Why You Should Learn a New Sport

There’s no doubt about it: doing the same thing for extended periods of time can get, well, boring.

This is as true with exercise as it is with anything else in life.

And while you’re never going to be able to get away from the rockstar exercises like squats, push ups, and burpees, you can find ways to mix up your fitness here and there.

Wondering one of the best ways to shake things up?

Learn a new sport!

It doesn’t have to be scary

Yes, I know, some of you probably have nightmare images of P.E. coming back to you when I mention anything about sports.

Maybe you were terrible at softball (I was), or sucked in golf (I did, but then again, we used whiffle balls instead of golf balls). But the beauty of being an adult is that you get to do anything you want to do.

There’s no mean old P.E. teacher anymore to tell you which sport you have to excel in. You can just have fun.

For instance, you could learn a team sport, such as:

  • Volleyball
  • Soccer
  • Sailing
  • Rugby

Or an individual sport, like:

  • Krav Maga
  • Boxing
  • Fencing
  • Cyclocross
  • Rock climbing
  • Frisbee golf (why not?)

When I decided to take up boxing, then Krav Maga, my fitness life got a whole lot more interesting. Plus, I started to work out in order to be in shape for the sports I was doing… and that’s a whole lot more motivating (and fun!) than exercising just to improve your physical appearance or for longterm health reasons.

Anyway, here are some other reasons you should learn a new sport today:

Learning a new sport is good for your brain

There are loads of studies that show that exercise is good for your brain health and improves cognitive function.

In fact, exercise can even help ward off some types of age-related cognitive decline such as reduced hand-eye coordination and memory loss. And while playing a sport may momentarily make you tired, it actually leads to greater alertness and focus… i.e. more energy, not less.

And who doesn’t want more energy these days?

In short, exercising and learning a new sport is not only good for your body, it can help you keep a sharp, healthy mind, long into old age.

Just look at it as an investment in your future mental health.

Learning a new sport will challenge you

While many people avoid being challenged these days because it’s “hard,” being challenged is crucial to our development as human beings. I recently read this quote on a blog called Shift Your Spirits:

Your most challenging moments are what defines you — your senses of empowerment and spiritual development become most apparent during the tests, trials, and tribulations.

We aren’t meant to float through life effortlessly without any cares in the world, or to let the conveniences of the modern world take away all our demands. We’re meant to be challenged. And learning a sport is the perfect way to challenge ourselves.

My advice: pick the sport you’ve always wanted to try and go do it—even if it seems impossible now.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Learning a new sport is fun!

Instead of suffering on your own for no apparent reason, try a new sport instead.

You’ll have so much fun learning the new techniques and goofing off with your teammates (or opponents), you won’t even remember it’s exercise.

Plus, playing sports feels like play (not work, as working out sometimes can)—and there’s no better way to stay happier and healthier longer than infusing play into your life.

Sports let you play. And play keeps you young.

Just do it

Learning a new sport is good for your mental health, challenges you, and keeps you young.

And those are pretty good reasons, if you ask me.

So go decide on a new sport to try today. Sign up for lessons, get together teammates, get some gear—whatever you need to do to get started. And then do it.

You’ll be a happier, healthier person because of it.

Image credit: Redbaron

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