We hear this a lot: physical activity is good for you and is the key to a long and fulfilling life. Of course, incorporating different forms of exercise can sometimes be easier said than done, and it’s hard for many people to feel motivated enough to move. This is where sports can come to the rescue. Sports are often collaborative, and their competitive nature helps to keep things fun and interesting.
That being said, not all sports are created equal, and some activities will present more healthful opportunities than others. The following article will help introduce you to the best sports to play that will not only help get your heart rate up but will release much-needed endorphins, which will make you feel better over time.
If you already enjoy biking, you might want to up your game a bit and try out mountain biking. Start out slow and don’t pretend that you’re about to enter the Tour de France. First things first, make sure to invest in a sturdier bike. If you’re not sure which model will suit you best, go to your local bike shop and either rent one or ask for advice. Essentially, taking the bike out on roads or trails, even if you move at a slightly slower pace, will do wonders for your fitness. This sport provides an excellent aerobic workout, and your leg muscles - especially the quads, glutes, and hamstrings - will feel the intensity after just a few miles.
And in a good way: your physique will firm up fairly quickly, and you will be able to build up quite a bit of endurance. As an added plus, research has shown that cycling can help ward off some of the effects of diabetes, and it can generally lower the risk of mortality.
People tend to obsess over obtaining a swimmer’s physique. Sure, that can be an aesthetically pleasing look, but even if you’re not training for the Olympics, swimming every so often can help boost your health tremendously. Of course, you can burn fat and get toned by pursuing different kinds of water sports, as the experts at Watersportswhiz recommend, but swimming has a multitude of other benefits as well. It’s an excellent full-body workout that thoroughly engages your core, as well as other areas, and it can help ease sore muscles and joints.
There are competitive forms of this sport you can pursue on the local level if you need the camaraderie to help motivate you, but you can also pursue it at your own pace, whenever you like at a nearby community pool.
Another excellent water sport, canoeing is great for helping to build upper body strength and fortifying your endurance. It’s also something that can be pursued in the company of friends and family, so if you need the motivation of being active in groups, then this is an excellent option. Canoeing is fun, but rowing and kayaking are other great options in the same vein.
If you happen to live near a lake, there are probably plenty of local places where you could go and practice for an hour at a time. It’s a great way to enjoy beautiful weather and fresh air, while also increasing your heart rate and boosting your muscular endurance. Not to mention, canoeing, rowing, and kayaking all burn calories tremendously fast, so that’s another bonus.
Most public parks are outfitted with a simple basketball court. All you need to do is bring the ball and a group of friends, and practice to your heart’s content. Basketball offers a great workout while also being tremendously fun. You’ll need to pivot, jump, and sprint, all of which help to keep you in excellent shape, especially in terms of your cardiovascular health. Pretty much every muscle in your body will be strengthened as a result, even if you play at a beginner level.
Of course, if you haven't played before, or are a bit out of shape, it may help to try to do some simple drills first before moving on to full-blown games. There is a high risk of injury when playing basketball, from falling on the pavement to potentially getting body-slammed by someone on the opposing team. As such, it’s good to exercise caution when trying this out. In any case, basketball is a great way to get back in shape.
Tennis can be quite challenging at first. The near balletic quality of the movement required can be tough to master. However, if you’re willing to play friendly games at the local recreational center from time to time, you’re bound to pick up the basics while having a lot of fun.
The sport heightens your coordination skills, and tones all kinds of muscle groups, while also helping you burn a lot of calories. People who play tennis regularly can cultivate greater agility over time, while also reaping the benefits of playing a social sport with friends and family.
While it’s a low-impact sport, it’s still important to start out slow and not to overdo it. You’ll also need to hydrate constantly while playing. It’s easy to get caught up in the competitive aspect of the sport and lose track of time, and as a result, neglect taking care of your body.
6.Cross Country Skiing
While this sport can sometimes be limiting for people who do not have the means, if you can afford to rent some of the equipment and book a trip, it might be worth pursuing the health benefits alone.
Cross country skiing burns an incredible amount of calories - in fact, more than any other sport out there. Skiing uphill is especially impactful and is a wonderful source of whole-body training. Of course, this isn’t exactly for beginners, so make sure you receive some sort of instruction and take a class or two.
Sports offer countless physical and psychological benefits, and it’s always a good idea to try something new out when you can. In addition to the clear physical health benefits, sports are also great for your mental health. Playing sports helps to strengthen your self-esteem and self-confidence, which are reasons enough to pursue it if you can.