View Full Version : Best recreational sports/activities for staying in shape

01-10-2005, 05:20 PM
Hey everyone,
I'm looking for oppinions here.
Just wondering what everyone thinks would be a good sport/activity to get into to stay in shape, along with your weight training routine.
A few that I can think of are martial arts, rock climbing, a wrestling club, soccer/football...

Any in particular for keeping size on, or others for keeping fat off?

I'm looking for things the average non college going person can do. American football (full contact with pads...) would be kinda hard to get back into. No one is going to convince me that baseball will help so please, don't suggest that ;)

I'm just looking for something that could help me stay motivated and would get me out around other people with simmilar (or any) fitness goals.

01-10-2005, 05:54 PM
Tennis anyone? :D

How about cycling, racquetball, skating, backpacking/hiking, and cross-country skiing?

01-11-2005, 09:00 PM
A lot depends on how much time you want to, or are willing to devote to the recreational sports/activities. You are not going to get very good a tennis by playing it once and a while. Most sports require you dedicate a lot of time and effort. If it is going to be a “weekend” kind of thing, you have to find someone, or some others, that are playing at the same level and can allocate the time when you can. That’s the problem I ran into.

That being said, the two sports I would pick are swimming and volleyball. One requires a swimming pool and the other requires other people and a place. I would love to get back to playing tennis again but that requires that another person with similar abilities and a place to play.

I think it’s difficult for someone who is serious about working out on a regular basis and playing a sport on a regular basis. One has to take precedence; the other will just be a part time thing.

01-12-2005, 12:37 AM
Basketball is great exercise for keeping you lean. It's sort of interval training, with anaerobic bursts interspersed between aerobic work. And it's low-maintenance...all you need is a ball and a basket. It's easy to find a gym and play with others, but even when you can't...just sprint with the ball up and down the court and take shots. Just don't overdo it--it can be detrimental to muscle gains if you play long sessions every day. Look at the NBA--for the most part, very few fat players.

I can't get my 53-year-old dad to go to the gym ("er, it'll make me muscle bound"), but basketball is a sport he loves, so I just tell him to do that 3-4 times a week and he should be fine. Even with a crappy diet, he's stayed very healthy despite a strong family history of HTN and heart disease.

01-12-2005, 01:46 AM
good suggestions here.
I remember wrestling in HS kept me very lean. During practice we'd run very short sprints back and forth from one wall to the other; back and forth once, then rest, twice, rest...up to six or eight. Then the wrestling it's self was the hardest six minutes of my life.

I like having a team, or at least a few people expecting you to be there. It's easier to wake up early when someone's expecting you to be somewhere. When I didn't work for a few months (after the Navy we get 6 months unemployment) I couldn't wake up early at all and didn't get nearly as much done as when I finaly got a job.

I just want to get something together with people who expect me to be there and that I can count on to be there too. Even when I was training for lifting competitions I wouldn't miss going to the gym nearly as much as usual because I had workout partners counting on me being there.

I guess it also goes back to setting goals that aren't too vague or too easy.

01-23-2005, 09:28 PM
Hi Alan,

I'd definitely consider a "practical" form of martial arts, like kickboxing if you can find a good school (one that doesn't have a teacher who locks the door and starts to grin horribly just after you step in would be best). That lets you use the strength you already have in a logical way - I mean, there's a logic behind KISS martial arts as opposed to anything more flashy or spiritual etc - not to be disrespectful to that, but if you're used to hard, serious, down to earth training I can imagine getting some esoteric jumping block halfway through your kata _just_ right isn't going to be motivating. Even simple semi-contact sparring, to me, is automatically very motivating, and it's a reality check on what you can actually do. I don't fight in competitions but I'm sure that there's not much that can get you psyched more than that. After all - not training enough == someone of _your_ weight class doing painful (or at least humiliating to some extent) things to you... I've been to watch a competition with my escrima club and saw a lot of team spirit from the sidelines. After all, in a sense you're fighting "together", even if you might fight against each other - you're in the same boat, sort of thing, I guess.

And of course there's the fitness (esp. for something like kickboxing or kyukushin karate) and self defense aspects (anything with ground work). You could check out bullshido (just discovered that site) for an attitude on various MA styles you might like.


PS I was going to have a look at the problem with the Tabata program thing you mentioned but never got round to it - I guess it's the load time for the audio files that's negligible with my connection / system - it would be amazingly stupid programming, hence, quite likely. That alarm clock thingy sounded good though.

01-24-2005, 02:06 AM
yea, I've been thinking about a martial art. I've always like Judo and Ju-jitsu, but they're designed to give the most results with the least amount of energy. That's good for fighting purposes, but I'm thinking not the best for workout purposes.

I've always had respect for kickboxers. That seemed to be the only punching/kicking dicipline that could beat the grapplers in the UFC (as far as I remember). I've never seen a fat kickboxer either, I have seen fat out of shape looking judo experts (just saw a special on the history channel or discovery chanel about martial arts last night).

01-24-2005, 07:43 AM
The kind of Muay Thai / Jeet Kune Do style I do once a week is pretty tough in terms of conditioning. You get combination drills, so you do step in - jab - cross - uppercut - step out kind of stuff at speed, for a good while. The idea there is not sticking the arm out as fast as jerkily as possibly but smooth, full-body movements making and linking the attacks, so all the big muscles are working all the time. I dunno, I know it's all "weightless" but it's still heavy. There's a lot of fast reversals of force, like in a jab - cross first one hip is forward then the other, or in a hook your back has to swivel you back after the punch to bring the hand back fast. Sometimes we do them with some kind of ab exercise in between, which my take is that its only partly for the abs, I think a lot of it is inducing fatigue for you to deal with. Then there's pad work, which is also basically as heavy as you make it, think multiple jump knees with no break between them (did them last week, I think you can actually leave your leg behind if you do them just right). And sparring is intense, especially if you include clinching or even ground work.

I hope you try it out! Like to know how you find it.

02-08-2005, 07:38 PM
I've played soccer (mid-field) and hockey(goalie) basically my whole life. My legs had gotten kinda big compared to the rest of my body which got me into bodybuilding. Playing on the hockey team I have right now I get quite the leg workout from staying in my croutch for such extended periods of time and soccer well it's all about sprints...