Picking up a sport is a great way to get active and socialise, whether you’re looking for some organised sports to play, or just wanting to join a local club to make new friends.
Some sports have a fast pace to help you challenge yourself, while others are more casual and social. Whatever your preference or skill level, there’s something for you. Check out the below for more information on these sports and see what could work for you.
Yoga is a low-impact activity that has many benefits for both mental and physical health. At its core, yoga focuses on stretching, flexibility and exercise that helps build strength and balance. It is a fantastic way to get active no matter your skill level. Yoga benefits mental health too, thanks to its calming and meditative movements. If you're looking for a low-impact sport to take up in your free time, yoga is a great option.
Keep reading here to learn more about the yoga benefits.
Love the outdoors? If you’re after an amazing view with the bonus effect of increasing your physical activity, hiking is a great option. Doing some outdoor exercise and being amongst nature has a positive influence on your mental health, and can help reduce stress and anxiety. Hiking is also good for cardio fitness, muscular strength, sun exposure (remember to pack the sunscreen), and mental focus. Read on to discover more about the power of hiking.
Did you know walking is one of the most low-impact yet effective forms of exercise for health? Walking as exercise is fantastic for your general health, and is in fact almost as effective as an aerobic workout! Walking benefits include increased cardiovascular fitness, reduced risk of heart disease, stronger bones and improved balance, not to mention a mood boost with a daily dose of natural endorphins.
As the most popular recreational activity in Victoria, with approximately 1 million Victorians walking for recreation each year, it's a great way to get active by yourself, with a group, or with the family. Discover more about the power of walking by taking a look at our resources below.
Looking for exercise with a little more intensity? Then a heart-pumping HIIT workout might be right up your ally. HIIT is short for High Intensity Interval Training, and uses high intensity workouts combined with slower movements. The workouts are designed to improve health and fitness by initiating a burst of intense training paired with low-intensity recovery periods, over a short period of time (usually from 10-30 minutes). It's an effective way to get active if you are low on time and want to get a workout in.
Using HIIT requires no equipment and helps boost your metabolism and build endurance.
Do you ever start listening to a song and end up getting swept away by the music? From nodding along to the beat to jumping around, music moves people, and dancing is a great way to get moving to a great soundtrack.
There are many forms of dancing such as ballet, hip hop, and contemporary dancing— all great ways to get active and meet new people. And while the physical benefits of dancing are many, the most important thing is that it’s fun! If you dance for health, you can expect improved lung and heart function, an increase in muscular strength and endurance, stronger bones, better coordination and improved flexibility.
Doing dancing as exercise is also effective for giving your mental health a boost. Learn more about dancing for fitness and improved mental health with our resources below.
Swimming as exercise is a good option if you want to increase your physical activity with minimal impact stress on your joints. The water adds resistance to your movement, requiring the use of your whole body to complete each exercise. At the same time, the water holds you up and due to its buoyancy, there is little-to-no impact stress on joints such as knees and elbows. This is also a reason why some water sports, including hydrotherapy, are so popular for participants who have arthritis or joint pain.
Other benefits of swimming include improvement in endurance, muscle strength, and cardio fitness, as well as helping you maintain a healthy heart and lungs. If you need a low-impact sport with all the benefits of a normal workout, give swimming a try.
From stretching to high intensity and home workouts, these exercise options are on your terms. Learn more about how to stretch and ways you can incorporate home workouts for easier exercise at home.
Looking for a low-impact way to improve flexibility? There are many reasons to add stretching exercises to your daily routine. Stretching increases your range of motion in the joints, improves posture and circulation, and helps alleviate muscle tension. Stretching each day can also help reduce the risk of injury when participating in sport or other high intensity activities.
Stretching can also take the form of dynamic stretching, which includes active movements to put your muscles and joints through their full range of motion. Other benefits of stretching include an increase in serotonin levels, which helps to reduce stress and improve your mood.
Read up on how to incorporate stretching into your day here.
Can't get to the park today? You don’t have to go outside to get active! By doing exercise at home, you can get your daily dose of exercise without leaving the house.
Doing your workout at home saves time and can be done at your own pace. If you're thinking of setting up a home gym, or perhaps looking for some new ideas for home workouts, take a look at our tips and workout videos.
It can take time to get used to new kinds of physical activity and work it into your normal routine. Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated, so it’s important to learn what works for you and stay inspired. Take a look at these hints and tips to keep you going, even on those low-energy days.
Want to incorporate more physical exercise into your day-to-day life, but can't seem to muster the motivation? You’re not alone. Most of us are excited to start something new, but as time goes on, our motivation to exercise can start to drop. In fact, research found that more than half of the 2000 Victorians surveyed identified motivation to be the key barrier for exercise.
Want to learn more about how to get motivated? There are a few things you can try when you're starting to struggle:
- Regularly review your goals and adjust them where necessary
- Be consistent—just keep showing up even when you don't feel like it
- Reduce the time for the task, for instance instead of an hour workout, set a goal to get moving for 10 minutes
- Find local activity groups to join or invite someone to exercise with you Make it a daily goal to do some form of exercise, whether that is a walk, some yoga, a team sport or something else