Getting in Shape for Sports that You and Your Family Enjoy

Do the minutes creep by when you’re exercising, because you’d rather be on the golf course? Do you long for your snowboard or skis when you’re jogging in the dead of summer? Instead of sticking to a run-of-the-(tread)mill workout, why not try getting in shape to improve your game, whatever it may be? Engaging in a workout with a purpose can give you the motivation to stay fit and avoid burnout.

On the other hand, maybe you’d just really like to be able to keep up with your kids and not get quite so out of breath when you shoot hoops. Perhaps your swing isn’t what it could be and you’d like to be able to really take a good whack at that ball. If you find yourself vowing to improve your game, the secret to success goes beyond basic practice – you’ve got to get in shape to be good at your game. And if you find a good sports conditioning workout, you’ll not only find yourself hitting a home run, you may just save yourself from a few sports-related injuries.

It’s All About You: Personalizing Your Workout

Once you’ve identified the sport you’re working out for, you’ll find a wealth of workouts waiting for you. If you’re into ball sports like basketball, soccer, baseball or volleyball, it’s a good idea to build up your core muscles via weight and strength training or even through the practice of more whole-body forms of fitness training, such as Pilates or yoga. You’ll also need to work on your cardiovascular fitness so you can run around the court or up and down the field.

There are many fitness programs available that target training for a specific sport. Most gyms have some form of core muscle strengthening program and the personal trainers should be able to help you find the particular focus areas you need to work on for your sport. If joining a gym is not in your plans, you still have lots of choices. Conditioning workouts for specific sports are available almost anywhere. Check out the workout videos at your local video store, favorite online store, or even at your local library. You can also simply search for specific conditioning workouts online via any search engine. Many web sites offer workout suggestions and even detailed programs for a variety of sports. Check out your local library and bookstores for books on sports conditioning and training for specific sports. Last but not least, if you’re in school, ask your physical education instructor for tips and check in with your friends who enjoy the same sports.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball: 10 Ways to Stay Focused

  • Remind yourself that your workout has a purpose. You are improving your game (serve, balance, etc.) and reducing your risk of injury.
  • Work out with a friend or family member. Find someone who likes to play the same game and get fit together so you can form a killer team.
  • Find some images or photos that inspire you. Stick them on the fridge or your bedroom walls or make them your new screen saver on your computer.
  • Set specific, realistic goals for yourself. If your sport requires cardiovascular fitness like basketball or soccer, set a goal of running a certain distance in a specific amount of time.
  • Instead of one huge goal, set many smaller goals.
  • Reward yourself when you reach a goal. Give yourself a pat on the back and share your successes with others. They’ll be proud of you, too. And if you reach a real milestone, instead of treating yourself to a sweet, treat yourself to a new soccer ball or other piece of equipment that you’ve been wishing for.
  • Be patient. Your body won’t change overnight.
  • Track your progress in a fitness journal. Write down your goals, how you plan to achieve them, and create a fitness chart to track your workouts (how often you exercise, what you do for each workout, how you felt).
  • Make it convenient. If you have to drive an hour every time you want to work out, you’re defeating the purpose.
  • Make sure you’re eating a balanced, healthy diet. You’ll feel better and you’ll have more energy for your workout if you stay away from sugar and saturated fats. Whole grains, veggies and lean meats and fish will help your body build muscle and shed fat.


The views and opinions expressed in this article or blog are strictly those of the author. The contents of this article or blog and any reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service whether by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by ISI Brands and ISI Brands assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product, service or process disclosed or referenced herein. All information is provided on an as-is basis and is provide for information purposes only. Always consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.