Help me pick my new sport!
May 22, 2014 8:40 AM   Subscribe

My exercise partner is moving soon, and I'm ready for something new. I've noticed competitive team sports (e.g. soccer or dance team) motivate me more than solo exercise, but it seems like most of them are really hard on your body. I'd like something I can continue doing as I age. I want something that's really good exercise, especially cardio. Thanks for any suggestions!
posted by Gravel to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I liked ice hockey, it's fun, fast and a great workout. A bit spendy, both for gear and for league fees and ice time, but I love, love, LOVED it!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:51 AM on May 22, 2014

Frisbee golf? Can involve lots of running and jumping, if you wish and depending on the course (formal or informal), but doesn't involve crashing into people, and can be played as a team sport.
posted by rtha at 8:55 AM on May 22, 2014

Masters swimming competition? It's a combo of "on you own time" while you swim, but lots of chatting between laps. Swimming is great lifetime fitness with cardio, strength and core work right in one workout. Core strength is really important for older adults who are at risk of falling injuries.

My other suggestion is a golf league (no cart and carry your bag!).
posted by 26.2 at 9:00 AM on May 22, 2014

I like ice hockey also, but I fear it will be tough on my body as I get older (I'm 30). There are many levels of USTA tennis teams and I know that many people play into their 70s.
posted by ghharr at 9:07 AM on May 22, 2014

Road cycling. You can find a social group that likes to go hard at time, easy at others.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:07 AM on May 22, 2014

Cycling is great exercise, particularly for cardio purposes. And you'll likely find local clubs/teams to provide any level of competition you desire, from casual "bike to the local microbrewery" meetups to formal race teams. There's also styles to choose from -- street, mountain bike, cyclocross, etc.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:08 AM on May 22, 2014

Road cycling is a great exercise, both solo and in a group. It's low impact--as long as you don't get in a crash. But unless you're racing competitively, that's unlikely to happen. (Crashing is more common in mountain biking; as Elden Nelson, the Fat Cyclist, once wrote, if you don't crash from time to time, you're not doing it right.)

As Celsius1414 notes, there are many kinds of cycling. I dabble in randonneuring: riding long, unsupported or semi-supported rides, usually in hilly terrain, in a set time period. Some people do brevets (individual rides, so called from the certificate of finishing that you get) solo; others prefer to ride in small groups with friends.

The only caveat about cycling is that it's not a load-bearing exercise, so it's best combined with running, weightlifting, jumping rope, or some other exercise that puts a regular load on your bones, to reduce the risk of osteoporosis as you age.
posted by brianogilvie at 9:22 AM on May 22, 2014

You should look up a local fencing club, possibly through the USFA web site, and see if it's fun for you. The gear can be am investment, but it's great cardio, won't wreck your joints, and it's a pretty pure distillation of competition.
posted by kavasa at 9:26 AM on May 22, 2014

Not sure where you live - but a rowing or sculling club is a pretty awesome place to meet and hang out with folks of all ages post college. Plus it is a kickass workout, and if you do a pair or a double it can be a ridonkulous amount of fun.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:34 AM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Synchronized swimming?
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:36 AM on May 22, 2014

I gotta second Masters swimming. Low chance of hurting yourself, lots of competitions, from local to Worlds. Everyone is supernice and fun, and the teams are so diverse generationally and background-wise. Plus: swimming makes you look young.
posted by dame at 9:57 AM on May 22, 2014

Fencing is great fun and I love it, but it has a fairly steep learning curve and can be pretty hard on your knees. I also came in to recommend cycling.

Ultimate Frisbee, the few times I played it, left me well and truly knackered but was also great fun. It's basically netball with a frisbee.
posted by katrielalex at 10:02 AM on May 22, 2014

My son regularly fences people old enough to be his parents. He fences a few people old enough to be my parents. The Veteran's events allow to to only compete against 40+ folks when you get tired of losing to the teenagers. It seems like a great lifetime sport.
posted by COD at 10:54 AM on May 22, 2014

Seconding ultimate (frisbee). Involves a lot of running, and if you're in North America your nearby town or city likely has a number of teams/clubs/leagues of varying casualness/competitiveness to suit how seriously you want to take it.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:21 PM on May 22, 2014

tennis, squash, swimming all seem to be lifelong involvments...
posted by acm at 6:27 PM on May 22, 2014

Thanks for all the suggestions! I am actually specifically interested in team sports. I've been considering ultimate, so I may look into that one further.
posted by Gravel at 9:54 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

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