5 Underrated Sports That Provide Exceptional Exercise & Fitness
Sports are games, and games are meant to be fun to play. And while the enjoyment of playing a game and the thrill of victory are two of the biggest reasons why people participate in sports, one of the other big benefits is the great workout you get from practicing and playing in games, matches or events. While just about every sport involves some sort of physical activity, it should go without saying that some sports offer a better overall workout than others. You’re likely already aware of how sports like hockey, lacrosse, and soccer — sports where athletes are continuously running, skating or moving — are great for the body, but here’s a look at some sports that also provide an amazing workout that may not immediately come to mind. You’ll know what we mean if you’ve ever played or participated in any of the sports to follow:
5 Underrated Sports That Provide a Great Workout
- Swimming: The best fitness regimes involve working out every muscle in the body — and that’s exactly what swimming does. Swimming works out every muscle, from the shoulders to the core to the hamstrings. Just look at athletes like Michael Phelps for an idea of what competitive swimming can do for your body. Additionally, it’s estimated that a 150-pound person that swims at a fast pace for one hour will burn more than 700 calories. What’s more is that it’s a low impact sport, so it doesn’t put stress on the joints the same way that running does, for instance.
- Cross-Country Skiing: Cross-country skiing, or Nordic skiing, also works out every muscle in the body. It’s more of an endurance sport, but it involves various types of skiing to work out the lower body and the use of poles to work out the upper body muscles as you move across varying terrain.
- Tennis: Tennis is another sport that works out muscles throughout the entire body. Quads and glutes are worked out with the various running, stopping and starting as players pace the court. The triceps, wrists, pectoral muscles and shoulders get a great workout from extending the arm and swinging the racket. Tennis is played on a court, so playing it will have a greater impact on your joints than swimming will, for example, but the sport helps burn calories, exercise muscles and improve aerobic fitness.
- Rock climbing: Some might consider rock climbing, or bouldering, more of a hobby than a sport, but however you classify it, you can’t deny the full-body workout that you can get from it. The upper body is worked out by finding handholds and having to regularly lift your body’s weight as you climb. Then, there’s the aspect of finding and maintaining footholds, which works out the lower body muscles.
- Gymnastics: Gymnasts find themselves in the spotlight during the Summer Olympics, but this sport is something that requires years of practice to gain balance, muscle mass, stamina, and agility to perform at high levels, whether it’s a floor routine or on the balance beam. Gymnasts are incredibly fit athletes, and it’s not hard to see why. The hours they spend practicing their routines help tone their bodies, thanks to the great all-around workout that the sport offers.
Like we said in the opening, all sports are good for staying active and getting exercise, but some definitely offer a better all-around workout than others.
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