Staying fit and healthy is key to living a happy, long and rewarding life. For this reason, fitness is something which many people pay attention to in their daily lives. Fitting in regular workouts, runs or gym sessions will not only help you to maintain a healthy weight but also improves your balance, boosts your immune system, tones your muscles and even gives your mental health a lift.
For some people though, fitness is not something they choose to focus on when they have spare time. Professional athletes make being in top physical shape a priority, so they can compete at the highest levels in their sport. If they did not have these superior levels of fitness and the dedication to maintain them, they would find it hard to succeed in pro sports.
While all sports insist their players have some level of fitness, some take this to the next level. But which US sport has the fittest athletes in general?
Basketball is a massive US sport and one that draws plenty of attention. This is both to watch games and also to bet on big tournaments. According to WSN.com, the interest in March Madness odds and predictions shows how popular betting on this sport is and also the kind of information which comes in handy if you choose to do so.
Although you might not think it due to the relatively small size of the court, players in this sport are among the fittest there are. To begin with, they need excellent cardiovascular fitness and high-end endurance levels to compete. This is because the small team sizes in basketball means players are always on the go and always moving. In addition, pro ballers need to be able to access bursts of high-intensity speed to allow them to spring into action. Pro athletes in this sport also undergo rigorous training to achieve superior muscle strength, body conditioning and agility.
While we might hit our favorite yoga pose of the week or go for a bike ride on the weekend to stay fit, pro athletes in football need to go much further. Next to basketball, this is arguably the US sport with the fittest athletes.
As a contact sport in which players take huge hits multiple times per game, this is not a surprise. If the players in this sport were not in such great shape, their bodies would not be able to handle this punishment. If you needed any proof of how fit pro ballers are, you only have to look at their chiseled physiques.
But what makes these athletes so fit? In essence, it lies in the comprehensive fitness which is needed to play pro ball and the diverse nature of their training regime. Football players will lift weights for muscle strength, run high-intensity drills for speed and work on their cardiovascular fitness a lot. In addition, they will also usually practice with the ball to develop co-ordination and practice reaction drills to build fast response times.
Of the really huge US sports, hockey is perhaps the last one which can make a serious claim for having the fittest athletes. As in football, this is paramount to the success of players and their teams. Being in top shape means that the players can get around the ice quickly but also handle the very physical nature of games.
Modern hockey players are not only agile and fast but also strong, powerful and have great stamina. To build these qualities, they work on various areas of fitness when training. Weight training will help them build muscle strength, while they also work on building their endurance levels and cardiovascular fitness too. As you would expect, they will practice on the ice a lot in order to achieve great balance on their skates and practice shooting on the move.
Fitness is key to most sports – but some more than others
It goes without saying that most pro athletes need to have a certain level of fitness to do well in their chosen sport. The ability to achieve this and also maintain high levels of fitness is one thing which separates them from us mere mortals.
As the above shows though, some US sports need their players to be in the best shape they can. As a result, sports such as basketball, football and hockey can claim to have the fittest athletes around. If you have ever seen a game which played out in any of these sports, you will know this to be true. While other sports might have players who keep in decent shape overall themselves, it really is hard to find any that includes fitter athletes than those above.