Remember when you were younger and used to play fun team sports? Think about how great it felt running around, being part of a team and having a great time. You can recapture some of that youthful fun and reap the benefits of fitness at the same time through participating in a team sport for adults. There are a variety of team sports that adults can participate in that can provide healthy benefits.
Volleyball is a fun team sport for those that enjoy being outdoors. Volleyball can be played on teams as small as two or with as many as six players. It offers a great workout for both your upper and lower body. Your upper body benefits from hitting the ball while your lower body gets a workout from providing stability while hitting the ball and running around. Racing around the court is sure to get your heart rate up too. According to the Mayo Clinic a 160 pound person can burn up to 292 calories per hour when playing volleyball.
You can find leagues through the Saint Paul and Minneapolis Parks Department, or this cool new sand volleyball league, Spikes N Strikes. Spikes N Strikes offers 3 different levels – recreational, silver, and gold – so there’s a league for you regardless of your skill level! Click here for more information about joining their leagues.
Playing softball allows you the benefit of exercising outdoors. Softball is played on teams of 9 or 10 active players, plus bench players. Leagues of fast and slow pitch are offered in most areas and the main difference is how the ball is pitched. Beginners or recreational players should typically stick to slow pitch softball as this is the easier place to start. Softball can offer a great workout for your whole body. Your upper body is exercised through batting, catching and throwing the ball. Your lower body and your heart get a workout from running around. The Mayo Clinic reports that a 160 pound person can burn up to 365 calories per hour when playing softball.
Kickball provides similar benefits to softball as it’s played on the same field and has similar rules and formatting. Be sure to brush up on the specifics of the league you join as there are rules or regulations that may differ from league to league. Played in teams of around 15, kickball can be a very social sport. The exercise benefits of kickball are somewhat similar to softball. Kicking, running around the bases, chasing and throwing the ball all provide excellent physical activity. To put in maximum physical effort make sure you play a position that sees a lot of action. Think roller, catcher or fielder.
Kickball is offered through the Minneapolis Parks Department, but not the Saint Paul Parks Department. Get it together, Saint Paul. Fortunately, you can also find it through the Cities Sports Connections and the World Adult Kickball Association
Dodgeball has experienced a resurgence of popularity among many age groups. Dodgeball is a great way to get moving and possibly release a little aggression. The number of players on each team may differ by league rules. Six players on the floor is common, but some rules dictate many more can play as long as opposing teams have an even number of players playing. Like kickball, dodgeball rules and regulations may differ depending on the league you join so be sure to learn the specifics of your league. Throwing and catching balls, running, dodging and jumping are all a part of dodgeball so you can definitely get a good workout if you spend enough time on the floor.
Soccer can be a serious workout either indoors or outdoors. There are lots of leagues around that play on indoor fields so even if you aren’t into being outside you can still get a great workout. A typical soccer team will have 11 players on the field at once with substitute players on the bench. Soccer can be an intense workout due to all the running and dribbling. This is great for your heart health and overall conditioning. Make sure you are put in a position that matches your physical abilities to get the most benefit out of playing. The Wisconsin Department of Health says a person that a 155 pound person may burn up to 493 calories per hour during a casual soccer play. There are a lot of great places to play soccer in the cities, from recreational to competitive.
You can, of course, go through the Minneapolis Parks Department, but you can also try the Cities Sports Connection, the Minnesota Women’s Soccer League, the Minnesota Recreational Soccer League, or the Minnesota Amateur Soccer League
These are just a few fun team sports ideas to get you started on the path to fitness. To find adult sports leagues or teams in your area, you can always try checking with your co-workers, local publications, or your local parks and recreation department or community center. If you can’t find a team or sport you are interested in, consider starting your own group or team. Chances are if you’re interested there are probably others that would be happy to share in the fun with you. Participating in a team sport may be the most entertaining way you’ve ever made time for fitness!
What about you? Have you been wanting to get back into team sports? Or do you already play with a team? If so, how did you find a team to play with?
Alicen Ronan has a degree in Sport Management, is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and a NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Alicen has successfully battled weight issues and helps her clients do the same through her company Former Fitness Flunky based in the Kansas City metro.