Getting into sports is a great way to stay in shape because it offers a good mix of fun, variety, and challenge. Remember: “being in shape” is a combination of things including strength, endurance, diet, and recovery.
Here’s a list of the best sports that can help you get fit and healthy. Apart from being extremely effective in helping you lose body fat and gain muscles, these sports are scientifically proven to promote mental health.
Swimming is fun and relaxing, which makes it a very popular fitness sport.
It’s considered one of the best full-body workouts because it engages not just your legs but also your upper body, core, middle back, and triceps.
Your lungs also benefit from this sport. According to a study, swimmers tend to have stronger lungs than other athletes.
While you can make your training more fun with additional gear like fins and a kickboard, they aren’t always necessary. All you need is a swimsuit and goggles to get started.
Over the years, boxing has remained one of the most popular sports in the world, especially among the youth.
Since it offers an ideal blend of cardio and strength training, boxing is also a popular way to get fit.
Many gyms are offering fitness boxing classes that are usually structured in three rounds, and normally include cardio warmup, boxing with bodyweight exercises, and core workouts.
Training also includes boxing heavy bag workouts, strength and conditioning exercises, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
All these workouts are considered highly effective in burning fats and building lean muscles.
Boxing also has massive benefits to your overall health, such as:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Better overall body strength
- Better stamina and endurance
- Reduced stress
- Better sleep quality
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
MMA is one of the toughest sports out there but it offers amazing benefits to your physical and mental health.
What makes it unique is that aside from helping you reach your fitness goals, you also learn combat and self-defense skills that you can use in real-life situations.
However, training for martial arts is physically demanding. At the same time, it requires great mental strength and discipline.
Exercises often include intense, full-body workouts that will push your body to new heights. This also means you will burn tons of calories in a short period. Plus, you won’t need any equipment, except for a mat.
Since you will be using your core muscles throughout the training session, the effect of calorie burn is much more remarkable. You will also burn more fats in those difficult-to-shift areas, such as your waist and thighs.
In addition to cardio, MMA training classes include exercises that build strength, increase stamina, and improve agility and coordination.
This sport combines swimming, cycling, and running – three powerful full-body workouts widely known to promote a healthy and fitter body.
The standard distance triathlon consists of a 1.5 km swim, a 40 km cycle, and a 10 km run.
That said, triathlon is not an easy sport. Training for it involves a lot of determination since you need to have stellar endurance and stamina to finish the course.
Most people can go from fit to triathlete in a span of six weeks. Training includes cardiovascular exercises to build your base, fitness runs and rides, open water swimming, and brick workouts which are a back-to-back combination of two types of training (either swim/bike or bike/run).
It’s super intense but at the same time, triathlon is a fun and enjoyable sport.
CrossFit is like a gym workout taken to the 10th level. Instead of focusing on one discipline, this sport combines some of the toughest workouts out there, such as bodyweight exercises, explosive plyometrics, HIIT, powerlifting, speed training, and strength training, among others.
Since all the major components of fitness are involved in this sport, expect to be challenged to the max.
Furthermore, CrossFit also involves high-intensity power training (HIPT), a type of workout designed to increase your maximum rate of oxygen consumption. In case you didn’t know, HIPT is tied to aerobic and cardiovascular benefits.
It can also help you burn more calories than other workouts. Plus, you continue to shred fats even during the recovery period.
The best thing about cycling is you don’t have to compete to enjoy this sport.
Cycling classes are fun and you can do it indoors (at the gym) or outdoors.
Compared to the other sports mentioned in this article, cycling is a low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Despite being a low-impact sport, it utilizes all of the major muscle groups. And if you prefer a more challenging workout, you can always level up your training by navigating rough terrains or cycling long distances.
Lastly, cycling has many health benefits, such as increased cardiovascular health, improved joint mobility, stronger bones, and better mental health.
Another fun sport that appeals to young and old people is basketball.
Even though playing basketball may take a lot of your energy, it’s tied to plenty of physical, emotional, and social benefits.
Basketball can improve your overall health and well-being. In particular, it can help:
- Strengthen muscular endurance.
- Build agility, stamina, and strength.
- Improve balance and coordination.
- Enhance body composition (lower body fat percentage and leaner body mass.)
- Lower stress
- More self-confidence
Since it’s a team sport, basketball has social benefits too. In particular, it encourages team spirit and improves your communication skills.
Many people enjoy running because it’s fun and challenging. It’s also the perfect excuse to explore the great outdoors.
Today, running is one of the most competitive sports. It comes in different forms, from track and field sprints to middle distance races, marathons, and ultra-marathons.
To excel in this sport, you’ve got to have a strong lower body, discipline, coordination, balance, and flexibility. Training mostly involves leg workouts like squats, jumping, and lunges. Since you also need to have good stamina to cover long distances, you will also engage in strength training exercises.
If you’re looking to get in shape and stay fit, any of these sports is a great place to start. Don’t forget to consult your doctor before engaging in any sport, especially if you have a health condition. Don’t forget to set exercise goals as well because they help us stay accountable and encourage us to push through temporary discomfort in order to make a longer-lasting change
Also, take steps to strengthen your body further by eating a balanced meal and getting plenty of rest. Enjoy!