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Often, taking up a new sport is something that people consider for their children, but less frequently for themselves. However, playing or engaging with a sport is an excellent choice for everyone – regardless of age, fitness level or experience, sports offer benefits for your health, fitness, and well-being.
Check out these three questions that you should ask yourself before starting up something new.
“What physical activities constitute a ‘sport’?”
In order to choose a sport, you will first need to decide which activities constitute an actual sport; however, as forbes.com/ have highlighted in the past, determining what is and isn’t a sport can be something of a contentious issue.
For the most part, a sport needs to have a competitive element. Many people find that competing against others really helps to improve their fitness overall; the idea of ‘winning’ is one that most of us find attractive, and are willing to work hard to achieve.
It’s therefore best to choose your sport based on two criteria: significant physical activity is required, and there must be an element of competition, either against another individual (as with tennis, squash, and so on) or against another team (for example, soccer, hockey, netball, and so on).
“Do I need to join a club?”
Most sports can be engaged with solo; for example, if you wish to give tennis a try, you can buy a racquet and hit balls against a wall without the need to join a club. However, while doing so would technically be tennis, the chances of you achieving the full workout tennis can provide – and benefiting from the critical competitive element – are slim to none.
As a result, it’s usually best to look for sports clubs in your local area if you wish to get the most from your sporting experience. If there are no established clubs for your chosen sport, you could always consider starting your own by following the tips on classifieds.usatoday.com/ and similar sources.
“How can I ensure I’m safe?”
It’s an unfortunate fact that every sport carries a degree of risk and contact sports are all the more likely to cause injuries. So it’s important to be realistic: injuries do happen, but the soft tissue trauma or more severe spinal cord issues as discussed on attylaw.com/ and similar sites. By acknowledging that injuries can, and do, occur, you can take every preventative step possible to ensure you are safe and protected at all times.
If you’re not sure how to protect yourself when engaging with a new sport, it’s usually best to ask for professional advice. Almost every sport has some form of recommended protection – from helmets for cyclists to kinesiology tape to support ligaments when playing soccer – so speaking to an instructor or experienced player of that sport can help ensure you can take the best possible precautions.
Starting a New Sport?
When you’re starting a new sport, it’s always good to be prepared. Congratulate yourself on getting active and enjoy the process of trying something new.
Are you looking to get active and need some advice on choosing the best program or activity for you? Check out my coaching services!