5 Great Contact Sports and Why they are Good for You

Sports require you to move your body, and it’s a commonly known fact that exercise is good for your health (physical and mental). Various research has shown that physical activity helps control weight, combats health conditions and diseases, improves mood, boosts energy, and promotes better sleep. Contact sports allow for other areas to also be developed such as social skills as players are being required to act as a team but also respect their opponents. While non-contact sports have very clear rules, that quite simply players can not touch one another, contact sports mean that players can touch but are required to control themselves at the moment so that they are not hurting one another or doing something that puts themselves and their team at an unfair advantage. This requires more attention and self-discipline.  


Brazilian jiu-jitsu 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art and combat sport based on ground fighting and submission holds. It focuses on the skill of taking an opponent to the ground, controlling one’s opponent, gaining a dominant position, and using a number of techniques to force them into submission via joint locks or chokeholds- picking the right headgear is important. BJJ is good for you as it teaches you self-defense techniques but is especially effective for defending yourself in the safest way possible. Not only this, but it teaches confidence and strength.  


American Football 

American football is a team sport, involving 2 teams consisting of 11 players, and the intention is to score goals. While this is the same as football in the UK, the games are played very differently- American Football being a contact sport and football in the UK being quite the opposite. The combination of running, walking, sprinting, and kicking can bring benefits including increased stamina, improved cardiovascular health, reduced body fat, improved muscle strength and tone, increased bone strength, and improved coordination. This is alongside learning to be a good team player.  


Ice Hockey 

Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in an indoor or outdoor rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a rubber puck into their opponent’s net to score goals. Ice Hockey is one of the best cardiovascular games you can play. Alternating between skating and rest (what is known as interval training in the fitness world) improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, allowing it to bring oxygen to the muscles more quickly. 


Kick Boxing 

Kickboxing is a stand-up combat sport based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate mixed with boxing. Kickboxing is practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a contact sport. Kickboxing provides an aerobic workout that burns calories and can help you lose weight. Research shows that elite and amateur kickboxers have more muscle mass and lower percentages of body fat. It is also great for self-defense and strength- not only of the body but also of the mind.  


Water Polo 

Water polo is a competitive team sport played in the water between two teams of 7 players each. The game consists of four quarters in which the two teams attempt to score goals by throwing the ball into the opposing team’s goal. Water polo is good for you as players can burn up to 700 calories per one hour of play and research has shown improved Cardiovascular Health. It improves strength but is also easy on your joints as the water act as a cushion on joints and muscles, preventing injury and general aches and pains associated with traditional fitness. Teamwork and good communication are vital for success in water polo. Another benefit of playing water polo is that it’s great at developing problem-solving.

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