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If you are thinking of starting a new fitness regime to kick start 2017, you may be wondering where to start. Gyms can be an intimidating place as well as costly when you factor in hiring a personal trainer. Participating in a different kind of sport, however, whether team or individual, indoors or outdoors, can be both rewarding and challenging. With this in mind, here we take a look at the top 5 sports you should try out this year:

It may be an obvious choice, but joining a men’s football team, whether it’s five-a-side on a weeknight or a joining a full squad for the Sunday league, can be very fulfilling. Team sports like football mean that you not only meet some like-minded individuals, but you can all motivate each other to work harder.

The health benefits of Football include:

  • Lowers your body fat and improves muscle tone.
  • Builds strength, flexibility and endurance.
  • Increases muscle and bone strength.
  • Increases aerobic capacity and cardiovascular health.
  • Improves health due to shifts between walking, running and sprinting.

To find a local league near you, simply click here.

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Cycling is beneficial all round, as using your whole body cycling not only improves your fitness, but gets you places faster and cheaper! Many of the UK roads (inner city and countryside) and abroad are well adapted to cycling and it can be an individual, couples or group sport, so whether you want to clear you head with a relaxing ride or work as a group to motivate each on a ride, cycling has something for everyone.

The Benefits of cycling include:

  • Increased cardiovascular fitness.
  • Increased muscle strength and flexibility.
  • Improved joint mobility.
  • Decreased stress levels.
  • Improved posture and coordination.
  • Strengthened bones.
  • Decreased body fat levels.
  • Prevention or management of disease.

Top cycling routes in the UK include the Fakenham to Harwich Cycle Route, which is an impressive 163 miles long, but very flat with beautiful scenery to keep to motivated. Or if you’re looking for something a bit more up and down, then Tweed Cycleway on the Scottish Borders takes you on an 89-mile route passing forests and towns, on quiet roads with a fair few hills to challenge you.

Cycling is a sport you can easily do abroad as part of your holiday or you could even go on a full-blown cycling holiday. One of the popular options for keen cyclists that offers the best of both worlds is Turkey, which is ideal if you’re travelling with family that don’t ride. Imagine travelling the Aeagan Coastline with the wind in your hair, just you and your bike and bottle of water, while your family relaxes on the beach or by the pool – if you can’t convince them to join you that is! Turkish cycle routes such as Ümraniye-Polonezköy-Riva-Kavacık, a 66 kilometre ride that gives you a traffic free ride with beautiful and interesting scenery, combined with exhilarating off road dirt tracks are likely to be journeys you’ll never forget – and you can rest up once your ride is over at one of Turkey’s beautiful coastal towns. If you don’t want to go with family, then you can awlays book a cycling holiday abroad to improve your fitness, make friends and soak up the culture and hospitality of the region you’re visiting.

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Next is basketball. Now, you may be surprised at just how popular basketball is in the UK but this aerobic sport can be played as an indoor sport or outdoors so you’re never restricted come wintertime, making it a great sport for the UK.

Playing basketball will not only improve your fitness, but will help coordination, balance, running techniques and speed. You can find places to play by visiting Basketball England.

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Although not appealing to everyone (especially those afraid of heights), Mountain climbing can be extremely rewarding and constantly challenging. There are many places to climb outdoors in the UK, but again, when the weather turns cold there are several great indoor climbing walls up and down the country. Again, if you’re looking for somewhere to go and climb abroad, you’ll find there are tons of options when it comes to booking climbing holidays that combine beautiful scenery, interesting cultures and the chance to make new friends.

Mountain climbing works all the muscles, building strength and endurance, flexibility and agility. Find your nearest place to start here.

Whatever sport you participate in in 2017 and beyond, taking yourself out of your comfort zone and trying something new is sure to bring a new year full of happy, healthy memories.

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