people playing vollyball

Summer is the time for fun and fitness. But wait - can those words really go together? They can when you're talking about team sports. Team sports include any type of physical activity that involves working with other players toward a shared goal. When you participate in athletic activities with teammates, you reap the social benefits of camaraderie - and the fun of a group challenge--along with the physical benefits of playing a sport.

If you haven't played sports since you were a kid or have never been on a sports team, summer is the perfect time to get in the game and take part. Whether you have a favorite sport or a sport you've always wanted to try, the warmer weather and longer days provide an ideal backdrop for a summer of athletic adventure.

Why Join a Team?
If you've always been a sports fan but never a player, then it's time for a change of perspective. When you think of working out, you might imagine repetitive workouts in a gym, or tediously straining to complete an exercise routine. Team sports offer you the chance to break out of this limited view and expand your fitness into something fun.

Playing group games can be so engaging and invigorating; you'll forget that you're working up a sweat. Working with teammates to improve your strategies and compete for the winning title can transport you from the realm of "just exercise" into true excitement. Plus, you can savor the encouragement of having your friends and family cheering from the sidelines.

Which Sport Should You Try?
Many team sports are associated with summer fun, and you should choose one that you think you'll enjoy. Here are some ideas of summer sports that may be right up your alley:

  • Volleyball - No sport says summer better than beach volleyball. This calorie-burning activity can give you some beach time while you get in a great workout. No beach nearby? Check out the local YMCA center or neighborhood fitness centers for organized games in the sports complex rather than in the sand.
  • Tennis - Playing tennis is a low-impact sport that gets you moving, regardless of your age or skill level. For the experience of a smaller team, recruit a friend and join a doubles game at your local sports complex.
  • Cricket- Cricket is the most popular sports of India and there are many local teams that you can join. The sport requires good strength and fitness levels and you'll get plenty of cardio as you run down the field.
  • Badminton- Badminton is another low-impact sport that is great for beginners and veteran players alike. You can make the sport a fun activity by involving your friends and family members. You can also check out with your local sports complex for any organized team games that you can participate in.

Don't limit yourself to this list--summer sports are plentiful. Other fun choices include basketball, table tennis, and hockey. .

HealthAhead Hint: Kick It Up a Notch
If the closest you've come to team sports this decade is watching them on TV, then it's time to shake things up. There are countless teams you can join and friends you can make by taking the simple step to do something special this summer. You can become the person you've been cheering for--but you have to get up off the couch and out onto the field.