4 Great Reasons to Join a Sports Club (and How to Find One)
Not everyone loves running or going to the gym. If this sounds familiar, you might be able to push through your dislike for a while but the chances are that ultimately, your good intentions will fall by the wayside and you will simply stop exercising. One of the most important factors in sticking to a fitness regime is to find an activity that you enjoy.
Fortunately, there are lots of different ways to keep fit without a treadmill or exercise bike in sight. One of the most fun and rewarding? Joining a sports club! From football to fencing and baseball to boxing, the possibilities are almost endless.
Here are four great reasons to consider joining a club, as well as a few of our top tips to find the right one for you.
Get Fit While Having Fun
What if getting your workout in wasn’t a dreaded chore, but something you actively looked forward to? Instead of counting down the minutes or repeating the same boring gym routine again and again, playing a sport with a club allows you to improve your fitness and burn calories while you’re having fun.
In a few months, you might just look back and be amazed at how far your fitness has come… all while barely thinking about it.
Try New Things
No matter how old you are, there is never a bad time to try things, learn something new, and step outside of your comfort zone. Whether you revisit an activity you loved in college, try your hand at playing a sport you enjoy watching, or pick something at random and have a go, joining a sports club adds variety and novelty to your life.
Learning helps to build confidence and self-esteem, so you’ll feel great mentally as well as physically. And you might be surprised to discover new skills you never even knew you had.
Make New Friends
Many of us struggle to make new friends in adulthood. Between time limitations, work pressures, and family obligations, developing our social circles often falls low down on the list of priorities. But strong friendships are so important–they help to fend off loneliness, build a sense of community, improve self-esteem, and give you more opportunities to enjoy life.
Joining a sports club gives you a great opportunity to meet others who share your interests. It also helps to give you a sense of belonging. So get involved, strike up a conversation before practice, and accept any social invitations that come your way. Before you know it, you’ll have a new circle of like-minded friends.
Build a Sustainable Routine
Time constraints are amongst the most commonly cited reasons for abandoned or half-hearted attempts to get fit. It can be difficult to squeeze a run or a trip to the gym into an already packed week.
Joining a sports club carves out a dedicated space in your week for your health and fitness. If you know, for example, that soccer practice always happens on Mondays or that your martial arts club meets on Saturday mornings, you can plan ahead and protect those pockets of time.
Being a member of a club also offers additional incentives not to renege on these commitments. If you’ve paid a membership fee in advance or know that others are relying on you to be there, you are far more likely to actually attend.
How to Find the Right Club for You
If you know which sport you’d like to play, start with a Google search for that activity in your town or city. Then send an email or make a call to the group leader to find out how to get involved.
If you’re not sure yet what you’d like to do, don’t be afraid to try out a few different things until you find a sport you like. Many clubs will offer free taster sessions for beginners or even organized “have a go” days where you can try the activity for little or no cost.
You can also ask friends or family members for recommendations or introductions. If you’re nervous about trying a new activity by yourself, going along with a loved one can help you to feel a little more at ease.
When you go to a sports club for the first time, pay attention to the atmosphere and how you feel. Are the leaders or coaches supportive? Are the members friendly and welcoming? Do you enjoy the activity as much as you expected to?
You’ll know you have found the right club when you end your session exhausted but happy and excited to return the following week.