If you love playing sport and you love visiting warm places to spend time on the beach, then beach sports are the dream combination. There are a few beach sports that have a lot of publicity and you will probably know about such as beach volleyball but there are actually a whole lot more out there for you to try. So whether you are thinking of joining a new beach sports team or simply want some ideas for the family holiday, here are some of the most popular beach sports that you can try:

Soccer Volleyball/Foot Volley 

If you visit Brazil you will see lots of people on the beach playing soccer volley, which involves a net with a team on each side. The ball cannot hit the ground, so the aim is to volley the ball over the net using the same skills as you do in football/soccer such as kicking, heading, using your knee or chest. At the highest standards, this is played with two players on each team but if you are just starting out, you won’t be having many rallies with such low numbers!

Handball/Sandball

Handball is becoming increasingly popular in the UK but it has been popular in some areas of Europe for a long time. So a beach based version has developed, with less players but the same rules and set up. Handball is like a mix between soccer, basketball and rugby and you throw the ball into the opponent’s net to score.

Beach volleyball

Beach volleyball probably doesn’t need much introduction, as it is a well-established sport that is often televised as part of the Olympics and other events. It is a direct adaptation of the traditional sport of volleyball, usually involving a two-player team and the object is to volley the ball onto the opposition’s court without them returning it.

The players can use three touches amongst the team, using their allocated number of touches to outwit the player using skills such as setting, blocking and smashing the ball. A strong serve similar to that in tennis can also win immediate points. The main sport equipment that you require is the net, volleyball and something to mark the court out with. Some people prefer to play volleyball on the beach because they can dive with a soft landing and when the weather is nice it is better to be outdoors than in a sports hall.

Beach soccer

Just like standard football/soccer the ball is played by foot or head and players pass the ball to their team mates with the objective to kick or head the ball into the opponent’s goal to score. It is much more difficult to pass a ball along a soft sandy surface so the players often need to improvise with how they play the ball. This is another sport that is often played on Brazilian beaches.

Beach rugby

With nothing more than a rugby ball and a stretch of sand that can be marked as a rugby field, you can organise a game of beach rugby. The most common form is based on rugby union. You can choose how many players you place on each team and also you can decide whether to play touch rugby or tackling rugby. The usual size of pitch to mark out would be between 30 to 50 metres in length and half as wide. Again, playing on the soft sand means that diving to score a try is much softer when landing than on a hard grass surface. It is obviously going to be much harder to run in dry sand though so it is a slower version of the standard game of rugby.

Not everyone loves doing their exercise down at the local gym, and of course that’s absolutely fine. I’ve spent many a gratifying early morning jogs racing, occasionally walking, through local parks, up and down hills, around ponds. Outdoor running is a great way to get or stay fit, get fresh air into the lungs and experience your local environment.

Likewise competitive sport. I’m a football fan and have always enjoyed getting together with friends on a weekday evening or Saturday morning. We don’t tend to play so often these days but for the best part of a decade we’d make the effort, get up early if need be, book a 5-a-side court or simply claim a spot in Regent’s Park and play for an hour two, once or twice a week.

Non-competitive sports are also fun. Cycling is a personal favourite and is something I’ve often practiced both by myself or with one or two friends. We’ll often send each other a WhatsApp message in the week with a route suggestion – nothing too demanding, but always something new. Thinking about it now, it could well be that cycling is my favourite way to be active; maybe there’s no better way to explore and get to know your local area – woodland, parkland, streets. It’s also just a great way to spend time with friends and loved ones.

Despite all the above, I don’t actually consider myself all that active. Most weeks I do some form of physical exercise two or three times a week. But that’s also often once or zero times a week. What I do know is that I never regret doing exercise. Certainly the idea of it doesn’t always get me excited. I could probably count on the fingers of one hand the times that I’ve actually looked forward to heading off to the indoor climbing centre in the middle of the week, straight from work. But I’ve literally always felt great for having done it.

Whether it’s seeing the people you get on with, challenging yourself, successfully meeting a challenge, or simply getting the blood going and adrenalin pumping, one or more hours of beneficial physical activity is a brilliant way to spend one’s time. But with so many different opportunities out there for us to go and get, then stay, fit, why go to the gym at all?

For me what the local gym offers is the chance to specifically target areas of your fitness and body. That could be your cardio fitness and health, it could be your lower-body strength, or upper-body flexibility and suppleness. I will always prefer running in the park to running on a treadmill. But when I do running in the gym, I can more accurately measure my progress, and better inform myself as to any areas of weakness.

I use my gym work to benefit my sport. For example, I noticed that my calves were beginning to cramp towards the end of football matches. So I made a point of going to the gym and targeting calf work to build up the muscle and resistance. I also like to go to the gym before playing again if I’ve been injured for a short time.

So if you want to measure your progress, target weaknesses or help your recovery from an injury, I’d say get yourself down to the gym – it’s another great way to help you get and stay fit.

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With the 2018 Super Bowl just a few months away, the craze for the sporting event has begun to explode in the country. And if you are planning to get tickets for the big day, then the following tips should help you have a good time without having to stress yourself out.

Buying Tickets

As far as possible, buy your Super Bowl 2018 tickets as early as you can. Many people wait to buy the tickets until the last moment to see if the price drops. While this can work sometimes, the opposite can also happen. If a big team gets into the finals, then the price of the tickets will surge to unimaginable levels and could well go beyond your budget. As such, the best thing you can do is to clearly set your budget and get the tickets as soon as it hits the level. For example, you can set your budget at $3000. If the ticket prices drop to that level, you should immediately buy it. Don’t wait for it to drop further.

Traveling

When you book your Super Bowl tickets, it is also recommended that you do not delay booking your flight tickets also. If you wait for it and you are unable to book a flight as the big day comes near, then you will have a tough time arranging for transportation to the event. So, avoid such confusion and stress outs for what should be an enjoyable day, and make sure to book the flight tickets as early as possible.

Boarding

Together with the plane tickets, remember to book your hotel too. Most of the hotels which are near to the stadium are often booked many months in advance by various organizations. The longer you wait, the less chance there is that you will be able to get a hotel near to the stadium. As a result, you may have to stay at a place far away and will have to travel quite a distance. This can obviously be a big inconvenience. And if you are unable to book a nearby hotel, then look for friends or relatives living near the stadium and check out if they can accommodate you for a day.

Partying

One of the best things about the Super Bowl experience is the parties. Major companies and brands conduct such parties which are attended by celebrities from all spheres, right from NFL players to movie stars and so on. Most of the parties are also headlined by international artists. As such, these tickets get sold like hot cakes once made available. So, be sure to check for party tickets when you book your match tickets if you wish to enjoy the event to the fullest.