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Back to Basics: Benefits of Sports

As kids we are encouraged to get involved in sports because not only are they great physical motivators, they are also great mentally and for team building. As adults, we may have our team building skills under control, but still would love to get the physical benefits of playing sports.

Just in case you forgot, here are some basic sports that you may want to get involved in:

  • Soccer is great for the sticks. All that sprinting gives your legs and glutes a workout, which is also a great workout for the heart. Kicking and throwing the ball works your arms and abs to help you keep balance. You'll also use some smaller muscles in the ankle, knee and hip.
  • Water Polo is not for beginner swimmers, but is a great full body workout. This tough sport is one where your legs never touch the pool floor. Swimming builds strength in your legs and shoulders, and passing and shooting the ball works the back and chest. Water polo also can get your heart pumping for a great cardio workout as well. Despite the fact that the game never really stops until it's over, it is considered a low-impact sport and it has a low rate of injury (minus the occasional elbow to the face). It could even be a great place to meet someone too -- My brother met his wife during an intense game of water polo.
  • Basketball is not just for tall all stars. Shooting baskets and passing and dribbling the ball will help strengthen arm muscles. It's great for toning up the lower body too -- Think of all the running, jumping and fancy footwork involved. Running back and forth across the court also provides a good cardio workout, this is why you probably had to do basketball drills in gym class as a kid.
  • Tennis is a fabulous method of burning serious calories due to the high intensity bursts that typically occur during a good tennis match. Beginners may need some practice before seeing this benefit. Swinging, smashing and hitting the ball are fabulous for strengthening your upper body as well as your legs.
  • Golf is a great way to get in a good dose of walking (considering you ditch the cart). Swinging helps strengthen legs and hips and can increase flexibility in your shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. As long as you can keep your temper under control, golf can also be a major stress reliever.
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