sport that makes it good for fat burning, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) follows the same aspect of short but fully engaged exercises that require full effort on each go.
When you play make sure to give it your all, keep on your toes constantly and be active on and off the shuttle, this will drastically increase the level of play as well as your fat burning potential.
The better you become the better your fat burning potential will get and it’s estimated that you can burn roughly 300 calories an hour at a social level of play. Playing at a faster pace and increasing the intensity of play will increase the calorie burn. Professional players can burn as much as 500 calories per hour of play.
Thirsty thirsty work
Playing Badminton works up quite a sweat even if you’re a beginner, it involves the whole body moving and reacting to the play of the game. You’ll definitely get a good sweat on and find yourself getting very thirsty very quickly. Drinking more water has always been a must for physical activity and getting more water into your system helps boost your metabolism, cleanse your body of waste and helps you feel less hungry.
Drinking more water also helps stop your body going into water retention mode wherein it tries to save water because it isn’t being replaced often enough which means you’ll shed a few pounds of water weight just by drinking more water to replace it. It is recommended to drink before you eat throughout the day as well, ice cold water if you can as this can boost your metabolism and your body absorbs colder water faster.
Naturally drinking more water instead of fizzy and/or sugary drinks means you’ll be cutting out a lot of rubbish and calories that would otherwise go into your system which anyone would have trouble to burn off.
It gets your heart pumping
As we’ve already mentioned Badminton is an intense, high octane sport with lots of dynamic movement and agility. All of this is definitely going to get your heart pumping and it’s precisely that which will get you into what scientists call the “fat burning zone”.
The fat burning zone is the heart rate at which you burn the most calories the most efficiently. It can be calculated by taking your max heart rate which is 220 - your age and then calculating 60%-70% percent of that number. Example; 220 - 21: 199 then 199 × 0.6: 119.4 beats per minute or 199 × 0.7: 139.3 beats per minute.
Most people make the mistake in that increasing the intensity more and more and more will burn more and more calories but there becomes a point where it’s no more efficient that easing of a little bit and lasting through the exercise for a bit longer. Not to mention it becomes possibly dangerous to go overboard and physically impossible to any more benefit.
Besides the weight loss, it’s so important in this day and age to keep your heart healthy and the heart is a muscle just like any other in the body in that it needs to be exercised. Not quite as drastic as the saying “use it or you’ll lose it” but you get the idea.
Because of the high intensity the sport can have and raising your heart rate up after a good hour of playing with at a considerable intensity you get the benefit of the “afterburn” or the scientific term “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” which basically means that you carry on burning calories after the workout is done.
Information from studies on this effect tells us that this effect can last for several hours after playing and the harder you play, the harder you get your heart pumping the greater the afterburn will be. You don’t have to play for a full hour to get this effect though, if you play for 30 minutes at a reasonable intensity you’ll still get the benefit it will just burn fewer calories, everyone’s a winner!
More research notes that eating after exercise is better than eating before you play as your less likely to get an upset belly from being full before playing and your body will turn to its reserve energy sources quicker when you don’t have much in your digestive system. Make your post play meal healthy and wholesome and rich in lean proteins to fuel your cells for regeneration.
Let’s face it, it can be often overlooked that the enjoyment of an activity often determines how much you get out of that activity. If you don’t enjoy camping you’d never get the most out of a full weekend sleeping out in the woods, same with physical exercise, if you don’t enjoy going to the gym you’ll be hard-pressed to get the results you want and why spend time doing something just because you feel you have to when you can reach the same goal in a more enjoyable way?
The research backs this as people who do little and often and keep a consistent routine with exercise do better in the long run with weight loss than those who try to make big changes in short spaces of time. In the book “The Power of Habit” there is something called the Habit Loop where there is a cue, the routine and the reward. In our case with Badminton, the cue is that we want to lose weight, the routine is going off to Badminton and the reward is the delight of winning, exercising and giving our body a good workout, socializing with the people we play with and much more. The point is that you’ll more likely stick to it because it creates the perfect habit loop.
Those are just five reasons why Badminton will help you lose weight. Please feel free to leave a comment below and let me know if this gets you excited to start playing or to play more! Maybe there is another weight loss benefit I haven’t covered?
Written by Liam Walsh who lives in Manchester, England. Working as a Software Engineer but moonlighting as a dad, Badminton player/coach and creator of BadmintonsBest.
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