One of the keys to better health is good exercise. Whether this is by actively engaging in sports or making simple choices like riding a bicycle to run errands and taking the stairs, exercise can make the difference between a fit body and a sluggish lump of mass.
Regular physical activity contributes to overall health when combined with a proper diet and avoiding habits such as excessive alcohol consumption and smoking. This is why the San Beda Red Lions, one of the teams to watch out for in the 89th season of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), are out to win their fourth consecutive title through good health.
“I make sure that the team is well prepared in every game and well motivated. I tell them that if we want to achieve our goals as a team, being healthy and staying healthy is an important factor in our quest for another championship,” said Coach Teodorico “Boyet” Fernandez, who won a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) championship for Sta. Lucia Realty in 2007.
The team is one of leading advocates of Pilipinas Go4Health, the nationwide healthy lifestyle movement led by the Department of Health (DOH). Pilipinas Go4Health is part of global efforts to address the threat of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which claim over 36 million lives each year worldwide.
“We chose to join Pilipinas Go4Health because this movement is aimed at helping our fellow Filipinos and persuading them to live a healthy lifestyle,” said Rome de la Rosa, team captain. “This campaign brings awareness and works to bring about changes in the environment to address physical inactivity, improper diet, drinking, and smoking.”
The 2013 lineup includes 11 of the players who bagged the 2012 trophy, as well as five of the “super six,” namely, Francis Abarcar, Ritchie Villaruz, Jun Bonsubre, Yvan Ludovice, Art Dela Cruz and Dave Moralde, who swept last season’s games to a third championship. Rounding out the players are Van Abatayo, Ola Adeogun, NCAA finals MVP Baser Amer, Ryusei Koga, Jaypee Mendoza, Kyle Pascual, Dan Sara, team captain de la Rosa, and twins Anthony and David Semerad.
The right balance
The Red Lions are preparing to “Roar4Four” and defend their 3peat championship. Had the team won in the 85th season in 2009, the San Beda Red Lions would have seven consecutive championships under their belt. But so far, the team is on a winning streak.
“We started preparing since the summer, with the support of [Chairman to the Board of Trustees of San Beda College] Manny V. Pangilinan,” said Coach Boyet. “The team went to the US to have our yearly summer basketball training, with workouts and practice almost daily to prepare for this season’s games.”
Balancing academics and sports is a challenge for all players, but the team has it down pat. “We have to prioritize our schedule by knowing what comes first and setting aside any extracurricular activity that may not be necessary,” said de la Rosa. “Being a student athlete, time management is a challenge. Since we practice in the morning, our classes are all in the afternoon.”
“After we practice, we shift our focus to school. So during our afternoons and evenings we give way to doing our school work or studying for an upcoming quiz or exam.”
On the pressure of being the college’s representative in the much-awaited seasons of the NCAA, de la Rosa had this to say: “We make sure we take it one game a time. Basketball is just like a class, we have to learn and study each opponent we face.”
“I make sure I exercise everyday in order to stay in good shape,” de la Rosa said. As part of their exercise routine, the team practices every morning for two to three hours, followed by lifting of weights. A regular workout consists of conditioning drills such as running, which “keeps us in the best shape possible.”
Diet also plays a significant role in the Red Lions’ recipe to success. The right nutrition is important for any athlete, which comes with a balanced diet. “I make sure I eat vegetables and food high in protein and carbohydrates. I do cut back on certain types of food, like fast food and fried food,” shared the team captain.
Carbohydrate intake is key to sports training. Carbohydrates are known to provide “fuel” or energy to bodies, which improves performance. Not having enough carbohydrates to burn while exercising may result in fatigue and an effect on performance. Food rich in complex carbohydrates, which are important in high-intensity activities, include cereals, pasta, bread, and whole grains.
“We believe in the campaign. Being healthy is an asset to one’s life,” shared Coach Boyet. As the team prepares to roar for four, they advocate only one thing: a healthy lifestyle. “Stay out of vices like smoking and drugs,” he advised. “Exercise often, drink lots of water, and get enough sleep.”
“If you want to live a long and productive life, I suggest you start now by eating right and living healthy,” added dela Rosa. “Get involved in sports, or just take time to exercise.”
For more information about the movement, please visit http://go4health.ph.