It’s never easy getting back to exercising after the holidays after spending time relaxing and feasting on holiday comfort foods.
The beginning of the year is when the shift to become healthier kicks in with many of us looking to kickstart the new year with a fitness resolution.
Keeping fit and healthy has never been more important, but perhaps never more difficult, with restrictions in place for many across the country and motivation at an all-time low.
Exercise plays an integral role in the lives of many, having undisputed benefits for both physical and mental wellbeing and is often not only a way to stay active and keep fit but a way to relieve stress.
Five of the biggest stars in British basketball are here to give you their top tips for keeping fit in the new year:
DeAndre Liggins – the NBA journeyman turned BBL star has made a real impact since entering the league this season.
During his time in the NBA, DeAndre has played with some of the biggest names in basketball from Anthony Davis in New Orleans to LeBron James in Cleveland. He says:
“Staying hydrated is key when working out or exercising. Being even mildly dehydrated can have effects on your energy and ability to perform.
Staying hydrated also improves your blood flow and circulation which is key in the delivery of oxygen to the muscles you are working out.
Fatigue can be caused by the lack of hydration in your cells; in order to optimise the production of energy from food, it is essential you drink enough water and avoid being dehydrated when keeping fit.”
Dirk Williams – A graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Williams brought his exciting game to the BBL in 2017 and since then has set the League alight with his versatile game.
In January 2018 with his Dunk of the Year, that saw him go full court, between the legs, before leaping over a Surrey Scorchers defender to slam home. He reveals how he stays explosive and keeps his jumping skills sharp:
Make a plan
“Training during the winter can be tough and it can be hard to remain focused and motivated. Making a consistent fitness routine will help you to keep on top of your regime and a lot easier to stick to it.
I usually go for a regime of cardio and high-intensity interval style fitness workouts as on the court it’s a lot of back and forth running and explosive bursts, so a mixture of cardio and interval training is key.
Sticking to your fitness regime is the hardest part, so finding one that keeps you focused and motivated is important.
Kevin Ware – A defensive force and an athletic finisher at the rim, Kevin plays each game with the highest level of intensity.
His resilience like no other, shown through his inspiring collegiate career, winning an NCAA title during his time at Louisville to then go on to play a key role in Georgia State’s best season in history. He gives his tips on boosting your endurance:
Choose an exercise you enjoy
“Endurance is a huge part of my game, so cardio is an integral part of my fitness regime. It is vital for anyone who exercises or keeps fit to choose activities and workouts that are relevant and suitable to your lifestyle.
It is ever more important that you enjoy keeping fit, especially in the winter months, otherwise you simply won’t maintain a consistent regime and therefore won’t see any benefits or results.
Choose an activity you enjoy and have fun doing, this way you are more likely to actually keep it up. If you like running or going outside then do so. I really enjoy going out for a run as much as I can and because endurance is a bit part of my game on the court, cardio works well for me. And most of all, I enjoy it!
“When working out, it’s important to understand how to perform skills fundamentally correct.
This is particularly true when it comes to shooting. When you do shoot the ball, be sure you shoot the same way each time. If you are changing your technique during the workout or just because you missed a few shots, you are not getting better.
You need to practice the same technique over and over — every week, month, and year.”
Joe Ikhinmwin – team captain and 8 year veteran, Joe epitomises the spirit of the Lions. His drive is reflected in how he plays, a defensive sharp shooter with athletic ability to finish at the rim. He says:
Maintain a balanced diet
“Working out is one thing, but you will only see real results if you also work on your diet. A balanced diet will guarantee you get the most gains from your workouts and will also have you feeling better inside and out.
Eating a healthy balanced diet accompanied by regular exercise is essential in maintaining physical and mental health and wellbeing, and right now this is more important than ever. Not only will this be effective in maintaining weight or preventing excess gain, but will also aid with your overall sleep and mood which is essential.”
Justin Robinson – the 2x league MVP and dynamic guard for the Lions has controlled the floor this season with his expert court vision, pinpoint passing and nimble agility on the court. He says:
Get out of your comfort zone
“Don’t use the bad weather as an excuse and don’t let the elements deter you from getting your workouts in. Nothing comes easy, so don’t make excuses. Just make sure to use the correct gear.
If you have the correct training gear, then no matter what the weather you will be able to get your exercise in. If you find it hard to motivate yourself, then try working out early in the morning.
Start your day off right with productivity and this will help set the tone for the rest of the day.
“To develop new skills, you need to push yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. For example, when practicing your dribbling, if you’re not making some mistakes and losing the ball, then you’re not getting out of your comfort zone.
And you’re not learning a new skill. You’re only practicing things you can already do. The only way to learn a new skill is to get out of your comfort zone and be willing to make mistakes.”