5 individual sports to help you get fit
If a team sport isn’t for you, try one of these individual sports to get your exercise
Written by spunout
Fact checked by experts and reviewed by young people.
Team sports are not for everyone. Some people prefer to use exercising as a way to have time to themselves, and others might not find any of the sports that you can play in a team appealing. If you’re not drawn to team sports, there are plenty of individual sports you can do on your own.
5 individual sports for solo exercise
Here are 5 individual sports you could take up to get your exercise without having to join a team.
1. Martial arts
There are a number of different types of martial arts that you could choose from. Karate, judo, krav maga, jiu jitsu, capoeira – these are all great options. All of these types of martial arts include really versatile and interchangeable skills. This means you will learn a lot by choosing just one type of martial arts. What’s more, all of these disciplines give you a great practical grounding in self-defence.
Some people see kayaking as a thrilling sport, but it can be a relaxing leisure activity for others. Kayaking is another really versatile sport that can suit all types of people. If you’re someone who’s always looking for the next adrenaline rush, there’s nothing better than shooting down some white-water rapids with just your paddle and your wits keeping you on course.
Pictured: Looking for a high-octane experience? Then kayaking could be your thing. Image by Shutterstock.com
Then again, if you prefer to take things slow, kayaking on lakes and gentle rivers can be a really tranquil experience, and it often leads you to some spectacular scenery in places you’d never thought to visit before. Read up more on kayaking and other water sports here.
3. Gaelic handball
Gaelic handball is a traditional Irish sport. It can be played in singles (1 person versus 1 person) or doubles (2 people versus 2 people). The goal of any handball match is to make the ball hit the front wall and bounce twice before the other player can get to it. It can be played in indoor courts, outdoor courts, or anywhere with a wall. It can also be played as part of a team, but you have the option of playing on your own. Find a local Gaelic handball court here.
This is another fast-paced game that’s played on indoor courts. It’s a little bit like tennis but is played by hitting the ball against a wall rather than over a net, and the rackets and balls are a different size. It requires great speed and agility, and is brilliant for developing hand-eye coordination. It may be a lesser known sport in an Irish context, but loads of sports and leisure clubs have indoor courts where you could play.
Squash is normally played with other people, but you can practice on your own. Learn more about squash and other racket sports here.
Swimming is easy on your joints, so is a perfect way to get some exercise if you have an injury or mobility issues. You can swim in either a team or as an individual. If you don’t know how to swim, it’s never too late to learn. Many swimming pools offer swimming lessons for beginners of all ages – check with your local swimming pool to see what your options are.
If you choose to swim in the sea or a lake, make sure you stay safe.