* A guest post
With spring here, and summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and take up a new sport. Whether it be hitting balls with golf drivers or striking footballs into a goal, getting out and about this summer can have a positive impact on our bodies and mental health.
According to Public Health England, adults in England should aim to take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more, and what better time to do this than when the weather is in its prime and the sun is at full beam?
Here are 5 sports you can try this summer:
According to Active, planning tennis for one hour burns about 600 calories, which means it is as effective as jogging or an indoor cycling class. Added to the fact it is a great workout, the tactical side of the game helps to keep your mind engaged through setting short term goals of reaching the yellow ball in time makes it a complex sport full of challenges and small rewards.
Despite being commonly referred to as a ‘gentleman’s game’, golf is a sport of leisure and one of the most popular, well-received sports around the world. There are various benefits to playing golf, from being at one with nature, great for networking, to a fantastic stress-buster when hitting balls as far as they can go with these golf drivers. There are always free or low-cost taster sessions around England, no matter what your ability, in partnership with ‘Get into Golf’.
It is universally understood that running is a great way to get into shape and can really help benefit almost every part of your body – even your mind. Running may seem tedious, but the benefits are endless, from improving your health, to preventing disease, to even boosting confidence. The ‘Run Together’ campaign tries to encourage running in groups across the country, with over 2,500 beginner groups in the UK – perfect if you’re looking to add a social element to your running.
Football is a sport that requires very little resources; all you need is a ball, an open space (such as a park) and some friends. It is a simple sport and can be picked up easily, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to fork out on any equipment needed. Not only is football a sociable sport, it can also help to improve strength, agility, coordination, confidence and self-esteem, as well as promoting team work – vital skills for various aspects of everyday life.
Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine as it is a mode of transport, which in turn can save you money and help get fit. Due to cycling being a simple and low-impact exercise, it is less strenuous but still helps you to get into shape. Substituting the train or car to get to work a few times a week can really help the environment and your health, and you will soon reap the benefits!
So, instead of heading to the gym at the height of summer to keep fit – something nobody wants to do – head outdoors and give a new sport a try at the local park, like golf or football. It will not only have great physical benefits, but it can do wonders for your wellbeing too.
Victoria Affleck, content writer for Golfsupport.com.