Staying in shape requires effort. Effort can be made, but what if you need that extra motivation, like someone to compete with, someone to push you, like a teammate, or simply, something which is not a weight being lifted or your body being pushed?

Sports can help us stay in shape, and not just physically, but also mentally. Some sports require a lot of focus and such sports can be dangerous otherwise. Here are the best sports to keep you in shape.

Climbing – Using All Fours and the Fifth

When you have to use your entire body to do something, then you know that it is a good sport. On that note, climbing is more than just using your arms and legs. Climbing requires you to use your muscles and movement in a very precise and conservative manner, if you want to reach the top of the route. You may fall along the way, literally, but that is what it takes to become better at climbing: lots of workouts and a plan of execution. Climbing works all the muscles in the body, so be sure to stretch properly after a session.

Parkour – Not Really a Sport But Still a Complete Exercise

Parkour is not a sport but a way of life, a training discipline, if you will. You use your entire body to practice moving from point A to point B. Parkour includes climbing, walking on all fours, jumping precisely, running, vaulting (using your arms and legs to jump over shorter obstacles), swinging, dangling and occasionally, falling.

Parkour is a full body exercise, with a lot of focus on the mental part. If you lose focus during even the simplest of jumps, you can pull a muscle or even break a bone. Parkour is as much mental training as it is physical.

Swimming – The Sport That Does it All

Swimming is better to an extent than the sports above because it can be done by anybody who can swim. Going into water means that part of your weight will be removed and that you can work your body out without putting any extra load on the ankles, wrists or spine, even. Swimming is a full body workout, as the other sports are, but it is much friendlier to beginners or people who have been out of shape for a while. It works out the lungs and the heart, just like any exercise, but swimming can also be anaerobic and aerobic, meaning you can cover a lot of ground (or water).

Tennis – Running and Coordination

Regular running is a great sport, but why not challenge yourself with a bit of hand-eye coordination? Tennis gives you the best of both worlds, a lot of running and also plenty of swinging and coordination exercises. It is a great exercise for the legs, arms and core, while also working out the lungs and the heart.

A 3 hour tennis match will have you trembling and gasping for air.

Running – A Great Starting Point

Some people swear by running, but unlike the other sports on the list, it does not exercise the entire body. One might be tempted to job instead of run, which is not the same. Consider running, but try to make yourself work, and not just stroll.

These are the best sports for staying in shape.