5 Sports to Play and Lose Weight
By Carolyn Richardson
You don’t have to rely on a stationary bike or elliptical machine to get a total body workout. If you’ve hit a rut, refresh your exercise routine and rev up your metabolism with sports you may not have tried. Here are some activities off the beaten path that will give you a playful workout and burn tons of calories. Click the links below to get the calories you burn per hour for each sport.
Indoor Rock Climbing
You don’t have to brave mother nature to go rock climbing. Do it indoors in a climate-controlled, safe, and inviting environment. After learning the rules, lingo, and techniques of rock climbing, I felt like a kid again. Even an easy route was adventurous and tested my upper body strength and agility. When you can pull yourself up with one arm, and little else, you know you’re getting stronger. You’ll need to buy or rent shoes and many gyms require learning basic safety and rope skills before letting you climb.
You don’t need head gear, a manager, or an insurance policy to enjoy being a boxer. If you’ve mastered kickboxing classes, you may like group classes at a boxing gym. They are generally set up with punching bags a few feet apart and participants take cues from an instructor on different combinations of punches and kicks. The boxing gloves and punching bag give a more realistic feel than shadowboxing, and the continuous foot movement ensures a great cardio workout.
If the weather makes an outdoor run impossible, give an indoor ice skating rink a whirl. Ice skating is a low-impact aerobic exercise that is easy on the joints – that is of course unless you’re jumping. The balance, as well as lateral and forward motion possible on skates ups the ante on calorie burn. It also works the lower back, inner and outer thighs, plus the glutes. Start off with a lesson or, if you’re feeling brave, rent some skates and see what you can do on your own.
The hand-eye coordination, core strength, and quick feet that tennis requires is sure to challenge you. Some tennis clubs and parks have open court times when you can play at your leisure. Bring a friend or three and don’t forget balls and a tennis racket. Though every game is a built-in interval training session, be sure to incorporate running around the court in case the game itself is not intense. If you’re on your own, find private or group lessons to sharpen your skills, or if you’re a regular, rent a ball machine and have at it.
Judo is unique because of its diversity of teaching techniques and the time it requires. In addition to learning the basics individually, it requires practicing with a partner standing and on the floor. Classes can go for two hours long and may require a long-term commitment to fully enjoy. The two-piece suit or gi and a belt will help you look the part. But it can take months or years to learn Judo’s strict set of rules and master its progressive techniques.
Which of these sports are you more or least likely to try for fitness and why?