Many of us want to improve our physical condition but find it difficult to do. Life is busy and making time to go to the gym is not easy. Finding the motivation to go to the gym can be tough too, as many people do not enjoy the typical gym activities, like running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike. So what is the busy person to do for a good workout? I believe the answer lies in finding an activity that inspires you to actually get to the gym, which provides a good cardiovascular workout, and can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. One such activity that meets all of these criteria is the sport squash.
If you are out of shape and a busy person like most us are these days, you probably want to get in better shape. At least I expect you are if you are taking the time to read an article on the subject. Many people will join a gym because of this and have the best intentions of getting in shape but will soon lose interest. Why does this happen? They have the desire to get in better shape. The issue is the activities they are doing while at the gym are not inspiring them to go. The dissatisfaction of their current physical condition is there, but the motivation is missing. Finding an exciting sport to play provides the motivation.
Squash is an extremely exciting sport to play. It is very fast paced and gets your heart rate up quickly, which helps get the adrenaline going. That is the key component in selecting an activity that will really make you want to do it again. The rush of adrenaline is an addictive feeling. The exhilaration you feel from playing squash will leave you wanting to play squash more. That is exactly what you are looking for in an activity at the gym. Squash can be a real mental workout too while you are busy running around the court for 40-minutes. Squash has often been considered chess on court. You really need to move your opponent around the court to work them out of position. Your shot selections on court are like your moves on a chess board. You try to weaken your opponent’s position on court to be able to win a point, and ultimately the match. Combining a real physical workout with a mental one can really add to the excitement of playing the game, leaving you desiring to do it again.
Getting in shape is all about burning calories though. Squash is one of the best sports for burning calories, which makes it a great activity for the person that wants to get in shape. There was a study done by Forbes magazine which actually found it to be the number 1 sport for getting into shape. There is a great deal of running in a game of squash. Your opponent is going to try and run you from corner to corner. You have to run to get to the ball but it is also imperative to get back to the centre of the court quickly too, so that you can give yourself the best opportunity to get to your opponents next shot. You will invariably be required to do a lot of lunging in squash, which really works your glutes and your core (which is your lower back and stomach). As you are swinging a racquet there is an upper body component as well. All of these help build strength in the body and really burn an amazing amount of calories.
One component of squash that really adds to the calorie burn is the long rallies. I remember talking with a squash pro about this. He is also a tennis pro, which was his first sport and he commented that the biggest difference between tennis and squash is that you can hit a tremendous shot in squash that gets past your opponent, yet he can still get it back. In tennis when that happens the rally is over. In squash if your opponent is persistent enough they can still retrieve the ball. One of the keys to burning calories is to get your heart rate up and continue to push and work out while it is up. The long rallies that are so common place in squash because it is so difficult to hit a winner really do help achieve that goal.
Now let’s look at the time it takes to play a squash match. The typical court time for a squash session or match is 40 minutes. That is all the time it takes for most squash matches. That is a very manageable amount of time to find to exercise. You can also burn a tremendous amount of calories in that time. The well-known site www.livestrong.com has an article that states, a 155 pound individual will burn 422 calories in 30 minutes and 844 calories in an hour. A 180 pound person will burn 491 in 30 minutes or 981 in an hour. A 205 pound person will burn 559 calories in 30 minutes and 1117 calories in an hour. These are tremendous numbers in very reasonable and attainable amount of time. There is a calculator here that will let you put in your own weight and the length of time you are playing, to determine how many calories you will burn. You will be surprised at the number. While you are at it, compare it to some of the other activities and sports on the list, and you will find very few that burn more calories than squash.
Squash is an exciting game and is a great way to get in shape. The enjoyment you will get from playing it, really compliments the desire you have to improve your physical conditioning. In a 40 minute session you can burn many more calories than you can from riding on a stationary bike, while doing an activity that is truly enjoyable and inspiring. Being unhappy with your physical condition is one part of the motivation to working out, the other is finding a sport or an activity that will leave you wanting to do it again, and squash is just such a sport. Give it a try. I am sure that you will find like millions of people around the world have, that squash is a great way to get in shape, while actually enjoying the process.
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