Want to be in better shape, but the gym just isn’t for you? Sure you enjoy being active, but the solo workouts just don’t seem to get your blood moving or adrenaline pumping enough to last for a personally successful workout. Maybe it’s time to go back to team sports; just like high school, but with some added perks. You get the best of both worlds in team sports.
First of all: Sports with others is extremely fun! Many cities have season intramural teams, and even competitive ones if you are a lady that likes to get down and dirty, a little more than the average. Look for kickball, softball, even co-ed soccer and ultimate Frisbee teams. Truly there are options out there regardless of your personal interest. For me, it was swimming and I was able to find teams that are known as Master’s swimming groups that meet up and offer a lot of encouragement, challenging workouts, and a fun group to grab a drink with after the workout or over the weekend.
Regardless of which intramural or sport is your preference the truth is that burning calories doesn’t seem to be as much work when you’re doing it along side friends, competitors and have consistent weekend pickups or a larger competition or meet at the end of every few months to keep you motivated to reach a new goal or personal record.
Don’t go it Alone-Benefits of Group Exercise
Especially when you are just getting back into a new exercise routine, you might need some additional external motivation or getting off the couch and outside to move may be the hardest part of the entire work out. According to Stacey Lei Krauss, exercise guru and Fitness Adviser, there are seven top reasons that group classes and fitness lead to successful completion of goals as well as keep you coming back:
- Group exercise is lead by a professional, someone that is trained, whom you can therefore trust
- The leader sets up a clear plan that provides structure and direction that can make the workout more effective and offer your mind something to focus on when you’re feeling the burn
- Classes and events in groups are going to go by quicker and be more entertaining
- You’ve got a DATE! Making it harder to skip out or everyone will know
- You become a member of a community; community is important in life regardless of where you find it
- You can be one of the ‘newbies’ giving you an excuse to be a little more shy as you work through some self-imposed anxiety
- You have an opportunity to get a buddy into it with you, or make new friends along the way!
As mentioned above there are many cities that offer adult intramural sports leagues. A simple Google search of “adult intramural sports” offered activities in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Needless to say options are plentiful.
Intramural sports are recreational sports organized within a particular institution, usually and educational one, or a set geographic area.
Now that you know there is a lot to gain from social workouts, it’s time to take some simple steps toward action! First, it’s up to you to decide with whom and how you’d like to do group workouts. Is the community through a gym, a religious affiliation, or geographical? Would you prefer classes or more of a meet-up style?
Then look at what is available for these options in your area! You’ll likely come across a list of several types of sports teams and activities to choose from. Even if you’ve never done a specific sport before there will more than likely be someone there willing to help you get started.
Once you get beyond the basics and really enjoy what you’re doing it would be a great idea to invest in some of your own equipment. This can make all the difference, and having your own glove, knowing all the sweat in there is your own, can truly offer some peace of mind! Try catcher’s mitts from HomerunMonkey.com, and good cleats if you’re doing grass workouts. They’ll help protect your knees and prevent unintended slips that may twinge or hurt additional body parts on the way down.
On a final note, the most important thing is to get out there and HAVE FUN! If you look silly in the beginning, own it; know you’re building character and growing yourself in the process, and that this awkward stage is just temporary. Soon someone else could literally be in your shoes and you’ll be showing them the ropes and techniques.