Volleying for fun and fitness

Some people don't mind, or even like solitary activity, and are great at getting themselves in gear and finding the motivation to go for a run or a hike or a swim by themselves. Others need a social aspect to activity, maybe even a competitive component. If you're the latter, you may want to look into a team sport. My favourite? Volleyball. I even had a stint on my eighth grade volleyball team, though I think that was a fluke because I'm not actually very good. But I have fun spiking and serving and volleying, and that's what counts, right?

Volleying for fun and fitness

Volleyball always seemed to me like that game you play in school but forget about once you don't have regular gym classes to attend. I'd all but forgotten the sport when my most fitness-fearing friend surprised me by telling me that she was in a league--if she's involved in it, it must be pretty popular, I figure, since she eschews almost anything that involves breaking a seat besides shopping. I did some checking around and it's definitely making a comeback (was it ever really gone?) There are both rec leagues and competitive leagues you can join, or you can just get a group of friends together and head to a park or an indoor facility. I was impressed to learn that my land-locked corner of the world even has large volleyball-specific gym complete with hardwood courts as well as sand ones, because lord knows that's the closest anyone will come to a beach in this city.

Volleyball is a great cardiovascular workout, especially if like me, you tend to miss the ball a fair bit (chasing after it over and over again can sure get the heart pumping!) A leisurely 90-minute game on a gymnasium court will burn about 231 calories in a 150-lb person. That number jumps to 830 calories if you're playing in the sand, though, because it's hard to move around on. If you're involved in a competitive game the number if even higher, according to this. There's lots of potential to get a good workout, and the best part is, you'll likely have a blast too!

If you've played volleyball before, I can tell you, it's pretty easy to pick up again, but you may want to take a few pointers from a pro anyway to avoid any incorrect techniques, which can lead to injuries, particularly in the fingers as I've learned the hard way. If you're new to the sport, however, don't panic. Here's a guide to getting started.

Mohammed khalf
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writer and blogger, founder of Go motivations .

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