Five easy sports to start a healthier lifestyle today

Many studies agree that sports are an essential part for a happier life. Not only are they a perfect way to reduce stress, they also help to re-energize our spirit and meet new people. According to the World Health Organization, sports and health go hand in hand, offering people all over the world, of different abilities and ages, the chance to live happier, healthier and more productive lives.Have you been looking to start a new sport but don’t know which one? Worry no more! The Holland Times has created a list of the easiest sports to begin your healthy journey today.

1. Volleyball
One of my favourite sports and you can start today. Just grab a volleyball and go to a court. This sport involves two teams of six players and each one gets three hits to pass the ball over the net. The objective is to throw the ball over to the other side so the other team can’t hit it back and to prevent the ball hitting the ground on your side. Each set is played to 25 points and the team needs three sets to take the match home.

It’s a sport that demands outstanding teamwork and individual skills. It can be an amazingly fun game to play with friends.

Equipment required

  • A net and court of dimensions 18 m x 9 m
  • A standard volleyball and sports shoes

 2. Swimming
Swimming can be learned at any age and it’s a really necessary skill to have in many emergency situations, especially in a watery country like the Netherlands. The progress in this sport depends on your effort. Once you have learned the basics, swimming can be a very refreshing and calorie-burning exercise. The best way to start swimming is to take lessons. There are various techniques and strokes coordinating your arms and legs to move forward in the water. Overall, you can learn the basic movements in only 15 days.

Equipment required

  •  Swimsuit (cap and goggles optional)
  • A swimming pool

3. Ping pong or table tennis
Really easy to learn, but this sport requires practice to master it. The objective of the game is to win 11 points to get one set. A match can be for best of 5 or 7 sets. The players have to hit the ball with a racquet towards the opponent over the net. However, the ball has to touch the side of the court first and then bounce in such a way the opponent can’t reach the ball. Learning a basic way to play can take up to 30 days, but you can already start practicing today.

Equipment required

  • A table with a net and dimensions 2.74 m x 1.25 m x 76 cm high
  • Two wooden racquets and a ping-pong ball (40 mm)

 4. Cycling
One of the favourite sports in the Netherlands. The Dutch love their bikes and use them as a way to move around, but you can also practice this in a sportier way to stay in shape Cycling is environment-friendly and it’s good for you as it helps you to sleep better, build immunity, reduce stress and increase productivity. You can learn to cycle in hours or in just a few days.

Equipment required

  • A bike, helmet and sports shoes
  • Comfortable jersey and shorts

 5. Running
Probably one of the easiest sports to start. You just need yourself. If you are doing this for fun and to stay healthy, there are no rules. Running keeps the heart in good shape and makes your body fit. It’s easy to start and it’s an excellent way to get out and explore the outdoors with friends or alone.

Equipment required

  • Running shoes
  • Comfortable clothes

 A healthy diet
Eating well is a vital part to enjoy sports. The WHO states that following a healthy diet helps prevent malnutrition in all its forms, which prevents a range of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and conditions. There are five keys elements to a healthy diet:

  • Eat moderate amounts of fats and oils
  • Eat less salt and sugars
  • Breastfeed babies and young children
  • Eat a variety of foods
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit

However, the WHO warns that the increased production of processed foods, rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles have led to a shift in the way people around the globe consume food. Humans now eat more products high in energy, fats, sugars, salt, and many people do not eat enough fruit, vegetables and other fiber such as whole grains. But not to worry: a few small and easy changes in your diet may set you on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

Written by Raphael Vieira