Get in the Game with Sports Fitness

diverse friends playing basketball outdoors

Participating in sports can be a great way to get more active or stay that way. Most sports require a combination of strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. They usually involve regular practice, which helps you stay active. And the goal of competing with others or improving your own performance can be a great motivator.

The amount and intensity of activity will vary with each sport. For example, you wouldn’t get the same workout from volleyball as from soccer. Some sports offer moderate levels of activity, and some are more vigorous.

What’s the difference?

Moderate activity means your heart is beating faster and you’re starting to get warm. You can usually talk or carry on a conversation while you do it, but you’ll be breathing heavier.

Vigorous activity means your heart is beating much faster and you’re probably sweating. You may only be able to say a few words before getting out of breath.

The weekly goal for adults is at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise OR 75 minutes of vigorous exercise OR a combination of the two. Kids should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day.

Here are just a few examples:

Moderate Activity Vigorous Activity
Softball Soccer
Volleyball Basketball
Downhill Skiing Snowshoeing
Golf Hockey
Ballroom dancing Football
Hunting & Fishing Racquetball
Table Tennis (ping pong) Boxing or sparring
Tennis (doubles) Tennis (singles)

Do you prefer the continuous activity of soccer or basketball… or the precision of golf or archery? Do you enjoy the team atmosphere of volleyball or softball… or the one-on-one competition of racquetball or boxing? Choose sports and recreational activities that fit your personality, so you’ll be motivated to stick with them.

Team and individual sports can be a fun way to meet some of your family’s activity goals. Many cities have amateur leagues for kids and adults. Look for opportunities through your workplace, school or community recreation center.