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Why Beach Volleyball Should Be Your Next Challenge
A Brief History
Although it was introduced as an Olympic sport in 1996, beach volleyball has been around since the 1920s finding roots in Santa Monica, California. The first professional tournament was held in Pacific Palisades, California in 1976 with winning team splitting $5000. Since then beach volleyball has become a global sport with Brazil and the USA churning out the most dominant teams in terms of Olympic victories.
Don't Be Intimidated
You don't have to be in great shape to learn how to play beach volleyball. Olympian's make playing 2-on-2 look easy, but they're elite athletes that train and play year round. Most leagues feature 2-on-2, 4-on-4, and even 6-on-6 team play, and have multiple divisions available so people play against others at their own skill level.
How fast you progress and get better is generally up to you, based on your athleticism and desire to improve. The basic skills of beach volleyball (bumping, setting, spiking) are very similar to those played on indoor courts, but like any skill they take practise to improve.
It's A Great Workout
If you've ever walked in sand, let alone run in it, you know that it's much more challenging than just walking on cement or grass. This is where the workout starts in beach volleyball. Merely moving around and chasing after balls will activate multiple muscles in your lower body, and definitely get your heart pumping faster. Jumping is also a big part of the game, and like running in sand, jumping will activate a variety of muscle groups. On average, in a typical 2-on-2 game a male beach volleyball player can burn 2310 kilojoules (550 calories) per game, and a female beach volleyball player 2070 kilojoules (495 calories) per game. By comparison here's a few other ways to burn 500 calories: 500 Calories in 30 Minutes.
With regular play, beach volleyball will help increase your agility, flexibility, and cardio levels. It is also a fairly safe sport that doesn't see many injuries, and is often a choice of people recovering from injuries to stay in shape. Playing in sand is also easy on the joints, as the impact while jumping and landing is reduced due to the density of sand.
In addition to the physical aspect of beach volleyball, it also improves you motor skills, hand eye coordination, and mental agility.
It's a great alternative to running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike to get a healthy amount of activity. Playing beach volleyball alone will not get you the body of a professional beach volleyball athlete, but combined with other activities and a good diet it can be a great part of a healthy lifestyle.
Fill Up On Vitamin D
One of the greatest things about beach volleyball is in the name itself, you play it on the beach. While, some leagues play in giant indoor sandboxes, most are on beaches and in outdoor sandpits, and once you get playing you won't notice the difference, and you'll be filling up on Vitamin D from the sun in no time.
Some possible benefits of increasing your Vitamin D intake cited by Medical News Today are:
- Healthy Bones
- Reduced Risk of Influenza
- Regulating Cell Growth
- Reduced Risk Of Diabetes
While Vitamin D isn't going to solve all of life's problems it has been proven to make some people much happier.
For Some It's A Lifestyle
The beach volleyball culture and lifestyle is just like any other sport with it's own unique people, language, and fashion. Greatly influenced by it's origins in Hawaii and California, beach volleyball developed in parallel to modern surfing and is also associated with a casual, beach-centric lifestyle. Like surfers, beach volleyball players can also be associated with the beach bum archetype.
Beach volleyball fashion is an extension of what players wear during game play. Small bikinis are common among the female players for easy movement, and board-shorts among male players for similar reasons.
Be A Good Sport
Do You Prefer Indoor Or Beach Volleyball?
Give It A Try
Overall, beach volleyball helps develop balance and agility. It increases the heart rate, which in turn assists in burning calories as well as supporting many other bodily functions. It's a great sport for people with concerns about injuries and impacting their joints, as it's very low impact.
Beach volleyball is a great reason to get outside, have some fun, and spend time in the sun and sand with friends, new and old.
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© 2015 Daniel