A UVA Heart & Vascular Center Initiative

Exercise: Make it Fun Again

Posted March 17, 2012

As a kid, you do an activity because you love it, not because it burns calories. With this realization, more adults are stepping off the sidelines (and treadmill) and onto courts, playing fields and ice rinks. National sports organizations report a spike in adult participation in sports that are generally dominated by kids.


Why join a team?

Physical activity is just one aspect of wellness. Social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual dimensions, in addition to the physical dimension, play a major part of your overall wellness. Joining a sports team or league will certainly enable physical activity, but the social, emotional and spiritual (having hope) sides of organized sports are just as significant. Team sports enable networking and camaraderie. Your list of workout buddies increases significantly and your presence is a huge contributing factor to the ability of the team. Team spirit and unity can make you feel young, confident and appreciated while the competition itself can be a great outlet for stress. Being active through sport is about having fun with other people rather than a solo appointment with the treadmill.

Find a team right for you

With any sport, comes the potential risk of injury so it is important to find a team and sport that is compatible with your health, fitness and skill level as well as to consult with your physician prior to playing.

Charlottesville and Albemarle provide many opportunities for adults of all ages to get involved in traditional sports like basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, flag football and tennis but more recently created clubs are providing opportunities to play kickball, dodge ball, horseshoes and corn hole.

Here are a few websites to get you started:

Charlottesville Sports and Social Club

Albemarle Family

Albemarle County Parks & Recreation

City of Charlottesville Parks & Recreation

Soccer Organization of Charlottesville & Albemarle

It’s not about winning

The goal of sport and exercise is really about reaching your health potential, achieving energy to do everything you want to do, being the best that you can be at any age, and being in charge of your life and health, while lowering your risk for disease and illness.

Competitive team sports teach us many life lessons, but when all is said and done, it’s not necessarily the sporting accomplishments that you remember, but the friendships you made along the way. Spring is a great time to play, make new friends, release stress and ultimately lead a happy, healthy life!

By Erica K. Perkins

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