Take the Field with New Sports

SportStaying active is important to your health, no matter what time of year it is.  The Federal Department of Health and Human Services recommends that young people participate in a physical activity for at least sixty minutes a day. Sometimes that can feel hard to do. Whether it’s too cold to go outside, your favorite sport is out of season, or you’re getting tired of the same old routine, try a sport that is a little off the beaten path. The best things in life are always a little wacky.

Kickball

This is a game for fans of baseball and softball. The rules are very similar. There are four bases and a pitcher’s mound. A pitcher rolls a kickball to the person at home and they try to kick far enough to have time to make it to the next base. If the defense catches the ball or tags them with it, that’s an out. The familiar rules make it easy for anyone to join in.

“Another organization challenged my national honor society group to a game of kickball once and it got very competitive,” said Mariah Cruz, age 19. “It felt like I was just hanging out with friends and I had a lot of fun.”

Some areas have community leagues. You can stay active and meet some people who live in your neighborhood.

Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee is basically football and Frisbee combined. A regulation field is 70 yards long, but can be adjusted to any space constraints. The important thing is that there are two goal lines on either side of the field.

To start, the offense throws the Frisbee to the offense while each team stands at their end zones. The offensive player must throw the Frisbee to someone else on their team. When someone is holding the Frisbee they cannot move and they only have ten seconds to make the pass. No extra steps or running with the Frisbee. The defense tries to intercept the Frisbee, but physical contact with other players is not allowed. No tackling! When the Frisbee is caught by someone in their end zone then that team scores. Rules are enforced by the players and honesty and fairness is a big part of the sport.

Rock Climbing

A fear of heights isn’t the only challenge to this sport. Lifting yourself up a rock wall is a lot of work! Arm, leg, and ab muscles help you climb and keep your hold. You don’t have to go out and find a cliff to scale either. Some gyms have rock walls as well as entertainment centers. Safety harnesses and shoes are provided some places and help keep you safe. If you do have a fear of heights, this might be a good place to start. You can rock climb alone or take a friend along and see who can ring the bell at the top first.

“For me, rock climbing isn’t a sport–it’s a way to conquer my fear of heights,” shared Chin Lin Pan, age 21. “It’s scary, especially once you’re halfway up the wall, but it’s rewarding once you get all the way up to the top.”

Quidditch

Yes, that magical sport from the “Harry Potter” series is real. No one is actually flying around, but there are brooms involved.

“My college has a quidditch team and it is really intense,” shared Amanda Rubio, 20. “I am a huge ‘Harry Potter’ fan, and I love that this sport became a real thing.”

In quidditch, there are three chasers who score with a volleyball, two beaters who defend the chasers with the three kickballs, and a keeper who guards the goals at each end. Everyone runs around on broomsticks and the game ends when the person dressed as a golden snitch is caught by a seeker. Grab some friends or see if your town is one of the many communities with a quidditch league.

Social Dancing

You may not think that dancing is a sport, but look at “Dancing with the Stars.” It can get competitive and is a good exercise. There are competitions for everything from salsa and tango to the waltz and the polka. If you want to get started or are looking for something with less pressure, social dance nights are fun.

Different dance-oriented organizations host special dance nights where you can go out and learn a new skill. If you don’t know anything about these dances, that’s okay! Many places have free lessons, so you can pick up the basic steps.

Next time you’re in a rut, go out and give one of these sports a try. No matter what your interests are, there is a sport out there for you to try. As long as you are moving and having fun, you are on your way to staying healthy.

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