Being in shape means something different to everyone. Some people think being in shape means running 5 miles a day. Others may consider it being able to walk and play 18 holes of golf without getting worn down. Of course, there are different ways to train to reach each of those goals. The good thing is that you don’t necessarily need to hit the gym to accomplish them!
Most people don’t like to go to the gym for a variety of reasons. It can be a daunting task unless you are highly motivated to go. Where some people’s thinking is wrong is when they think the gym is the only place they can go to get in shape.
What Recreational Sports to Consider?
Recreational sports such as golf, tennis, softball, volleyball and basketball are great sports to play if you want to get in shape and be healthy. Some of them require multiple people to play, but some of them can be done on your own. If you just want to relax and still get in some exercise daily or weekly, here are some good sports to choose from.
As a golfer, the best shape I was ever in was when I walked 18 holes of golf at least 2-3 times per week. I did some running and weight lifting occasionally on the other days, but my primary method of exercising was golfing. If you are physically able to carry your bag while you walk, you will get an even better workout. It may not seem that hard, but you will quickly realize how fit professional golfers are in when you play a couple rounds.
Benefits of Recreational Sports
Not only do recreational sports help keep you in shape, but they can also tone your body. You use different muscles when you play golf compared to basketball. Both will give your legs a good workout, but different muscles in the legs will be worked. Some sports are more physical than others, where one may utilize more cardio and constant motion, another may feature more short sprints, upper body action and more, so it’s advised to diversify your sports life as well. And the best part about it is that you don’t even have to be that good at most recreational sports in order to get a good workout in!
Just like at the gym, one of the common reasons why people don’t play recreational sports is because they get sore after they play. Soreness is just a way of your body telling you that you’re on the right track and that you need to keep moving forward. If you only play a sport or workout once or twice each week, then you will likely be sore after each time. It’s understandable that sports, especially in a team setting, take up some time. But there are plenty of leagues that play during random times throughout the week and even on weekends that should work with most people’s schedules.
So do you get the same benefits playing recreational sports as you do by going to the gym? Not entirely, but it’s definitely better than doing nothing, and it all depends on how often you play. My advice would be to mix it up. Start with playing a sport once or twice a week and go to the gym another 1-2 times in that week. Start off slow, but set a schedule and stick with it.
Know Your Goals
If you want to train to run in a marathon, then playing recreational sports won’t help you that much. But if you just want to be healthier overall, then playing recreational sports is a good alternative to going to the gym.
Working out in a gym is great because you have the equipment needed to work any kind of muscle that you want to. The main reason why people don’t utilize gyms more is because of the mentality that they don’t feel like going.
It can be difficult to hold yourself accountable, especially when you don’t have a big motivating factor. Another thing that a team sport does is hold you accountable for showing up because the rest of the team is counting on you.
So if you’re struggling with staying motivated, but really want to find a way to stay in shape, then consider joining a recreational sports program. You will have fun while staying in shape and meeting some new people along the way!