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Sport and healthy way of life : run your way to health
When I started running seven years ago, I could manage only about a quarter of a mile before I had to stop. Breathless and aching, I walked the next quarter of a mile, then I jogged the next quarter of a mile, alternating these two activities for a couple of miles. Within a few weeks I could jog half way round Hampstead Heath without stop-ping. Soon I started to run up the quarter-mile slope to the top of Parliament Hill, although I had to stop at the top to get my breath back. Eventually I found that I could even manage to get up the hill comfortably. I started to run because I felt desperately unfit. But the biggest pay-off for me was—and still is— the deep relaxation that I achieve by taking exercise. It tires me out but I find that it does calm me down. In those early days I saw few other runners. Now there are many more—and not just the macho sports freaks. Men and women of all ages have now taken up running. Some 25,000 runners aged five to 85 are attracted each year to the Sunday Times Fun Run in Hyde Park. In the last two years the London Marathon has become the biggest British sporting event— overtaking the boat race and the Derby in the number of spectators it attracts. When I started to jog I never dreamt of running in a marathon, but in 1982 I realized that if I trained for it, it was within my reach, and after a slow, six-month build-up I man-aged the 26.2 miles in just under four hours. A creditable performance for a first-timer and a far cry from those days when I had to stop for breath after a quarter of a mile. What about heart attacks?My story shows that an unfit 39-year-old, as I was when I started running, who had taken no serious exercise for 20 years, can do the marathon—and that this is a sport in which women can beat men. But is it crazy to do it? Does it make sense to run in the expectation of becoming healthier? What about the chances of injuring yourself or dying of a heart attack? I was personally convinced of the health benefits of running because I felt unfit, and I wasn't worried about the risk of a heart attack, because I was not a smoker and I was sticking to a fairly low animal-fat diet. But one person I knew well did die immediately after a jog and plenty of people told me I was mad to start running. Reassuring evidence now comes from doctors in Seattle, showing that vigorous exercise actually reduces the chances of heart attack. They found that people who had a sudden heart attack when they appeared to be completely fit had taken less exercise than those of similar age. According to their findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (volume 248, p 3113) it is necessary to take 20 minutes of vigorous exercise at least two or three days a week to obtain some protection from heart attack. Apart from jogging, the exercise might be swimming, singles tennis or squash, digging or chopping wood. Whatever it is, the exercise should leave you out of breath. There is a small risk of unaccustomed stress causing a heart attack when a person is very unfit, but this can be reduced if exercise is always increased in easy stages. My advice is: if you are under 40, are healthy and feel well, you can begin as I did by jogging gently until you are out of breath, then walking, and alternating the two for about two miles. Build up the jogging in stages until you can do the whole distance comfortably. At first, two or three times a week will probably be enough. People over 40 who are in any doubt about their health should see their doctor before starting an exercise program. Over-40s should begin by making a vigorous walk of at least two miles part of the daily routine. When you can do this comfortably you can start the mixed jogging and walking routine and progress from there. You will have to expect soreness of muscles and joints to begin with. If soreness changes to pain, or if you find that you suffer from deep tiredness which you cannot shake off, then stop jogging for a while and just walk.
SPORTS IN GREAT BRITAN.
The English are great lovers of sport; and they are neither playing nor waching games, they like to talk about them. However, there is important thing about sport in Britain which we must know. Today, an big sports is professional and famous players can make a lot of money.
Lat's take Football for example. It is the most popular team game in Britain. It is played in most of the schools, and there are thousands of amatur teams for young man in all parts of the country. But for most of the public, football is a professionals games which is watched on saturday afternoons at the stadiym.
Professional football is big business. Every larg town has one or more professional clubs.
Ragby football is played with an oval ball which may be carried. The players in the other team try to stop the man running with the ball by frowin him to the ground. There are fifteen players in each team.
Sports competition get big crowds in Great Britan. All people in Great britan are fond of sport and Englishman know is they train hard Sport will make them srong and helthy.
Children in sport.
I Hello, and welcome to today's 'You & Yours'. On today's program we look at children who are trying to be champions in the world of sport, and the pressures they can be under to win. Now I spoke to Allan Baker, the former British Athletics coach, and he had this to say.
AB Well the problem is that you want to find these children at quite a young age, to train them and motivate them as early as "possible. At that age they don't have social problems, you know they don't have boyfriends or girlfriends, so they give their sport the whole of their life. But they're so young that they can lose their childhood, and they're adults before they're 16. But of course they're not adults at all. Physically they can be quite developed, but emotionally they're still children. Everybody's looking for the new young star of the future, because there's a lot of money to be earned.
I Tennis is one of the sports where youngsters can play against their elders with more than a chance of success. In America there are tennis schools which accept children from as young as 9. So from the age of 9 a boy or girl is playing tennis for four or five hours every day, and doing ordinary school work around that. I spoke to the team manager of the English Lawn Tennis Association, Pam de Grouchy.
PG You see, we've already seen two 14-year-old American girls, that's Tracy Austin and Andrea Jaeger, playing at Wimbledon, and now, both at 18, they are now already showing the pressures on their bodies and their minds, and people are beginning to question whether this is a good thing for children. A 14-year-old just can't cope with the pressures of Wimbledon, the tournament, the Wimbledon crowds, and the press reporters. Well, I say to my girls, 'Stay at home, stay at school, do the things that teenagers like doing. If you like swimming, well swim; if you like going to dances, just go!' And if when they're older they'd really like to be a professional tennis player, well, they'll be a little older than the Americans, but they'll be better people for it, of that I'm perfectly sure.
I Pam de Grouchy thinks that young players shouldn't be allowed to become professionals until the age of 17 or 18 at least. I asked her what was responsible for the pressures on the young players - was it the money that can be earned, the parents, or perhaps the children themselves?
PG Oh no, it's the parents, without a shadow of a doubt. They want to push their children. I get letters from parents saying, 'My little Johnny enjoys playing tennis all day, and he'd like to learn only that and be trained by a professional coach', and quite frankly I just don't believe it.
I But what about the youngsters themselves? Robert, a 100-metre and 200-metre runner gave me an idea of his training program, and his own very simple way of avoiding trouble.
R Well I train under a coach for three days a week, and then decide how much running to do. If I've trained hard, well then maybe I run five miles, you know, if not so much, then eight miles. Well, of course, I'd like to go to the next Olympics and represent Great Britain, and of course I'd like to win a gold but there are lots of other things I like doing with my life too. I play in a rock group and I'm also a keen photographer. Well, I suppose for me the most important thing is enjoyment. If, if you win, you're happy, and if you lose, it's the same. I mean if you start getting upset every time you lose, I think it's time to stop.
I The sports stars of tomorrow, and good luck to them.