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SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
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Experience:  Senior Information Specialist
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hello help with a question please

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hello i want to know how i could get back into playing sports preferably soccer... i havent played any kind of sports or done any physical activity for 10 years how would i go about starting a fitness routine there a quick way or shortcut to get fit quicker....and, what is the best thing to do if i was to atempt to play soccer one night and i wanted to recover best i could for a night a few days later to play again without being too sore???
You may not want to hear this but there is not a "shortcut" to get quicker, but there is a few ways to maximize results in the shortest time - this requires dedication.

Obviously you are going to need to change your diet to support performance and recovery. Dropping the junk food, grease and added sugars and switching to whole food, fruits, veggies, lean protein and complex carbohydrate sources are those that provide nutrient dense choices that keep you full but more importantly allow you to perform.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX NOT being in shape and actually going out and playing hard, not only sets you up for being really sore a couple of days later(DOMS - delayed onset muscle soreness) it actually puts you at a greater risk for injury depending on how hard you go. Obviously shooting around and passing is one thing, but all the connective tissues and even your cardiovascular system takes TIME to adapt and with your muscles and joints, thats a little risky, depending on your age and other activity level.

Just for arguments sake, when I worked in a PT clinic there was a patient and mid thirties male who played his first game after about 8 years of doing nothing.. planted to turn, ACL said "goodbye" - obviously this is an extreme case, but its an example because his hamstring and posterior chain(the stuff on the back of the lower body) wasn't strong enough to control is plant to turn. The body needs to adapt to the stress you put on it, and that takes weeks of total time for a complete response, more so when we age.

The other thing you need to be concerned with is hydration - most people that are in shape take a couple weeks to completely adapt to exercise, the way of blood volume increasing, sweat dilution(watery sweat to cool you as opposed to salty) and other cardiovascular factors that simply take time. You are going to sweat very salty sweat initially until your body realizes it just needs watery sweat to cool you. Gatorade on hand might be a good idea

If you insist on playing a game, I would make sure you do a very thorough warmup and stretch - not just a quick 5 minute thing. Jog, stretch, shoot a bit do some drills, jog. Make a BIG effort to get WARM, as in sweating, make sure you are very loose and feel reasonably good, taking into account that warmups give a feeling of well being to the athlete. I would try to play a half or quarter game, making sure to end when you are feeling good and NOT exhausted - : ) though I know this would be hard. Then when finished, stretch very well and begin post training hydration. You will be sore, but you hopefully won't be as sore as playing a full all out game.

Other than that, an introduction to some light cardio, STRETCHING(very important as everyone is less flexible than they think), and doing some basic weight training is a good way to start to reintroduce yourself. If you do not have access to weights, body weight or band resistance is appropriate, just making sure it is enough to get your body to respond in a way that would be re-conditioning you for exercise.

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Welcome back to health and fitness :) - your body appreciates it.
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