Working out can sometimes be a drag. Sitting in the gym doing the same thing over and over with no end in sight just isn’t a lot of people’s thing. Sure, some people can see past the grind and know the results that lie in wait, but not everyone wants to push through hours of boredom to get those results.
That’s why sports are such an excellent option. Rather than being glued to a workout bench bored out of your mind, you’re out there hitting the field having a blast with your friends while secretly working on your strength in the background. A win-win.
Check out these five sports that are fun to play but are secretly also an amazing workout.
Believe it or not, tennis is one of the best full-body cardio workouts out there. Why’s that? Think about it. When you’re dashing back and forth across the court, you’re putting your whole body into it. You twist to hit back your opponent’s serve, you dash back to catch their return – it’s constant motion, and your whole body is at play.
Getting started can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t take as much as you think. First, you’ll need your racket and balls, of course. You’ll also want a solid pair of men’s or women’s tennis shoes to ensure you don’t hurt your ankles. Don’t worry if you don’t have a partner to play with just yet, even practicing at a local rec center by playing against a wall can be a great workout. Be sure to join online tennis communities so you find people who are down to meet up and play a few rounds after work, too!
Have you ever seen a swimmer’s body? Talk about toned. That’s because while you’re gliding through the water like a dolphin, basically all of your muscle groups are in action, propelling you forward with each stroke.
Swimming not only builds muscle through resistance from pushing against the water, it also is a great way to get slim down and burn fat. You can basically think of it as cardio and weight lifting rolled into one killer exercise. The best part is that you barely need any equipment at all to start swimming! Just a swimsuit and your local community pool are all you need to get fit while having fun.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the entire world, and it’s easy to see why. The fast pace of the game, the interesting players, the fun reflexes and planning involved in executing a scoring play – what’s not to love?
The good news is that soccer is also an amazing workout, head to toe. Your legs are engaged by the constant running, your core is engaged whenever you bend to kick the ball, and even your arms get a bit of a workout if you’re playing goalie, or even throwing an out of bounds kick back into play.
You can find friends to play soccer with online, and many cities and towns have local leagues you can consider joining, too!
Basketball is another amazing full-body workout. Running up and down the court is basically like doing a full set of sprints. And the coordination necessary to control the ball works out your upper body and core like few other sports can.
All that jumping to shoot is a great core and leg workout, too. Basketball is rapidly growing in popularity in the US and around the globe, pushing out baseball as the second most popular sport in the US (after football, of course), so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a group to get together and shoot hoops after work. Just be sure to pick up a regulation basketball to get the full experience!
Okay, bowling might not exactly be your first thought when someone mentioned sports. But unlike any of the other sports mentioned here (except maybe swimming), bowling has the potential to seriously work out your arms. Having a firm, controlled swing with a 15lb ball is not easy, and building up to that point will require you to seriously grow your arm muscles. Just be sure you use both arms evenly or else you may end up with one gigantic arm and one normal sized one – yikes!
Have fun, get fit, and enjoy your workout with an amazing sport today!