Top Recreational Sports for Good Health
By AnaGrgic on February 26, 2014
If you're looking to stay in shape, there's no better way to reach your goal than with an activity you love to do. There's a major difference between "heading to the gym" and playing a sport. Among other things, you'll find it a lot easier to motivate yourself with a sport that's fun to play. Not only will you stay in shape, with many of these spots you'll also enjoy a little friendly competition, have a chance to catch up with your old friends, and maybe meet some new friends.
This is not simply theory, either. Studies have shown people who take part in sports leagues or group exercise classes are more likely to stay with their exercise regimen. (For more information on this click here) The reason for this is simple. When you participate in a league or a group, there's a sense of accountability -- and a sense of fun. Though running on a treadmill for an hour can be a good way to exercise, a brisk game or round may provide the same exercise with many more benefits.
Of course, most health clubs and local community sports centers offer many different recreational options. The best for keeping your health in great shape tend to be sports which involve fast-paced action, running, or constant motion.
Sometimes billed as Muay Thai or other names, the kind of kickboxing meant here is the real kind, with punching and kicking heavy bags, and sparring. Kickboxing is a remarkable sport which requires strength, athleticism, speed, agility, power, and tremendous cardiovascular fitness.
Adding kickboxing to your routine can leave you winded in less than half an hour, if you're new, having burned more calories in a few minutes than most people do all day. Kickboxing develops strength, speed, cardiovascular performance, and more. Best of all, it requires no initial skill set and you start seeing results fast.
Indoor soccer is one of the best sports out there for health and fitness as it's essentially high intensity interval training disguised as a sport. Played on a small field, with indoor soccer you're constantly near the ball, changing direction, speeding up and slowing down. This sends your heart rate through the roof.
If you're a competitive personality, you'll probably find yourself pushing your heart rate to new levels without even thinking about it. Thanks to the random and unpredictable recovery periods, your body is constantly guessing when the next all-out sprint will come along, meaning you burn calories at an incredible rate.
Squash is an extremely fast, high-intensity indoor sport. Like kickboxing, it builds cardiovascular health, increases your strength and speed, promotes flexibility and agility, and helps keep your weight down. Due to the nature of the sport, it also builds hand-eye coordination.
You can probably find a squash league in your area, as the sport is quite popular. (Unlike indoor soccer, the facilities required are small and inexpensive.) This way you'll always have a partner to play against, and a sense of accountability to keep you on track.
Tennis is an extremely popular sport for all levels, which means you'll likely find local facilities but you may also find them to be quite crowded! However, thanks to the endurance a tennis match demands of most intermediate to advanced players, tennis is an excellent sport for staying in shape.
While tennis is primarily an endurance sport, a normal match also builds coordination, power, and sprinting - building a healthy heart and giving your normal routine a bit of healthy competition. Since it is a stop-and-go sport which you can play for two hours or more, your body tends to stay in the fat-burning zone for longer periods of time.
Recreational sports are an excellent way to stay healthy and add some variety and socializing to your workout routine. While kickboxing also builds strength, you can in general consider most of these sports a "cardio" day, an excellent way to spend the off days between weight lifting. Since lifting weights every day, for example, would lead to overtraining, it's best to take a break with a recreational sport in between that trains a different part of your body.
Alternating between anaerobic activities like weight lifting and cardiovascular exercises like recreational sports allows you to build muscle and cardiovascular fitness... so you get the best of both worlds.
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