Not only are these fun to do, they are all more effective and well balanced than your average day at the gym. By Satyaki Sarkar
Staying fit has become less of a choice and more of a necessity thanks to the unhealthy sedentary lives most of us lead nowadays. However, going to the gym tends to quickly become a boring, repetitive chore. That’s why we’ve put together a list of fun sports that you can include in your workout regimen and enjoy getting fit.
1. Swimming – Freestyle, Breaststroke, Butterfly
This is one of the best full-body workouts that will help you get fit and toned. Apart from being an excellent low impact exercise for patients suffering from arthritis and joint pain, it is also an exceptional aerobic exercise. It enhances the body’s ability to supply large amounts of oxygen to each and every one of your muscles as well as the respiratory system. And the wide variety of strokes available let you decide which muscle groups you wish to work on. Swimming is also one of the most effective ways to build lean body mass, giving your body the toned shape you’ve always desired.
Photograph: John Sherwell/Creative Commons
2. Triathlon – Swimming, Running, Bicycling
In contrast to popular belief, one of the worst things about gymming is that over time your muscles adapt to the workouts, delaying the increase in muscle mass and loss of fat. Incorporating swimming, running, and bicycling into your fitness regimen helps cause muscle confusion, one of the most important parts of cross training. In addition to that, they help improve cardiovascular and endurance fitness, while also lowering your resting heart rate, which, in turn, massively helps alleviate cardiovascular health risks.
3. Martial Arts – Taekwondo, Judo, Boxing
The amount of physical and mental discipline that martial arts demands makes it one of the best all-round exercises for your body. Apart from teaching you ways to protect yourself when in danger, martial arts increase your core strength and endurance, as well as improve cardiovascular endurance. They’re also a highly efficient anaerobic training exercise. In additional to the physical benefits, martial arts also help improve your mental discipline and boost self-confidence. Last but not the least, doctors recommend martial arts as one of the best stress relieving excercises, and in our busy lives, what could be better?
4. Track – Sprinting, Interval Training
Similar to martial arts, track events are excellent in building up your anaerobic endurance. The short, repetitive muscle movements that are part of track events help develop the fast twitch muscle fibres in your legs, which in turn massively increase your speed and agility. Incorporating sprints and interval training into your workouts also results in developing lean muscle and building body definition.
Photograph: Marie-Lan Nguyen/Creative Commons
5. Football – Endurance Training
Football, or soccer as it is known in America, is probably the most popular sport in the world. Therefore, including soccer in your fitness plan is not only a great way to keep yourself fit and healthy, but it’s also immensely fun. The added level of camaraderie that it brings serves as its own motivation. It’s a high intensity full body workout that makes your body incredibly well defined and perfectly lean, eliminating fatty body mass completely.
Photograph: Rdikeman/Creative Commons