'Throw' a little fun into your summer exercise routine

Published in For the Health of It Author: Kelijo Fernholz

Remember the New Year’s resolutions you wrote back when flurries flew and frigid temperatures kept you indoors? For many of us, exercising more and losing weight usually find their way onto our list of resolutions. Now that the sun is shining and warm temperatures are beckoning you outdoors, how are you doing on those goals?

If you need to revisit your exercise and weight loss goals, don’t forgot to “throw” some fun in your routine. Sports that you may not have played since your high school days can be a great way to change things up, burn calories and challenge you both physically and mentally. Here are a few suggestions and just some of the health benefits.

  • Basketball is a great cardiovascular workout. The running and jumping work your heart and lungs and help you build endurance. The sport also can be a good fit if you are looking to increase your speed, agility, coordination and flexibility. Now grab a ball and friend and head to the court to shoot some hoops.
  • Tennis is an enjoyable sport for all ages. The running, swinging, pivoting and reaching make it a whole-body sport that burns a lot of calories because you’re constantly moving. This is another sport that improves balance, flexibility, speed and coordination. Like basketball, tennis can be a fun social activity that encourages interaction and conversation.
  • Golf may be known as the sport of leisure, but it too has many health benefits. Golf brings players outdoors. Nature calms the mind and body, reduces stress and can lower the risk of depression. Compared to other sports, golf has a lower risk of injury but players still benefit their hearts with the walking required, engage their brains and improve hand-eye coordination.
  • Baseball and softball are popular summer pastimes. Joining a baseball or softball team is a great way to meet people and develop friendships, while getting exercise at the same time. Baseball/softball strengthens different muscle groups, requires quick thinking and good reaction skills, catching, throwing and running provide cardiovascular benefits.
  • Disc golf is a fun, recreational sport that gets participants out into our community exploring the various parks that offer the sport. Disc golf is a great outdoor activity, improves muscle strength, endurance and flexibility, and provides a mental challenge that helps promote relaxation and decreases stress.

As with any new exercise activity or prolonged absence from exercise, be sure that you are safe to begin a new exercise routine by checking with your physician before getting started. Remember to start slow with new exercise and listen to your body to avoid injury.