There are many reasons we find ourselves falling in love with sports. Watching and participating in sports is part of our national identity. They teach us the value of teamwork, discipline, focus, determination, strategy and self-betterment. They keep us fit, give us a social outlet and, let’s not forget, they’re a whole lot of fun too! Many of us grow up predisposed to sports, and most of us share some special memories of watching sports live or on TV with our parents. We took part in team sports at school to give us a sense of purpose and belonging while keeping ourselves fit, active and happy. When we grow up, however, our relationship with sports becomes a little different.
As we get older and our metabolisms slow down, it tends to coincide with our lives becoming busier and our commitments more serious and varied. As we fight to juggle the commitments of work and family, we find ourselves exhausted in our little free time, living a far more sedentary lifestyle than we used to as well as over-relying on processed convenience foods. In these circumstances, we turn to sports more than ever to keep us in shape and battle the ever-present threat of the bulging midriff.
Our sporting activities, therefore, become dictated less by personal bias or the cherished memories of our youth and more about which activities burn the most fat while helping to develop the lean muscle mass for an efficient metabolism. Of course, keeping a healthy diet with the right supplements is also important so enjoy an Ideal Fit coupon on us! Let’s check out the best sports for burning away those unsightly pounds.
Tennis: 600-900 calories burned per hour
High intensity interval training, incorporating short bursts of activity followed by short periods of rest is ideal for optimal fat burning and plays well to the natural rhythms of tennis. Playing tennis solo is advantageous over playing doubles as you have more ground to cover meaning your sprints will be slightly longer and more intense. Aside from building cardiovascular fitness, you’ll also build power in your hips, shoulders and forearms.
Martial arts: 700-900 calories burned per hour
Many kids and teens take up martial arts as a way to keep fit, discipline themselves and (let’s face it), ward off bullies. Unfortunately, few of us stick with it. This is a shame, as martial arts are a great activity for burning fat and boosting overall fitness. From karate, to boxing to jiu jitsu, martial arts are great for burning calories as they tend to work multiple muscle groups at the same time and involve moving quickly in various directions, striking, ducking and weaving. Grappling sports such as judo, jiu jitsu and wrestling are also great for strength as you’re pushing against your opponent’s resistance.
Soccer: 900-1,400 calories burned per hour
There’s a reason proponents of the ‘beautiful game’ are uniformly lean and svelte. Soccer involves a near constant state of movement around the pitch with a lot of jogging interspersed with short periods of sprinting. It may lack the raw power and dynamism of American football, but there are few sports out there to match soccer’s calorie burning efficacy.