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Choosing a new sport

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Choosing a new sport

Postby WouterB » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:00 am

Just moved and this new city (used to study there) is a lot bigger, hence more options. I'd like to find something that will keep me motivated (something fun to do), keep me in good shape (call it mountain fit) and won't cost me too much. Running isn't an option since I want to spare my knees as much as possible.

At my previous place I was going to a fitness centre as it was the only thing available. This is however too costly and not really that much fun.

I've looked into the following activities and would like to hear your thoughts on them:

* Savate (I did this before when I was studying there and it was a lot of fun)
* Taekwondo - just looks like fun
* Rugby - looks like fun, but I'm a bit worried about getting hurt
* Rowing - there are a lot of canals near to where I live and it's a sport that will keep me fit for sure. But I'm not too sure if it's "fun" nor if it would keep my lower body fit.
* Suggestions?
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Postby JanVanGenk » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:37 am

Wouter, do you have knee problems? I mostly run, that keeps my knees fit. I don't do it on asphalt but on forest trails. Trail running is fun, you never get bored.

What about mountainbiking? Well, this could be an activity for the weekends, as you might know there are lots of organized MTB pleasure rides during the winter season in Belgium, they are great.

Ever considered swimming? Maybe not too much fun, but something different from time to time.
Or roller skating, it's also good for your lower body.

About combat sports, I did karate years ago, the training sessions also included boxing and judo. That was fun, but I remember coming back home often with blue spots all over my body, and once I had even a mild neck injury. If you are concerned about injuries, as for me, running (jogging) looks much safer ;-)
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Postby WouterB » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:53 am

JanVanGenk wrote:Wouter, do you have knee problems? I mostly run, that keeps my knees fit. I don't do it on asphalt but on forest trails. Trail running is fun, you never get bored.

I used to run a LOT, but had to stop after getting patella tendinitis on both knees. It's better than ever before, but I'd rather not take the risk. My doctor also advised against it, as running is one of the worst things there are for your knees. I like these crosstrainer things instead, but can't put one at home and don't want to go to a gym just to use one.

JanVanGenk wrote:What about mountainbiking? Well, this could be an activity for the weekends, as you might know there are lots of organized MTB pleasure rides during the winter season in Belgium, they are great.

I'm not really that into biking. Never liked it. Besides, I'd need a good (read: expensive) mountain bike to do it. Not really an option right now.

JanVanGenk wrote:Ever considered swimming? Maybe not too much fun, but something different from time to time.

I like swimming and I do it quite a lot in summer. I've been to the local pool, but there's constantly like 20 people in each lane. Which isn't really nice.

JanVanGenk wrote:Or roller skating, it's also good for your lower body.

Never tried it.

JanVanGenk wrote:About combat sports, I did karate years ago, the training sessions also included boxing and judo. That was fun, but I remember coming back home often with blue spots all over my body, and once I had even a mild neck injury. If you are concerned about injuries, as for me, running (jogging) looks much safer ;-)

I'm a bit worried about possible injuries. Then again, I'd only do the training and light sparring, so I think that shouldn't be too big a problem.
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Climbing wall

Postby RayMondo » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:06 am

If you are needing to protect your knees from impact sports, even a climbing wall would help, though it's not necessarily sustained cardio vascular work. Bike with low gears will be okay for your knees though - any cheap bike will do for basic workouts.
Last edited by RayMondo on Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JanVanGenk » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:42 am

Ok, if you need to be conservative regarding you knees, then you should avoid any sports requiring explosive movements (I think rugby included). Leaves not much choice as far as fun factor is concerned.

As for cardio workout, maybe you should reconsider and include some biking in your agenda (and you don't need an expensive bike for that). Rowing is good too, and you might find roller skating fun. The problem of boredom could be overcome by combining several different sports.

The gyms are rather expensive indeed, but you could for instance consider occasional spinning training in group.
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Postby WouterB » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:52 am

Shoulder is indeed a bit of a problem too. BUT if I start sporting again, I know what I need to do to keep it controlled. More time for warm-up and extra excercises for strenghtening particular muscles.

Rugby is probably not the best idea. I'd love to do it and seems like a lot of fun. But I guess I shouldn't. Rowing is probably a good workout, but I don't know... boring?!

In two weeks time I'll try savate again. Will see how that goes.
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Postby JanVanGenk » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:54 am

sjarelkwint wrote:He also has a bad shoulder the poor guy, he's living close to one of the coolest walls in the world!!!


