Be Your Own Hero: Why You Should Join a Sports Club


After a long day, television may seem as if it has magnetic superpowers. You sink into the sofa, remote in one hand and a beverage in the other, turn on sports.

It’s almost like being active, right? Not really. According to the American Time Use Survey, Americans over the age of 15 spend an average of only 18 minutes out of their 5 daily leisure time hours in sports, exercise and recreation combined. TV? 2.8 hours a day.

Buck the trend:  Join a club sport. It gives you energy, provides a new and healthy social dynamic, and gets you in better shape. Your friends and family may even start looking up to you for living an active lifestyle.

Participation is club sports tends to drop after our teen years. But reviving it has clear health benefits. One New Zealand study found that when volunteers (average age: 35) played group sports three times a week, their fitness improved, legs got stronger, and “good” HDL cholesterol rose—in just a month.

The beauty part: It’s so easy to find just the right club sport for you. Here’s how:

Play Sherlock Holmes

Snoop around local gyms and sports arenas. Drive by and get to know what is offered in your area. Once you see something you think you may like, just give it a go. Most institutions will allow drop in sessions, so you can keep sampling different organizations until you find the perfect one for you.

Surf the web

Start with the local YMCA website, and see what’s available locally. You can also search for your location and terms such as “basketball leagues,” “adult soccer,” “volleyball teams,” “running classes,” etc. Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, has a good selection of links on his website, Mark’s Daily Apple. Among them:

  • Basketball: You can find a local pickup game at Infinite Hoops or No Fouls
  • Ultimate Frisbee: Now that the weather’s warming up, why not try the USA Ultimate Frisbee?
  • Kickball: The World Adult Kickball Association has a nifty USA map to help you locate a nearby club
  • Dodgeball: The National Amateur Dodgeball Association can help you find a game. (Don’t watch the Ben Stiller movie first, though.)
  • Baseball: Ready for your personal Spring Training? Check out the National Adult Baseball Association
  • Soccer: Sisson didn’t mention this one, but soccer is a world sport that’s great for lifelong participation. Check out The United States Adult Soccer Association.

Once you join a club sport, you’ll be getting healthier in many ways. You may even make new friends—healthy ones.

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