Softball and Baseball
Looking for something to do that is fun, social, and gets you moving? Pick up a bat and glove and head out to a baseball field. Whether you choose baseball or softball – a gentler version of the game that uses larger-size balls, smaller diamonds, and underhand pitches – you are sure to have a fun-filled outdoor experience.
The good news about softball and baseball is you don’t have to be in great shape to get started. The brief periods of running, sliding, throwing, and catching are broken up with periods of waiting your turn to bat, which makes this an ideal sport for those wanting a slow-paced workout. But although there are periods of rest, this sport requires a lot of skill and practice to improve your game.
The only things you need to play are a glove, bat, and access to a park. For more intense play, it’s a good idea to wear a batting helmet and the proper shoes to prevent injuries.
If you can’t muster up enough people to form a team, many towns and businesses offer amateur leagues, with games once a week. When buying a glove, start off with an outfielder glove – its larger size will help you catch the ball more easily. Choose a bat that is heavy, but that you can swing easily (heavier bats make the ball go farther and faster).
To play, you need to know the rules, which are easy to pick up by just watching a game of baseball – the rules for the two sports are very similar. To boost your skills, head to a batting cage with ball machines or go to the park with a friend and practice throwing, hitting, and catching.
Baseball and softball are not the most rigorous of all sports, but they do help improve flexibility, strength, and coordination.
Warming-Up and Cooling-Down
It’s important to warm up before playing in order to loosen your muscles and elevate your heart rate. Jogging or a brisk walk around the field should be sufficient. After the game, walk around the field or diamond for a few minutes to cool down. Stretching before and after playing will prevent injury and reduce muscle soreness.
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