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Best Sport for Overall Fitness

The best sports for fitness are the ones in which you exercise continuously, those that are least likely to injure you and the ones you enjoy the most. You become fit by exercising vigorously enough to increase the circulation of blood. It makes no difference to your heart how you increase your circulation. The best sports for fitness use your legs because the blood vessels in your legs are so much larger that you can circulate far more blood with your leg muscles. Furthermore, arm exercises tire you earlier because most people have weaker arms.

Some sports require a great level of fitness just to start. For example, to jump rope, you must spin the rope more than 80 times a minute to keep it from tangling. Many people can't jump 80 times a minute. The safest sports are low-impact aerobics, walking, swimming and pedaling a stationary bicycle. Running causes lots of injuries, because the force of your foot striking the ground can be three times your body weight, which can damage muscles and bones.

You are most likely to continue a lifelong fitness program if you pick an activity that you enjoy. However, sports that don't keep you moving may be fun, but they won't make you fit. Most tennis players spend about 80 percent of their playing time waiting for the ball; and golfers are usually required to ride in carts, even if they would prefer to walk.

Checked 6/1/15

May 11th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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