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Recreational Sports That Make For A Great Workout

Recreational  Sports That  Make For A  Great Workout Recreational  Sports That  Make For A  Great Workout

Billions of people across the globe share a passion for sports. Whether it’s youngsters playing on sandlots, adolescents competing in scholastic sports or even professional athletes locking horns at the highest level, there’s no denying that sports appeals to people of all ages.

The thrill of competition undoubtedly compels many athletes to engage in sports, but playing a sport also makes for great exercise. That’s even the case for various recreational sports, which many athletes look to after their more formal playing days have ended. In fact, the following recreational sports are not only fun, but also make for a great workout.

Perhaps no recreational sport has enjoyed a surge popularity as significant as pickleball in recent years. The 2023 Topline Participation Report from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association indicates participation in pickleball grew by 159 percent between 2019 and 2022. Pickleball is something of a hybrid sport that combines elements of tennis and ping-pong to form a fun activity that’s also great exercise. An ongoing examination of pickleball by Apple has found that participation in the sports helps players reach moderate to vigorous heart rate zones, which cardiologists note can improve cardiac fitness. In addition, a 2023 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that pickleball players enjoyed significant improvements in happiness, life satisfaction and personal well-being after taking up the sport.


Basketball is among the more accessible recreational sports, as it’s not uncommon for players to find a pickup game at their local park on a nice spring or summer afternoon or evening. Basketball combines various components of a great workout, including cardiovascular exercise, coordination and balance and weightbearing activity. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science found that both halfcourt and full-court basketball helped to increase lean body mass, bone mineral density and oxygen uptake, each of which helps to make recreational basketball a great way for players to improve their overall health.


The serene setting of a typical golf course can make it easy to see the sport as fun but not necessarily a great workout. But that’s a misconception, as a round of 18 can make for great exercise. A 2016 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine noted that golf can be a useful ally in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as heart attack, stroke, certain cancers, and diabetes, among other conditions. Walking the course, as opposed to renting a cart during a round, makes for excellent cardiovascular exercise as well.

Athletes may embrace recreational sports for fun, but these physical activities also can make for a great workout.


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