When people think about ways to lose weight, the first thing that generally comes to mind is going to a gym or embracing a rigorous diet. Since both of these are reliably difficult commitments, most people end up putting off their weight loss initiative indefinitely, till a time they are 'free'. Since that does not happen, neither does weight loss. If you have been a victim of such a thought process, it is time to change. Consider some other interesting and fun, and equally effective ways to lose weight, such as racquetball.
Racquetball is a very similar sport to squash and requires quick turns, speed and agility. After you have hit the ball, you have to immediately get back to position and be ready to lunge all over again. As you can imagine, this really gets your heart-rate jumping! In fact, racquetball is an excellent cardiovascular exercise. It also helps improve your flexibility, muscular strength and endurance.
You may be thinking that this sport is only for those who are already extremely fit and strong. That is not true at all. Even if you just play within your fitness and skill level, whatever that might be, you will gain all the cardiovascular and muscular benefits of the sport. Remember, every exercise or sport is meant to be performed only within your physical abilities. It is best if you can find a partner who is rough your level, or if competition is not your objective, you could even play alone.
How Many Calories does it Burn?
If you want to get straight to the hard figures, to find out exactly how effective racquetball is for weight loss, consider the huge chunk of calories you will burn. According to the Mayo Clinic, a 160-lb person should be able to burn roughly 511 calories in an hour of moderate intensity racquetball. The number goes up to 637 calories for a 200-lb person, and 763 lbs for a 240-lb individual. These numbers stack up really well, considering it is just 'moderate' intensity! Beside, when you play the sport regularly, your muscles will become stronger and your overall metabolic rate will increase, so you will be burning more calories even at rest.
Racquetball and Weight Loss – What the Numbers Say
These figures clearly suggest why racquetball is a great way to lose weight. If you play the sport just 3-4 times a week, an hour each time, you could lose 12-13 lbs in three months! People around the world go through a lot of suffering to lose that much weight. Naturally, the weight loss will only happen if you control your diet too. This does not mean that you need to follow a rigid diet. Just eat healthy, and avoid refined and processed foods as far as possible, and you will be on the right track.
Lot of Fun!
Since racquetball is a sport rather than exercise, one major advantage with it is that it does not get monotonous. In a gym, it is all about suffering through an hour of exercise, and most people just wait for it to get over. A sport, on the other hand, is real fun. You will find yourself more motivated, and more likely, in the long run, to maintain a regular discipline.
So, if you have decided to begin with racquetball for weight loss, that is a great idea! Just make sure that you do ten minutes of stretching before and after the game, to prevent injuries.
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