We all understand the impact exercise can have on our health. Yet, many people often dread the thought of lifting weights in the gym or running on a treadmill. However, there are so many different activities you can enjoy that can boost your health and fitness.
Sports allow participations to enjoy healthy competition, which will encourage people to train their bodies and outperform their competitors. If you are looking for a fun activity to pull you up off the couch, consider the following 12 sports that could transform your health.
One of the most enjoyable and relaxing sporting activities is swimming. This low-stress exercise not only allows you to maintain a healthier body weight, but it can create defined muscles, improve your lung capacity and can burn a considerable number of calories.
The breaststroke can help to burn 585 calories per hour, while the butterfly stroke performed at a moderate to vigorous rate will ensure you lose up to 784 calories per hour. It is also a flexible exercise that can be undertaken in an indoor or outdoor pool – and you can even enjoy the activity when holidaying abroad.
Did you know one hour of tennis can burn up to 600 calories? This means it is as effective as an hour of jogging or cycling. The sport requires players to move different muscles in their body, while embarking on short yet powerful bursts of energy to win a match. Not only that, but it’s a great way to enjoy a little healthy competition with friends, which could inspire you to exercise frequently each week.
See how much you enjoy the sport by booking a court at a local tennis club. Many often allow members to hire equipment to use onsite, which is great for first-time players. Once you know the activity is for you, invest in a high-quality racquet and balls to encourage you to return to the court time and again.
Rowing is one of the most calming, flexible and physical forms of exercises you can perform. What’s more, it has an endless amount of physical health benefits that will help you create a fitter, stronger and happier body inside and out. For example, it can aid weight loss, lower the risk of injury, improve cardiovascular health, eliminate stress and can increase your body’s strength and power. You also have the option to go rowing with a team in the great outdoors or solo using a rowing machine at home or in the gym.
Forbes named squash as the #1 healthiest sport in the world, as it is an aerobic exercise that can develop power and strength, burn calories, increase flexibility and develop your hand-eye co-ordination. A player weighing 155 pounds can reportedly burn 844 calories within 60 minutes, while a starting weight of 205lb will allow you to burn away a whopping 1,117 calories in the same time frame. Find out what all the fuss is about and find a squash court for hire near you. Similar with rowing, you have an option to play the sport solo or with a team.
Channel your inner Michael Jordan and start shooting some hoops. Basketball is a physically demanding, sport that won’t feel like exercise. Gather your friends to hit the court and play an intensive game of competitive basketball for an hour once, twice or three times per week.
Not only will it allow you to burn many calories, but it will improve your coordination and spatial awareness, while reducing stress and developing your decision-making skills. It’s believed an average 165-pound player can expect to burn up to 600 calories per game. However, a 250-pound person can burn as much as 900 calories each hour. So, if you want to shed some weight at a faster rate, this could easily be the sport for you. Remember, basketball can be a tiring game so, like you would with any form of exercise, warm up and down while stretching your muscles.
Golf is easily one of the most leisurely sporting activities you can enjoy alone or with a group of friends or business associates. As well as providing a fun pastime, the sport also provides many benefits to improve your general health.
For instance, golf provides brain stimulation, as regular walking can strengthen your brain’s memory circuits, which can create a strong blood supply to improve brain and heart health. It’s also a low-injury sport that allows you to walk more than 10,000 steps per day, which is the recommended amount for weight loss. There’s never been a better reason to pick up the sport. All you need to do now is find the best equipment at the best price. Boost your health even further and find out what are the best golf push carts to buy. You can use the handy device to easily glide clubs over the green so you can focus on your performance.
Want to lose many calories while performing a low-impact exercise? Cycling might be right up your street. You can invest in a bike to cycle solo in the great outdoors, or you can enjoy regular bike rides with your family and friends. There are also bound to be many cycling groups or classes you can enjoy in your local area.
As well as helping your body to burn calories, cycling can also make you feel happier, so you can enjoy a more positive outlook on life. It is, therefore, an effective sport to improve both your physical and mental health.
Anyone wanting to create stronger, healthier muscles and bones should start running. This flexible exercise is ideal for all ages and can reduce the likelihood of bone and muscle loss as a person grows older. Running will also release endorphins in a person’s body, which can make a person feel good inside and out, which is known as a “runner’s high”. It’s, therefore, an ideal workout for those hoping to improve their mental health.
You don’t have to be training for the Olympics to take up gymnastics. It’s a sport that requires its athletes to be strong, flexible and to maintain a healthy body. The activity requires a participant to utilize their mental and physical skills to achieve their goals and win a competition. Not only is it a fantastic exercise for creating a healthy, athletic body, but it can also improve a person’s concentration skills.
Nothing is better than a good game of volleyball in the summer sun. If you are blessed with sunny weather all year long, or have access to a volleyball court, we recommend taking up the sport, as it is easily one of the healthiest sports on this list.
This summertime game can burn up to 90 to 133 calories per half game, depending on a player’s weight, according to Harvard Medical School. However, playing competitive volleyball will allow you to burn anything from 120 to 178 calories every 30 minutes.
Sounds good, right? It gets better. Volleyball can also improve your body’s agility, increase your metabolic rate, boost your general mood and can develop coordination. So, the next time you’re at the beach, grab your friends to play a fun game of volleyball in the sunshine.
One sport that is designed for cardiovascular activity is boxing. There’s more to boxing than landing the right shots at the right time. It is an exercise focused on endurance, precision and mental and physical strength. After the first few rounds, you’re bound to break out into a sweat, while you will be longing for your bed by the time the 12th round comes around.
It’s believed a 155-pound person can burn up to 69 calories for every 10 minutes of boxing, while a 185-pound person can burn up to 83 calories performing the exact same workout.
The sport doesn’t require you to take a punch to the face either. You don’t have to spar to perform the workout, and can instead invest in a punchbag, which will allow you to burn calories, boost your muscular endurance and improve your cardiorespiratory fitness.
Allow the stresses of everyday life to melt away as you enjoy a spot of cross-country skiing in the fresh, open air. Skiers will love life as they make their way down the slopes, especially when they learn they can burn an incredible 1,122 calories per hour. It’s no wonder regular skiers are believed to be 40% fitter in comparison to physically fit individuals. Nordic skiing can, therefore, provide a full-body workout that will allow to achieve your dream body, while ensuring you have the time of your life.
Aerobic dancing feels more like fun than a workout. If you want to stay in shape and boost your health, busting a move can burn 433 calories per hour. This is not only applicable to dance classes or competitive dance, but it also means you can shed a considerable amount of weight when dancing the night away at the weekend (minus the alcohol). There’s never been a better reason to paint the town red, right?