Alternatives to Contact Sports That Will Still Help Your Physical and Mental Health

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Even though contact sports are wildly popular, they can be quite dangerous as well. Football can lead to concussions, basketball can lead to many ankle injuries, and soccer is known to produce players with ACL sprains. All of these injuries are hazardous and often lead to surgeries. If you would like to find a sport that will help your physical and mental health, then you might want to take a closer look at these non-contact sports and pastimes.

Golfing

When it comes to non-contact sports, very few options are as popular as golf. According to one recent study, just over 33 million Americans play golf or go to a driving range at least once a year. In addition to challenging your mental abilities, this activity can also be a great form of exercise as long as you walk the course.

Golfing can improve a wide variety of physical abilities including eye-hand coordination, balance, and core strength. Keep in mind that golfing in the wrong stance or too frequently can cause back, elbow, or shoulder problems. If you notice pain when you golf, consult with a professional to check that your swing isn’t contributing to it.

Swimming

Many people are surprised to hear that swimming is great for their psychological well-being as well as their physical health. When an individual is swimming, their body produces an abundance of endorphins, and that particular chemical reduces stress and boosts happiness. Swimming takes a great deal of focus and forces you to concentrate on your breathing. This is something that can translate well into your personal life as you learn to deal with life’s everyday stressors.

Swimming also activates all of the major muscle groups including the shoulders, core, and legs. Like golf, swimming can be detrimental to your shoulders, as well as your neck. Double check your stroke to make sure that isn’t the cause of any pain.

Target Shooting

Target shooting is more popular than ever, and this pastime is easy to get into at almost any age. If you have never been shooting and would like to learn the basics, then you will need to sign up for a safety class at a local shooting range. Once you know how to safely handle a firearm, you can then invest in a wide variety of unique tools and products including different types of firearms, a steel dueling tree, paper targets, an electronic timer, and unique rounds.

Target shooting helps in fine tuning your focus and steadying your hand. Always make sure you wear the proper safety gear, like eye and ear protection.

Volleyball

This sport requires strategic thinking, excellent hand-eye coordination, and quite a bit of strength. Many larger cities have indoor and outdoor leagues for beginners, but you should also contact your community college to see if they offer entry-level classes. Sand volleyball is slightly more strenuous than indoor volleyball, but it isn’t as hard on one’s joints. That makes it a good option for older adults who have injured their knees or ankles in the past.

Volleyball makes people aware of their surroundings and how to play with their teammates. You need to communicate with your team to know what your strategy is and who will be hitting the ball next.

Challenging your body and mind is one of the best ways to avoid a wide variety of health issues. Studies have revealed that regularly engaging in strenuous activities will reduce your risk of depression, anxiety, sudden cognitive decline, obesity, diabetes, and many other common medical problems. Always be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin a new physical activity to make sure that it is the right choice for your body and your needs.