Admit it—going to the gym for hours can occasionally feel like a real grind, especially if you prefer playing sports for fun or competing. However, starting a regular exercise routine should be at the top of your to-do list if you want to lose weight or stay healthy.
Good news: you do not need to join a gym to enhance your competitiveness or general fitness. In reality, regular participation in your favorite sport can provide you with all of these benefits and more. The following sports will help you become more physically fit.
Road Cycling and Mountain Biking
Cycling is one of the best fitness activities. It can be done on roads or trails, quickly or slowly. After a few miles, your quads, glutes, and hamstrings will feel the burn of an excellent aerobic workout. In addition, research shows that cycling can reduce the risk of premature death for cyclists, particularly those with diabetes.
There are also bikes for people of all ages and skill levels. Mountain biking and road biking are for more experienced cyclists, while paved trails are good for people who are just starting out. If you want to show how competitive you are, you could enter a road or mountain bike race.
Squash, Racquetball, or Tennis
People of all ages and fitness levels often simultaneously play squash and racquetball on the same court. This is because a game of squash or racquetball can be easy to learn or a challenging, competitive workout. Slowing down the game is the key to making these fast-paced activities easier for a beginner.
Even tennis, squash, and racquetball work your back, shoulders, arms, chest, quads, glutes, and hamstrings. They also work your core. Racquet sports have also been shown to reduce the chance of dying from heart disease.
You can quickly see how these two sports can give you an incredible workout while also burning a ton of calories when you consider the endurance, speed, balance, and agility needed to compete.
Water Sports—Rowing, Kayaking, Paddle Boarding, Canoeing
For anyone who enjoys being outside, rowing, kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding provide a fun fitness option. These activities raise your heart rate, improve your muscular endurance and strength, and make your body a calorie-burning machine. Join an outrigger team if you want to participate in a sport that requires rowing.
Activities that require your upper and lower body muscles to collaborate rank high on the “best sports for fitness” list. Swimming is the ideal full-body workout for anyone looking for a competitive and intense outlet that requires both strength and endurance. It’s also a good option for anyone looking for a low-impact sport or activity.
Swimming is also a year-round sport with varying levels of competition, so there is always something to strive for. Consider joining swimming clubs if you want to participate in organized, competitive swimming events.
Training for a triathlon is the ultimate sport for fitness, whether you’re a lifelong athlete looking to test your endurance and strength or an exercise beginner looking for a goal to work toward.
Running, biking, and swimming will work every muscle in your body and improve your aerobic and anaerobic fitness. There’s something for every fitness level, with distances ranging from a sprint competition to a full Ironman event.
Basketball and Volleyball
Basketball and volleyball are great ways to get in shape and show off your competitive side. Sprint, turn, jump, and slam in these sports, which work your heart and lungs and strengthen every muscle in your body. Also, your muscles will have to work harder if you play volleyball in the sand.
Even though both sports are good for most skill levels, beginners should start with a class on skills and drills before moving on to games or matches. Both sports require a lot of movement, so the risk of getting hurt is high, especially if you’ve never done either one before.
Some of these activities need a team, special tools, or a set place to play, but others just need time, energy, and a willingness to work hard and have fun.
Still, you can spend a little money to start any of these sports. Many recreation programs offer space and equipment, and a quick search on Google can turn up thousands of used items for sale. Make sure to talk to a doctor or nurse before adding something new to your exercise routine.