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How Not to Be Afraid to Try a New Sport

November 19, 2015 by Normand Richard, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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How many times have you started a sentence with, “I’ve always wanted to…” or, “I wish I had learned to…”? If you had to finish that sentence now, what would you say?

The beauty of physical activity is that it can be done at any age and you are never too old to start. But you might feel intimidated to start a new sport, activity or even to visit the gym (anyone heard of gymtimidation?).

Here are a few things you can do to ease your feelings of intimidation:

  • Read up on the sport or activity beforehand. Watch videos about it online and check out community centre or sporting association websites.
  • Go with a friend who is experienced, so they can show you the ropes. Having someone you know come along can help you feel more comfortable.
  • Start in a beginners group or go at slow times.
  • Remember everyone was a beginner at one point in time!

Most activities can be modified to fit your ability level. And the more you do it, the better and more comfortable you’ll be. Here are a few examples and how to get started with each.

  • You enjoy basketball but have never played: Shoot some hoops by yourself or with a friend at community centers’ open court time. Join a beginner’s weeknight league to play for fun at your local recreation center.
  • You want to complete a triathlon: Read on the subject, learn what equipment you need, and make a plan to try a sprint distance event.
  • You’ve always awed at the sight of dragon boats slicing through the water: Ask around at the local waterfront if there are classes and ask coworkers, family, and friends to see if they’d like to join you.

Hint Hint...this year’s Try-It-Days – when many recreation centers, sporting associations and fitness facilities let you try various sports for free – is on until November 21. This leads to the grand finale: RBC Sports Day in Canada where Canadians celebrate the power of sport and get moving in all provinces.

Bottom line: you don’t have to have grown up playing hockey to try it as an adult. Or have been a gymnastic champion as a child to learn how to do a cartwheel now. Try a new sport or activity you have never done before and let us know how it goes! Do you accept the challenge?


Related blogs

Fourth Annual Sports Day in Canada
What Does Sport Mean to Your Health?

Recommended resources

RBC Sports Day In Canada: Celebrate the Power of Sport
Physical Activity Line: How to Get Started

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