15 Sports That Keep You Healthy Without Going to the Gym

For those of you who want to avoid crowded gyms and rising fees, you might be looking for an activity to keep you fit. Many options combine exercise and fun to create a great workout. If you’re burned out on the gym, check out these sports and activities to keep you healthy and push your fitness goals.

1. Swimming

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Swimming is one of the best full-body workouts and a low-stress activity. Even simple strokes or treading water can be an excellent workout for beginners. Swimming is great for people with achy joints who want to build muscle, increase lung capacity, and burn calories fast.

2. Tennis

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Grabbing a partner for a game of tennis can be a fun way to burn some calories. You don’t have to be an expert at the sport to break a sweat and get a great workout. The constant movement from side to side and the twists and turns of hitting the ball provide great cardio and core training. You’ll have too much fun to realize you are getting an amazing workout.

3. Basketball

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Relive your glory days on the varsity basketball team next time you hit the local playground courts. Even a laid-back game provides a decent amount of cardio. It’s a fun way to get in shape, hang out with friends, and de-stress. Just remember you’re not a teenager anymore. You can’t slam dunk. Don’t embarrass yourself.

4. Cycling

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You don’t need to dress up in spandex from head to toe to get an excellent workout cycling. Getting on a bike, riding a local bike track, or choosing to ride instead of driving can increase your daily calories burned. Not only will you improve your cardio, but you’ll also save some money on gas.

5. Golfing

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Golfing may not seem like a high-intensity activity, but ditching the cart and walking the course can significantly increase your daily step count. Even if you play only nine holes, walking the system can add up to five miles. Plus, if you’re like me and can’t hit a straight shot, you could tack on an extra mile or two. It’s a good way to spend a weekend and get a workout in.

6. Running

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All you need to start running is a good pair of shoes, some open space, and a positive attitude. You can ease into running by going up and down your street and then advancing to longer runs. Look into joining a running group for camaraderie and encouragement for a free-form workout.

7. Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing
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For those who are not afraid of heights, rock climbing could be your next hobby. Combining grip, core, and lower body strength is a great way to build muscle and increase flexibility. The sport’s rise in popularity has led to facilities popping up around the country offering alternatives to the basic gym membership experience.

8. Disc Golf

Disc Golf
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A sport that many people would skip past is disc golf. It’s been around for a while, and it is becoming more common. The benefit of this sport is that it is approachable for those looking to get into shape. A typical disc golf course could provide up to four miles of walking. With its fresh air and friendly competition, disc golf is a great way to have fun and get your body moving.

9. Yoga

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With plenty of videos on YouTube and the internet, yoga practitioners no longer need a studio or gym. Yoga can dramatically improve your strength and flexibility. There are multiple levels of difficulty and intensity for newbies and experts alike. Turn your living room into your personal sanctuary and practice your poses in the comfort of your own home.

10. Dance

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Who’s ready to hit the club? Turn your weekends out on the town into workout sessions. Anything that gets your body moving will increase your heart rate and burn calories. Crank up your favorite album and boogie around your house next time you do chores to help burn those unwanted calories. Keep your blinds shut, or your neighbors might think you’re crazy.

11. Hiking

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There’s no better feeling than getting outdoors and breathing fresh air. Hiking is a great way to get your legs moving and enjoy nature. Find a local trail, grab a friend or a dog, and get into nature. Health experts say there’s a correlation between fresh air and light exercise, which is highly beneficial for mental and physical health.

12. Softball

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Softball may not seem more rigorous than running or cycling, but you can still get a decent workout in a game. Have you ever had to sprint after a ball in the outfield? That will get your heart rate up. As a softball player, I break a sweat whenever a ball is hit over my head. Also, the thrill of getting a good hit is always followed by a sprint around the bases.

13. Rollerblading

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I never realized how common rollerblading was until I moved into my little beach community. I thought in-line skating was a 90s fad, but it’s back and in full force. Rollerblading combines cardio, balance, and core strength and is a great way to get around town while getting in a decent workout.

14. Soccer

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Many metropolitan cities have a variety of adult sports leagues to join. Soccer is one of the most demanding cardiovascular sports. If you want to run and compete in your local World Cup, these local leagues could keep you in shape and avoid those pesky gym fees.

15. Surfing

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I know I am alienating most of the country here. Still, surfing is a great way to combine strength training, stretching, and cardio into one workout. Surfers have incredible core strength and balance and still enjoy the ocean environment. All you need is a board and a wet suit to take advantage of this amazing form of exercise.

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