Exercise is hard, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
Getting up and moving comes naturally to some people. They crave the crisp air of the gym and the bounce of their shoes on the trail in the morning.
Others have a tougher time of it, and those people should know they aren’t alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than half of Americans get enough aerobic exercise. Fewer than a third get both enough aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise.
There are ways to beat those statistics though, and one of the best ways is to make exercise interesting. Joining a league, sport or club can help break a couple barriers. You’ll meet new people, learn new things, and will have a built-in support group to keep you on track.
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But what if you find tennis monotonous, or running too solitary, or basketball too competitive?
You’re in luck — Columbus has plenty of options for those looking for unique ways to get active.
Parkour has grown from a quirky YouTube sensation to a global discipline with thousands of practitioners. Parkour is sometimes called “the art of movement” — athletes train to move rapidly and efficiently through any environment by running, jumping, and climbing. Columbus has both a local group that meets up every Saturday and a dedicated gym where you can take lessons.
Launch Trampoline Park hosts both fitness classes and a full dodgeball league, open to teams of 15. Each season is 8-12 weeks of matches and concludes with a tournament. Dodgeball is open only to those 18 and older.
Cricket is big in Columbus. The 400-year-old game has a local organization in town that donated $10,000 to install a synthetic cricket pitch at Alexander Park. There are two teams, the Columbus Strikers and the Columbus Tigers. They play every Friday night at Alexander Park, and on weekends during the summer.
The Chattahoochee Valley Hash House Harriers call themselves “a drinking club with a running problem.” It’s basically an extremely wacky game of chase — with alcohol. A member of the team starts the game by running and leaving a trail of flour, chalk, or toilet paper. Later, the rest of the group starts following the trail hoping to catch the “hare.” The hare may leave diversions and stops to throw off the runners. There is also a good bit of beer drinking, so this is a 21+ activity. Find out more on the group’s MeetUp and Facebook page.
5. Roller Derby
You may have heard of the Muscogee Roller Girls, Columbus’ esteemed roller derby team. But did you know they’re always looking for new players? Roller derby is a full-contact, high speed sport played with roller skates on a flat track. Players score points by lapping an opposing player and by keeping the other team from doing the same.
Kali is a form of Filipino martial art that teaches combat and defense with short blades and sticks. The training is fast paced and helps with speed, reflexes, coordination and strength. It focuses on fighting that may occur with weapons in extremely close quarters.
Take a trip back to your grade-school days on the playground. The Columbus kickball league meets for games every week during its regular season.