If you live in a city, don’t think that this means your workouts are limited to pounding the pavement and the gym. Here’s a round-up of urban sports that you can try:
Recent research has highlighted some of the many health benefits of a round of golf. But for those who can’t make it to the countryside for 18 holes, urban golf could be the answer. No course needed, you can play the sport in public spaces and on the streets of your city — you just need clubs and a target.
You may have already seen equipment in parks and public spaces for street workouts and calisthenics. The workout is tough, but by using just your own body weight, you’ll see impressive results. Head online to find exercises to try, workout programs to follow, and even nutrition advice for those who really want to take it seriously.
If you don’t have access to soccer pitches and playing fields, city soccer fans can still improvise with the most basic equipment — all you need to do is grab your ball and find a little space, a few friends, and a wall or fence to act as a makeshift goal.
Based on ice hockey, street hockey can be played outdoors, literally in streets or driveways, or, if you have access, in public courts, gyms and rinks. For those interested, head to the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation (ISBHF), which as the worldwide governing body of official ball hockey tournaments and leagues can provide information on clubs around the globe.
Slacklining is an easy sport to practice in parks. Once you’ve invested in a slackline strap, you just need to find two trees and the confidence to walk across the slackline. You can vary the length and the height, but don’t worry if you’re a beginner. Slacklines are normally quite low down and the straps come in different widths to make it easier. Health benefits include improved balance, muscle strength, and concentration, as well as lots of fun. The International Slackline Association (ISA) has plenty of information online for those who want to give it a try.
Want to feel like a kid again? Get your skates on. Rollerblading through the city is a great way to have fun and keep fit. Health benefits of this low-impact sport include burning calories, building strength and conditioning muscles, and it’s a great complement to other sports too. With many cities now offering skating groups it’s also a good way to make friends while working out.
For the more adventurous city dwellers, parkour will definitely give you a thrill. A combination of jumping, climbing, crawling, and running across a city and its buildings, it is definitely not for the faint-hearted. You’ll also need more preparation than with other urban sports in order to build up muscles and endurance. However, it will definitely get your blood pumping. There are groups around the world and plenty of information available from the World Freerunning Parkour Federation.