We all know that engaging in physical activity is important for our health, but not everyone is born a pro athlete. However, you don’t have to be Tiger Woods to start playing golf, or David Beckham to enjoy soccer. Recreational sports also positively affect our bodies and minds. Here are the eight best recreational sports and the benefits they carry.
Even though golfing doesn’t require running or jumping, its main benefit is the amount of walking and carrying it requires while playing around. If you decide to carry your own bag, you are estimated to burn over 700 calories per game! Additionally, you’ll get to enjoy fresh air and sun, practice strategy, and be social.
Volleyball is one of the most demanding but also the most fun sports on this list. It requires you to jump, squat, pivot, dive and run for the ball. It improves your coordination and flexibility both in your feet and your hands.
When you watch people play ping-pong, you can’t really tell how demanding it really is, both physically and mentally. Actually, table tennis is a great cardio workout that also improves core strength, reflexes and joint mobility. And its fast pace and dependency on hand-eye coordination boost your brain activity and exercise your rapid thinking.
When you mention recreational sports, not many people think of dancing. But actually, it’s a great activity for all ages and fitness levels that also improves cardiovascular functions and reduces stress. However, the most valuable benefit of dancing is its effect on dementia. It has an amazing 76% risk reduction for dementia – higher than any other activity! Dancing combines kinesthetic, rational, musical and emotional functions, which positively affects neural connectivity.
If you love a good cardio but hate spending time in a stuffy gym, why not join a soccer team? Soccer is a great cardiovascular activity that will improve your endurance, coordination, strength and flexibility, which are vital for people of all ages. Don’t want to play with strangers? You can also form your own team of family and friends and engage in a fun competition. You don’t need much equipment and accessories, just two goals and a ball. You can get this inexpensive soccer gear in any sports store, and all the wardrobe you need is breathable clothes and some good shoes.
Martial arts are a great way to improve strength, confidence, balance, posture and focus. Elderly people who join martial arts classes usually reduce the probability of falls and report great improvement in their exercise capacity. Martial arts also have great practical value, since you will learn how to protect yourself and those you love. There are classes for all ages and all physical fitness levels, so don’t hesitate to visit your local dojo.
Aside from offering a pleasant way to cool down during summer, swimming also has many health benefits for people of all ages. It’s a great way to relieve stress, exercise coordination, balance, posture, flexibility and strength. Swimming also improves lung and heart functions and is especially good for people who are recovering from an injury or other health conditions.
If you love a bit of adrenalin and consider yourself to be a daredevil, then try rock climbing. It’s a super fun activity that will engage your whole body, from your brain to your toes. While trying to maintain balance and stay on the wall, you have to pull with your arms, push with your legs, use your core for stability and engage your brain to calculate the best path for your climb. Additionally, it’s also a great way to beat your fears!
Aside from all these health benefits, recreational sports are also a great way to blow off some steam, have fun and meet new people.
Author Bio – Diana Smith is a full-time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.