There are plenty of types of exercise that you can do on your own, or with a few friends, and fit in around school and other commitments.
If you feel self-conscious doing team sports at school, an individual form of exercise can help you feel more confident and independent and you won’t find yourself being compared to others or criticised.
Getting started and keeping motivated – Doing a sport under your own steam can be empowering and uplifting. Once you decide to start a new sport or activity, it’s important to have a plan and set a goal to work towards. Try it and see how much you can achieve.
Solo sports include:
- Running/Jogging – you don’t need lots of expensive running gear, just a decent pair of running shoes to reduce the risk of injury. Running or jogging burns calories more effectively than any other mainstream sport. If you think you’re not a runner, think again. Anyone can do it. There are excellent beginner programmes that you can follow here and you’ll be able to run a regular parkrun in no time.
- Cycling – as well as helping to keep you fit and healthy, cycling can also cut your travel expenses and it’s good for the environment. The NHS has useful advice about on getting on your bike, cycling safely and a bike checklist here. You will obviously need a bike (you can get a second-hand one quite cheaply) and a helmet to get started.
- Swimming – as well as many health benefits, swimming is also an essential life skill – it could save your life. Drowning is the third most common cause of death in the UK among children under 16; more than 50 children drown every year. Swimming is a fantastic form of all-round exercise and especially boosts your cardiovascular health. Hopefully you learnt to swim when you were younger (either with your family or through school) but if you can’t swim and would like to learn, contact your local swimming pool and ask about their ‘learn to swim’ programmes. Find your nearest swimming pool here. All you need is a swimsuit and a pair of goggles and you’re all set.
Other sports you can do on your own include roller-skating, rollerblading, kayaking, surfing, skiing, boxing, martial arts, gymnastics, dance, archery, weight-lifting, diving, golf, skate-boarding, trampolining and horse-riding.