Women have become more active and competitive when it comes to sports; there are now women-specific leagues and tournaments which have paved the way for women athletes and enthusiasts to improve their skills and train even harder. If you are curious in learning a sport to determine what you like, here are some sports we recommend, which have low barriers to entry, i.e., low or no cost, minimal rules/requirements to get started, and common enough to participate virtually everywhere:
Running is a highly popular sport around the world and is enjoyed by people of many different races and ages. Because of its simplicity, people can run at almost any place and any time, which makes it convenient for people who only have a few hours to spare to practice a sport. People may wonder why running is considered a competitive sport rather than an exercise, and it’s because most people improve according to the pace that they run as well as the overall time they need to cover a specific distance.
While running can be exhausting on the legs, it is also a mental battle for runners. Whenever they go longer than usual, they start feeling the shortness of breath and exhaustion – this is usually the time that they set their mind to be better than their last run. If you try this sport, you will likely enjoy the competitive vibes once you’ve started joining marathons and even fun-runs. You can take it up a notch by entering mud runs, which involve a combination of obstacle courses and open running areas and copious quantities of mud to make a fun challenge for even the best runners.
Tennis is one of the most strenuous and exhausting exercises – mostly because it is an individual sport and requires running around and exerting effort whenever you need to hit a ball to a specific area. Tennis is excellent as it trains women to be more agile and quick-thinkers.
For women who are looking to lose weight, improve their endurance, and tone their arms, tennis is a good sport for accomplishing those objectives. It also enhances strategic thinking because it requires thinking about where to hit the tennis ball and how to respond to an opponent’s attack quickly. If you’re looking for a sport that will improve your physical abilities as well as mental abilities, tennis is the perfect sport!
A team sport that has long been popular with women, this sport is fun if you have some girlfriends who also enjoy the game as it improves team chemistry between teammates. Just like tennis, volleyball also requires strategies to win. Just like any other sport, it increases flexibility as you would have to guard the net at all times, it requires agile thinking in case the ball falls into your spot and strong arms to hit the ball to a precise place in the opponent’s area. This sport will also develop almost all the muscles in your body as you will be running around to catch a ball and need to move with speed and hit the ball in a correct form, or else it will cause a fault to your team. If you are looking for a sport you can enjoy with other women then this sport is a perfect option.
Boxing or Martial Arts
Although boxing has historically mostly been popular with men, it has also become a trend for women to enjoy this sport. It is highly effective for women who want to undergo conditioning as well as losing weight. Boxing helps women tone muscles in the arms and improve their footwork over time.
Martial Arts increases endurance as it requires continuously running around the arena, placing strong kicks and punching. There are many styles/forms from which to select, and you can choose the one that best suits your physical needs and goals. This sport is ideal for people who are always under a lot of pressure or stress, as punching and kicking are great methods to relieve stress by having a physical outlet.
There are many fun sports to enjoy and keep you in shape; the key is to find the one(s) that suit your personality, your physical aptitude, and your schedule (e.g., there’s little point in signing up for a team sport, if you frequently travel for work). The best part is that no matter your age or current ability, you can find a sport in which to participate.
There are many examples of heroines who started or are still competing later in life. Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins, the 103-year-old sprinter who competed, and won, in the 2019 National Senior Games. Ernestine Shepherd, Edith Wilma Connor, who participated in competitive bodybuilding through her 70s, but hadn’t started until she was in her 60s. Then there’s Gwyn Haslock, who, at 74-years-old, still surfs almost every day.
So, what’s holding you back? If you were the nerd who never thought of yourself as having any athletic prowess, or who was too shy to sign up for team sports in school, it’s never too late to start, so that you can live life with no regrets. If you feel your schedule gets in the way of participating in sports, remember that physical activity is vital for your health. Gradually adjust your schedule to accommodate your new activity or perhaps try other sports that require less time commitment from you initially. If you feel like your children and your spouse’s schedules are roadblocks, consider family-friendly sports – maybe ones your children are already participating in – and include the entire family. Think “solutions” rather than “challenges,” and you will be on your way to a healthy new lifestyle.