4 Unexpected Sports That Are Perfect For Cardio (And Can be Started at Any Age)

4 Unexpected Sports That Are Perfect For Cardio (And Can be Started at Any Age)

4 Unexpected Sports That Are Perfect For Cardio (And Can be Started at Any Age)

Sports for cardio

Cardio is tough.

I was never the kind of guy who enjoyed running on the treadmill, or even doing long distance on the street. I always got my cardio from playing soccer.

But if you never got into a sport like soccer or basketball at a young age, it can be hard to get into it at a high level when you’re older.

Luckily there are many sports which do have a much easier entry point for guys who are looking to get their sweat on at an older age. I’m starting to get into some of these sports as well now that my soccer career is over. And while they do involve years of practice to master, you can partake at a good level relying on pure athleticism alone.

So if you don’t feel like running, here are 4 unexpected sports that you can get into at any age and satisfy your cardio needs.

1. Rowing

You’ve probably seen or even used a rowing machine, either at home or at the gym. Rowing is an excellent form of cardio because it gets your heart pumping and strengthens your back, legs, abs, and arms at the same time.

If you don’t mind rowing on dry land, there’s nothing wrong with using a machine. However, you’ll have more fun rowing for real. There’s something different about being on the water, engaging and coordinating with other people in the boat. In this sense, rowing on the water provides more benefits than you’d get from a machine.

According to Sparks Rowing, a company that offers camps for rowers of all experience levels, “Rowing not only strengthens the heart and lungs, but also tests mental and physical endurance.”

When you’re actually in a boat, it’s easier to push the boundaries of your mental and physical endurance; you’re part of a team and others are depending on you. You can’t just stop rowing like you can when using a machine.

If you want to transform your boring, monotonous cardio workout into something exciting, try rowing – you won’t be disappointed.

2. Ultimate Frisbee

If you want to burn calories and improve cardiovascular health, interval training will do the trick. Instead of doing your usual training at the gym to get these benefits, there’s a better way: Ultimate Frisbee.

This is a non-contact sport where two teams of seven players attempt to advance a frisbee to the end zone defended by the opposite team. It involves plenty of running, and is sure to get your heart pumping.

Ultimate Frisbee is one of the best games ever invented, and it’s especially beneficial for athletes because it’s an excellent form of cardio. According to an ACE-commissioned study, it’s a natural form of interval training that has been shown to lower blood pressure post-exercise, and improve cardiovascular health. People who play Ultimate Frisbee notice they burn a significant number of calories during each game.

You’ll get plenty of high-quality exercise from playing, but also from training exercises. For example, training for Ultimate Frisbee with shuttles is sure to get your heart rate up and is more fun than running around the track. It will help to improve your game, which will further benefit your health.

3. Fencing

Believe it or not, fencing is a great way to get aerobic exercise without running long distances, as with other sports. Fencing distributes more oxygen into the blood, which supports heart health. It’s said to be one of the most intense forms of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) around. Bouts last between 3-15 minutes, but most people find that two 15-minute bouts are all they can handle.

Fencing began as a way for soldiers to practice swordplay to prepare for war and duels, and dates back to Egypt in 1190 B.C. In the 15th century, Spain turned it into a sport by creating manuals and rules. However, it wasn’t until the mid-18th century that fencing really became recognized as a sport.

If running shuttles and exerting intense effort with rowing are too much, you might like fencing because it also develops skills like focus, coordination, and problem-solving. Cross-training for fencing provides even more cardiovascular benefits, depending on what type of training you engage.

4. Swimming

When it comes to cardio, swimming is intense. It may not look that way on the surface, but once you develop decent skills, you’ll get one of the best cardio workouts of your life. The key is to develop your swimming skills so that you don’t need to rest after each lap. When you can keep going, you’ll get the high-intensity workout needed to produce cardiovascular benefits.

If you’re used to running for cardio and want to try something a little different and perhaps more fun, get in the pool and take some lessons.

Using sports for cardio training will help you stay committed

Exercising and training requires a significant commitment and it’s easy to get off track when your workouts become boring. By playing these four sports, you’ll be staying active, engaging in cardio, and having fun all at once.

When you enjoy your cardio routine, you’ll be more likely to stick with it long-term.

If you haven’t already, try adding these four sports to your training regimen and start having fun with your cardio sessions. Having fun is just as important as getting and staying fit.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and check out some more articles you may like to continue your self improvement journey!

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