Sports (or athletic activity) is any form of typically physical, typically competitive, active recreation that, through either organized or informal competition, aim to employ, enhance or maintain certain physical abilities and skills while also providing entertainment for participants, and occasionally, spectators. The word “sports” is often used as a blanket term encompassing any sort of physical activity with an element of competition where the contest doesn’t require special skill or even natural ability, but arises from a need for the participants to engage with and manipulate a set of physical tools, materials or apparatus in order to advance towards a common goal. In recent years “professional” sports have increasingly intruded upon non-professional disciplines and increased the scope of opportunities available to talented athletes. As opposed to the earlier games and exercises requiring specialized tools and equipment, today’s athlete not only needs gear appropriate to his/her sport but can also access and buy many of the same gear items that those involved in more “traditional” sports may already own. For example, shoes, shin guards, helmets, pads, jerseys and T-shirts are all commonly owned equipment items required by athletes in various sports.
There are many different types of sports. Rowing, canoeing, skiing, track and field, table tennis, sailing, basketball, softball, football and soccer are a few of the most popular physical activities that call upon a variety of physical skills and capacities, while Boxing, fencing, boxing and wrestling are common mental and social activities that focus on aggression, body composition and physical conditioning. As you can see, there is a nearly endless array of potential physical activities. These activities can be broadly classified into three main subsets: athletic sports, contact sports, and fitness/wellness/fitness sports.
A well-recognized and acknowledged component of modern society is the sport or recreational pastime. Numerous studies have documented that people engaged in a wide variety of physical activities will engage in at least one athletic activity during the course of the week. Some of these activities include: horseback riding, boating, tennis, golf, soccer, basketball, swimming, hiking, hunting, fishing, bicycling, baseball, soccer and track and field. While many people spend their free time playing video games or surfing the Internet, few people take the time to actively participate in any one sport or recreational pastime. The fact is that spending time in front of the television or in front of a computer screen is often only a short break from other obligations and does not result in any positive physical changes.
Another type of pastime is physical education. This type of pastime is intended to promote fitness and to assist individuals in meeting physical requirements for competitive athletics. Schools, churches, and other organizations are increasingly adding sport specific activities to their curriculums. These activities are designed to enhance performance, build strength and flexibility, improve motor control and muscle mass, and increase cardiovascular efficiency. As more school districts and organizations to make this move, you can bet that there will be an increasing demand for qualified athletic trainers.
Extreme Sports. There are an incredible number of activities which fall under the heading of ‘extreme sports.’ While many may not necessarily be associated with professional sports, these activities still provide excellent workout options. Many extreme sports involve competitive activities which can be performed on a challenging course, including speed-chute jumping, rock climbing, free running, downhill skiing, parasailing, bungee jumping, scuba diving and snowboarding. Extreme sports have become so popular that they are now regularly held in sporting facilities and can even be found on television, including American football, ice hockey, rugby, sprinting, surfing, skateboarding, BMX biking and surfing.
Sports competition includes a wide range of different types of athletic contests, including boxing, beach volleyball, tennis, softball, badminton, fencing, figure skating, soccer, track and field, bowling, swimming, fencing, cheerleading, gymnastics, ice skating and baseball. All these types of sporting competitions provide athletes with an excellent cardio workout that builds muscles and helps to burn excess calories. A well-designed training program will allow you to improve your skills and find you enjoying the physical contests. However, if you want to get fit without seriously competing in an athletic contest, there are many other options.