According to Spanish squash coach Margaux M. Pitarch, squash is the best sport for anyone who wants to stay in shape. It offers you the most complete workout because you train your whole body in a relatively short time. Moreover, squash requires a good command of various skills: in addition to being able to control the ball, you must have sufficient endurance. Mental skills are also involved because squash requires a high degree of concentration and you must be able to anticipate what your opponent will do next.
Already back in 2003, squash was named the healthiest sport by the leading American magazine Forbes. But what proofs are there to justify such a title?
During an extensive study with the help of physiotherapists, experienced coaches and players and several medical reports, a list of criteria was established to determine which aspects in a sport are the most important in order to stay fit. Among other factors, the study looked at calorie consumption per minute, endurance, muscle strength and the flexibility required to practice a certain sport. The maximum score was 28 points and squash came out number one in the test with no less than 22 points which means that we can say it is the best sport to stay in shape.
The magazine Forbes conducted another detailed study based on three aspects, namely calorie consumption, the risk of injuries and the physiological benefits that a sport can have. Also in this study squash was named the healthiest sport, leaving swimming, rowing and climbing behind.
We can add even more benefits to this list, just to name a few:
1. Squash is considered the perfect sport to get a fit body in a short time.
This is because in an intense squash match you can burn more calories in just 30 minutes than in any other sport. In addition, you work out all the muscles of your body. Likewise, the heart rate increases dramatically, even beyond the anaerobic threshold (75% of your maximum heart rate). The anaerobic threshold is the point where the body needs a big amount of energy and therefore starts burning fat.
2. It is the ideal way to lower your stress levels.
Physical exertion reduces stress and when you play a squash match you simply have no chance to focus on anything else but on the ball. This will help you forget your endless to-do list.
3. It improves your coordination, dexterity, speed and balance.
Squash requires you to make a lot of explosive movements and multidirectional short sprints. At the end of the movement you slow down, which is great for improving your balance and coordination.
You may have heard that at the end of the 90s it was claimed that squash could potentially be a risky sport because of its connection to the risk of heart attacks with a fatal outcome. However, further research showed that in these dramatic occassions the players' heart problems were already present and cannot be attributed to the sport itself.
To sum up, squash is a demanding sport in which you work out all parts of your body in an intense way and improve your mental skills at the same time. That is what makes me so passionate about it. And that is what makes it certainly one of the best sports to stay in shape. The many benefits of squash are supported by sports coach Margaux M. Pitarch and the researchers of Forbes Magazine, among others. So spread the word and help others to stay healthy, too!