8 Sports That Will Improve Your Health and Sharpen Your Mind
For many guys, regular workouts at a gym are a dreaded necessity to stay fit and healthy. However, there are more enjoyable alternatives that provide all of the same benefits, if not more, than a normal exercise routine. Sports are a great way to improve one’s mental and physical health. Regular workouts, while great for the body, lack mental training. Luckily, sports are here to fill the void. A variety of sports require constant physical activity and mental prowess to accomplish. Players must push their bodies to the limit while challenging their mind to solve puzzles and get through obstacles. In the end, players receive a full-body workout that rivals even the most rigorous exercise regime. Here are 8 sports that improve health and sharpen the mind.
Mountain biking is not a casual ride through the park. Instead, the sport has riders traversing winding trails at top speeds. They must get over a myriad of obstacles and tough terrains safely. It’s the perfect activity for guys that seek a bit of an adrenaline rush. On the bike, riders are working out their entire body. Obviously, the legs are getting a huge push. Additionally, the core and arms are used to stay upright and shift body weight with every turn. The great thing about the sport is that participants will improve their skills with every ride. Every trail is different and has its own set of challenges to overcome.
The pressure exerted on the body while in the water is pretty significant, regardless of how deep it is. Because of this, swimming is one of the best activities for getting healthy. The entire body must work to get through the water. This results in increased heart rate and an improvement in overall cardiovascular health. Whether the activity calls for performing laps around a pool or diving down deep, the mind must also work in overdrive. The brain has to compensate for disorientation. While it’s not immediately noticeable, the brain continually communicates with the body to stay afloat and navigate surroundings.
Tennis is a unique sport that requires great concentration and control. Whether the game is played solo against a wall or with an opponent on a court, players have to stay focused on the ball at all times. Regular playing can improve concentration, reflexes, and agility. While it may not seem physically exhausting at first, tennis players use explosive energy. The body is constantly switching from a state of calm to a state of rigorous movement. It builds up muscular strength in the legs, core, shoulders, arms, and more. It also helps build up physical endurance over the long run.
There’s a reason that CrossFit has grown immensely in popularity over the last few years. It’s a unique style of exercise that combines a variety of different activities. With elements of high-interval training, gymnastics, weightlifting, and much more, participants are strengthening muscles all over their body. CrossFit is also a great way to break up the monotony of exercise. With different exercises every day, it’s always a new and challenging experience. The included workouts are designed to improve many physical attributes, such as power, strength, and flexibility, as well as mental attributes like coordination, balance, and accuracy.
Paintball is a highly competitive sport that demands strength and strategy. It’s played with a large number of players in complex courses. With paintball gun in hand, players have to plan their attack while avoiding opponents and navigating the course. Most courses are filled with a bevy of obstacles for hiding. Players will also use them to their advantage as they jump, run, and climb their way to victory. It’s a pretty unconventional sport, but it provides a number of great physical and mental benefits. The best part is that most players don’t realize they’re getting a good workout in the process.
Commonly viewed as a relaxing sport, golf actually requires a lot of physical activity. It takes a lot of strength to drive a ball down a course. There’s also a ton of walking. In fact, an 18-hole course can require up to 6 miles of walking. If there’s no caddy, there’s also the heavy equipment to consider. In terms of sharpening the mind, there’s no better sport than golf. The game requires control and nuance. Minute changes in a swing can have a huge effect. Players have to read the course, understand their surroundings, and control their swing to be effective.
This sport is perfect for guys that want to use up any aggressive energy in a healthy environment. Even if participants don’t ever plan on using their skills on another individual, martial arts provides numerous benefits. On a physical standpoint alone, there’s a lot of training involved. Strength training, conditioning, cardio, and much more are required to get the body in peak shape for martial arts. There’s also the matter of understanding the sport and reading opponents. Fighters have to respond quickly to the actions of opponents and think fast to make a successful move.
Known for being an aggressive sport, hockey is a unique challenge for the mind and body. Essentially, players move fast across the ice to follow a tiny puck. Physically, the sport is taxing. Ice skating alone uses leg and core muscles at every moment. Fast skating and agile movements only work these muscles out more. Throw in the added challenge of following a small puck and hockey becomes a mental game of strategy as well. Regular participation in hockey games will result in increased muscle strength, better agility, improved concentration, and much more.
Getting a full mind and body workout doesn’t have to be boring. Instead of going to the gym, why not learn a new sport? There are a number of great activities that will challenge a player’s mind and body for better overall health
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