Get Into the Best Shape of Your Life: Top Three Sports to Check Out

With summer just around the corner, there are few excuses left for not getting out and enjoying  fun physical activities out in the sun. The best way to get in shape is by participating in a sport that feels more like a good time than a mundane workout. If you’re considering trying a new sport this summer that can help you get into the best shape of your life, here are three to consider.

Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing is one of the best full-body workouts there are, and unless your indoors at the gym, you’ll also be treated to some spectacular scenery. Rock climbers can burn up to 380 calories in 30 minutes and it’s also an excellent sport for strengthening your muscles. Climbing requires you to use your entire body to propel yourself to the next hold and will work your legs, arms, shoulders, and back as well as increasing your grip strength and forearms. It also helps to improve both your flexibility and balance.

Much of the cardio benefits you receive will be via hiking to your destination, so the farther and/or steeper you have to trek to get there, the more calories you’ll burn.

Barefoot Running

If you haven’t considered barefoot running, now might be the time, especially if you live near the beach. Researchers have found that running barefoot causes less collision to the feet than running in cushioned shoes, and I can attest to that fact. After running for a year either barefoot or in my barefoot running shoes, it’s the longest I’ve ever gone without suffering from a knee injury or shin splints.

Running is also a high intensity cardiovascular activity, and one of the best sports to participate in for those who want to lose weight. Those who run an eight-minute mile can burn as many as 450 calories every 30 minutes. By incorporating interval training into your runs, such as running sprints every five minutes or stopping to perform lunges periodically, you can increase that number even more.

Swimming

Swimming is another one of my all-time favorite activities, although I’d much rather swim in a lake than an indoor swimming pool. Now is the time to find that perfect body of water that presents an ideal opportunity for one of the best cardio exercises there are. Swimming works your entire body, is low-impact and is also one of the best ways to build and preserve muscle mass throughout your body.

Former USMS coach of the year, Mel Goldstein, says that “the pulling action of swimming recruits muscles not only throughout your arms and shoulders but also in your upper back and chest-and it works all of them over a wide range of motion. At the same time, the kicking motion strengthens the muscles in your legs, hips, and groin.”

A person weighing 150 pounds can burn as much as 900 calories an hour!