Make a Game of it: 5 Great Sports to Play for Weight Loss

Is your treadmill starting to feel like a hamster wheel? Energize your fitness routine by bringing a competitive element to the game. The rush you get from competition will turn exercise back into play, and could bring you other benefits as well. Sports are good for your mind as well as your body. Adding a social aspect to your fitness routine will supercharge the stress-busting and depression-reducing powers of your workout. Here are some great options.   

Shoot Some Hoops

Basketball is a super flexible sport. It can be played indoors or out, with a whole team or one-on-one. Put up a basket in your driveway and invite a neighbor for some one-on-one, if you want to keep it casual. Your health club or YMCA probably has indoor baskets you can use in bad weather. Join a local church or YMCA league to raise the stakes and expand your social circle. Regular games will add a lot to your social life, and trying to stay competitive will motivate your solo workouts between practices.   

Meet A Friend On The Court 

Tennis offers an intense cardiovascular and strength workout, with lots of breaks for socializing. In the 80s, tennis was the power sport of the trendy folk, and every condo community, public park, and health club offered a court. Tennis may seem a little retro today, but it’s still a great fitness activity. All you need is a racquet, a ball, a friend and access to a court.    

Work Up A Sweat Indoors 

If you live in an area with a cold climate, it makes sense to choose an indoor sport. Racquetball and handball are both highly competitive sports that will get your heart rate up quickly and give you a great workout in a short time. If you belong to a gym with racquetball/handball courts, you’ll find it easy to connect with experienced players who will teach you the basics and get you started.  

Race Your Bike 

If you already ride your bike for fitness, consider signing up for a road race. A race looming on the horizon will breathe new life into your training routine, and you’ll meet lots of like-minded folks at the race who could make great riding partners. The exhilaration of the race itself can be addictive, in a very healthy way.   

Ready, Set, Go 
The simplest and least expensive sport is probably the foot race. Racing on foot is as old as human civilization, for good reason. It’s simple, requires no equipment, and satisfies our competitive urge. All you need is a good pair of shoes and you’re ready to join the nearest race. If you want to make your training routine more social, use Facebook or Meetup groups to find a running group near you.   

Shifting from solo workouts to competitive sports is a great way to kickstart a lagging fitness routine. You’ll love getting in touch with your warrior spirit, and making new friends who share your commitment to a healthy lifestyle will help keep you committed well into the future.