Four things to consider before taking up a new sport

Antonio Cuesta-Vargas.
Antonio Cuesta-Vargas. / C. J. Martínez
  • Antonio Cuesta-Vargas, a professor and lead researcher at the University of Malaga, believes that having the right conditions in place are needed to successfully take up a new sport

Selecting a physical activity is one thing, but having the right conditions in place to practise it successfully is another. That's according to Antonio Cuesta-Vargas, a professor and lead researcher at the University of Malaga, who specialises in Health Sciences and Physiotherapy. He believes in four cornerstones for success for those keen to boost their heart rates and their lives.

The first is to inform your family and those closest to you of your new endeavour and what you hope to gain from it. Drawing on the support of a close network is crucial when approaching a new exercise regime, according to Cuesta-Vargas. "It's important to seek encouragement from your family as they can ask questions and check your progress which adds extra motivation."

The second is to connect with other people who are also participating in your chosen sport, whether it be in person or online. Sharing exercise experiences with fellow participants offers a welcome dimension. Connecting with others who are engaging in fitness for the same reasons such as to stop smoking, to counter anxiety or to address other problems is ideal.

Thirdly, it's important to stay determined. Maintaining strong willpower is crucial, Cuesta-Vargas believes, reminding people to keep the rewards of their endeavours in sight: "While I would advise each person to reach out for social support, if this is absent, then they must fully focus themselves on their goal."

Finally, and especially during this health crisis, Cuesta-Vargas says it's important "especially for individuals without a health worker in the family or close social circle" to understand the latest regulations regarding what types of exercise are possible and where.