Why Adopt Your Favorite Pro Sport For Fitness
Professional sports are, for better or worse, a phenomenon. All year long they provide endless hours of entertainment, social occasions and inspiration. And many of these sports offer something for your health and fitness too.
Playing sports can improve coordination and movement. It releases endorphins to fight depression, stress and anxiety. Team play teaches interpersonal skills, forms friendships and provides exposure to different personality types. In many cases, the fast paced action gives you practice at thinking quickly and strategically too. Plus, playing outside provides beneficial exposure to sunlight and vitamin D – just remember to keep your skin protected too!
Whatever your professional sport of choice, there’s no reason to not try your hand, foot or hockey stick at playing too. Just remember: Listen to your body and learn your stretches to stay safe and injury free.
So channel your inner all-star – get outside for all these reasons and more!
Fast-paced, high-scoring and liable to change momentum in under a minute, professional basketball is fascinating for its fans. Get your own heart racing when you sink a deep 3 or block your best friend’s dunk.
- Depending on your speed, running up and down the court can be a moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise
- One hour of basketball can burn more than 600 calories
- Shooting, dribbling and passing builds muscle and improves coordination
- Practice drills or shooting hoops alone can focus your energy and help you de-stress
Hockey fans take their sport pretty seriously, but like your professional peers, there’s no need to hang up your jersey and skates after the regular season. Whether on an ice rink, in a field or playing a roller-skate variation, hockey is as intense to play as it is to watch.
- Hockey is a total body workout
- Skating is an aerobic exercise that burns calories and improves respiratory health
- The action in hockey stops and starts frequently, turning your cardio workout into a high intensity interval exercise, burning even more calories and boosting metabolism
- Hockey builds speed, power, agility and reaction times
- Passing and receiving improves your coordination and balance
- Hockey demands good decision making, which can be applied to every day life
Soccer has long been a source of fun, fitness and avid fandom for Americans young and old.
- Every player on the soccer field is getting aerobic exercise walking, jogging, jumping or running constantly
- Playing soccer promotes flexibility, coordination and muscle endurance
- Soccer improves posture and boosts your power
- As a team sport, soccer builds team work and problem solving skills
Baseball season kicks off right in time for spring and summer weather. Make America’s pastime your own with low-stakes, super social play. Your office softball league counts too!
- Baseball requires a relatively low level of aerobic conditioning, though you may want to try strength training to avoid injury on your fast pitch
- Throwing the ball far distances builds muscles in the arm
- Running bases improves cardio health and builds leg muscles
Golf is an underrated athletic activity. While not the obvious aerobic boost of basketball or soccer and without the muscle build of baseball or hockey, golf offers considerable cardio opportunity for those less interested in an intense cardio workout.
- Playing a full 18 holes equates to roughly 4 miles of walking
- Carrying your own clubs can improve strength and boost fitness on the walk
- Golf can even improve muscle tone and endurance