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A lot of sports are very fast paced and energetic, which is great for exercise, but it’s not always suitable for everybody. If you’re a little older and you’re not active enough to be running around and playing high impact team sports, football or basketball aren’t really great sports to play. Similarly, if you have an injury from exercising and you’re trying to rebuild your strength, those high impact sports are just opening you up to more risk and you’re likely to get injured again. Some people just don’t like that kind of intense exercise either and if you don’t enjoy the activities that you’re doing, it’s a lot harder to stick to a fitness routine.
All of these people will find it a lot easier to exercise regularly if they engaged in lower impact, more relaxing sports. A lot of people think that means you won’t get as good a workout but that isn’t the case at all. Some of these more relaxing sports also have other health benefits so they can be better than energetic team sports. If you want to add some variety to your workout, these are some of the best relaxing sports that still give you a good workout.
When you think of a relaxing workout activity, yoga is the first thing that comes to mind. You might not necessarily think that it gives you that much of a workout but if you try it, you’ll see that you’re wrong. Doing stretches and holding certain poses requires quite a lot of strength, particularly in your core. When you do yoga, you’re engaging so many different muscles in the body at once and it’s great for strengthening those muscles and toning them properly as well.
Yoga is also incredibly relaxing and it’s great for stress relief. It’s all about focusing on holding the poses and maintaining a good breathing pattern. You’ll find that you let go of a lot of stress when you’re focused on your body and your breathing and you’ll finish the session feeling incredibly relaxed, while getting a good workout at the same time.
Tai Chi is fairly similar to yoga in a lot of ways, but it’s a little more active. It combines exercises and stretches with the practice of mindfulness, much like yoga, so it’s brilliant for relaxation. It’s a martial art but not in the same way that you would normally imagine one. It involves a lot of very slow controlled movements that engage and tone the muscles very well. People that practice tai chi regularly see a lot of different benefits from it. As well as giving you a workout, it has been shown to improve balance and coordination, help to manage pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and even improve your sleep. If you’re looking for a great relaxing fitness activity that is incredibly good for your body and mind, tai chi is the way to go.
Recently, doctors have been advising that people try to take regular walks in order to stay healthy. Even half an hour of walking on a regular basis can improve your heart health and help you to lose weight. But a lot of people find it boring to just go for a walk. In that case, you should try your hand at golf. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors, especially if you grab some golf sandals and head down to a beachside golf resort. You can spend the day outside and do plenty of walking which is great for your health, but it doesn’t feel like a chore because you’re not just walking for the sake of it. Golf is also a more demanding sport than people realize because you’re engaging a lot of different muscle groups when you swing. It also strengthens your arms and back and improves your hand-eye coordination skills.
Hiking is another more interesting way to increase the number of steps that you walk. Walking isn’t that exciting if you’re just walking up and down the road, but if you’re hiking through picturesque landscapes, it’s a lot nicer and it doesn’t feel so much like exercise. We don’t connect with nature as much as we perhaps should, which is a shame because it’s great for relaxation. It’s easy to get stressed because we all have such a fast pace of life these days and getting out into the great outdoors is a good way to escape from that stress and just relax. Plus, if you’re hiking over difficult terrain, you’re giving yourself a good workout at the same time.
Swimming is often people’s first choice when they’re looking for a low impact, relaxing sport that still gives them a good workout. Swimming doesn’t always feel as tiring as a lot of other sports but you’re probably giving yourself a far better workout. When you swim, you’re using every single muscle in the body, however, the buoyancy of the water absorbs all of the impact so it’s a lot easier on the body than running, for example. If you’re looking for a vigorous workout, you can swim fast lengths and really get your heart racing. But if you want to do a relaxed workout, you can swim slower lengths and still see some great results. Even if you’re not swimming that quickly, you’re still constantly engaging all of your muscles and pushing back against the water resistance so you’re getting a good workout. If you’ve recently sustained an injury and you’re trying to build your strength back up, swimming is a great place to start. To begin with, you can walk in the water and the resistance will help to build muscle, then you can move onto a slow swim when you feel ready.
There is also a lot of research to suggest that being close to water has a very calming effect on the body and mind. If you’re under a lot of stress, swimming is a great way to get a workout in and relax at the same time.
You don’t have to play energetic team sports or go running for an hour to get a good workout. These are all great relaxing activities that give you a good workout at the same time.