No knees, no shoulder... Must be quite frustrating if you're into climbing. I just wonder how do you deal with the issues of descending a mountain as it puts high load on your knees (far more than jogging, even if using the trekking poles).
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Postby WouterB » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:10 pm

JanVanGenk wrote:
sjarelkwint wrote:He also has a bad shoulder the poor guy, he's living close to one of the coolest walls in the world!!!


No knees, no shoulder... Must be quite frustrating if you're into climbing. I just wonder how do you deal with the issues of descending a mountain as it puts high load on your knees (far more than jogging, even if using the trekking poles).


As I said, I've been working hard on getting these problems under control. At this point I can do pretty much anything I love doing. Had no problems with my knees on the last three climbs (Grossglockner, Elbrus, Toubkal).

I'm also trying to get more into winter-climbing as the snow is gentler on my knees and I love toerskiing (which kind of solves a lot of problems). Rock climbing has never been a real passion, so I don't really care that much.

Don't take this the wrong way, I can still do everything I want (and I do). I just like being careful as I'd like to keep doing this for a long time to come.
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Postby JanVanGenk » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:22 pm

WouterB wrote:Rugby is probably not the best idea. I'd love to do it and seems like a lot of fun. But I guess I shouldn't. Rowing is probably a good workout, but I don't know... boring?!


Include a few occasional kayaking trips to the Ardennes, and it won't be that boring :wink: Kayaking/canoeing outdoors is quite fun, I've done it a couple of times.
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Postby blazin » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:26 pm

Rowing, if by this you mean crew (ie olympic rowing) and not taking a rowboat to go fishing, is terrific for keeping in shape. It's a good cardio workout that works both your legs, shoulders, and back.
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Postby John Duffield » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:55 pm

I did a Cyclocross Race in Southampton Saturday. It was insane. Too bad you don't like cycling. One of the guys said he felt like it turned his lungs inside out. I have to agree. For exercise, I'm having trouble thinking of anything quite like it and I frequently run 5 miles.

It's big in Belgium.

From Wikipedia....

Cyclo-cross (sometimes cyclocross, CX, CCX, cyclo-X or 'cross') is a form of bicycle racing. Races take place typically in the autumn and winter (the international or "World Cup" season is September-January), and consists of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5 km or 1.5–2 mile) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike whilst navigating the obstruction and remount in one motion.[1][2] Races for senior categories are generally between 30 minutes and an hour long, with the distance varying depending on the ground conditions. The sport is strongest in the traditional road cycling countries such as Belgium (and Flanders in particular), The Netherlands and the Czech Republic .

Cyclo-cross has some obvious parallels with cross-country cycling and criterium racing. Many of the best cyclo-cross riders cross train in other cycling disciplines. However, cyclo-cross has reached a size and popularity that racers are specialists and many never race anything but cyclo-cross races[citation needed]. Cyclo-cross bicycles are similar to racing bicycles: lightweight, with narrow tires and drop handlebars. However, they also share characteristics with mountain bicycles in that they utilize knobby tread tires for traction, and cantilever style brakes for clearance needed due to muddy conditions. They have to be lightweight because competitors need to carry their bicycle to overcome barriers or slopes too steep to climb in the saddle. The sight of competitors struggling up a muddy slope with bicycles on their shoulders is the classic image of the sport, although unridable sections are generally a very small fraction of the race distance.
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Postby WouterB » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:58 pm

JanVanGenk wrote:
WouterB wrote:Rugby is probably not the best idea. I'd love to do it and seems like a lot of fun. But I guess I shouldn't. Rowing is probably a good workout, but I don't know... boring?!


Include a few occasional kayaking trips to the Ardennes, and it won't be that boring :wink: Kayaking/canoeing outdoors is quite fun, I've done it a couple of times.


My first thought was just buying a simple canoe since I live in between two canals (100m either way). The problem is that I don't have a place to store it. Am looking into this though.
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Postby WouterB » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:59 pm

blazin wrote:Rowing, if by this you mean crew (ie olympic rowing) and not taking a rowboat to go fishing, is terrific for keeping in shape. It's a good cardio workout that works both your legs, shoulders, and back.


Yes, I'm talking "crew". I'll go and try this out too. These guys seem to take it pretty seriously though. Multiple trainings each week and since you're part of the team, you've got to be there. This might be quite hard with my job/studies.
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Postby WouterB » Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:03 pm

Seriously, I never liked bikes or anything related. I can see the fun in mountainbiking or cyclo-cross, but I wouldn't want to do it myself :D
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