What if you want to get some exercise and lose weight, but the weather outside sucks? You know, there’s a monster blizzard, it’s raining cats and dogs, or it’s simply too darn hot or humid. Well, one great alternative that probably doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves is the wonderful world of arena sports.
Yup, I’m talking about the myriad fun and even addictive indoor sports that will get your heart racing and melt away those pounds. As I’ve found out, there are plenty of them, to suit every taste, lifestyle, and budget. Let’s take a look.
Get A Fun and Intense Workout With 13 Exciting Indoor Sports
1. Indoor Rock Climbing
Indoor rock climbing can be enjoyed as a standalone sport or to help you prepare for the outdoor climbing season. No matter your skill level, climbing is great physical exercise and includes a little adrenaline rush as you get higher. I love that it’s got elements of both resistance and aerobic exercise, so you can become stronger and leaner at the same time!
Many large gyms have climbing walls, but dedicated climbing gyms give you more options. At these specialized facilities, you can take lessons, rent equipment and learn from experienced climbers around you. Day passes can range from $15 to $20, while most places will offer discounts if you buy a monthly or yearly pass*.
Swimming is a fantastic exercise for all bodies and ages. Like rock climbing, it will train you both aerobically and as resistance exercise.
Even those recovering from injuries or dealing with chronic illnesses may benefit from swimming. Check if your local health center has an indoor swimming pool. If not, there’s likely to be an indoor aquatic center nearby.
Daily rates can start as low as $5, with many swim centers offering monthly and annual membership options.
3. Indoor Soccer
Soccer fans can play it year-round as an arena sport. Whether you go for a competitive league or just want to get some exercise and have some fun, there’s a team for you.
There’s usually a cost per team per season. Even if you don’t have a full team, the registration office will often know of teams who are looking for additional players. Fees per player can range from $25 to hundreds of dollars depending on how long the season is and how competitive the team is.
4. Ice Skating
With its grace and beauty, it’s no wonder that people of all ages like ice skating. You could take private lessons, join a group class, or just attend open skating sessions to enjoy the calm but intense workout on ice. One quirk that some may like is that many ice arenas play music as you skate, which can help motivate many of us and provide a “rhythm” to our movements.
Open skate usually costs around $15, while private and group lessons cost anywhere from $30 to a couple hundred dollars. You can always rent skates to see if you enjoy the sport before investing in your own equipment.
5. Ice Hockey
Hockey is a fun and exciting arena sport that combines the athleticism of soccer and grace of ice skating. Even in adult leagues, games can get really competitive. Make sure you’re clear on whether your league allows checking or follows milder play rules.
Getting started in this sport typically requires a significant investment in equipment, but you should be able to get gear from second-hand sports stores or online. Pick-up games can be as cheap as $15, but a full season on a team will likely cost between $300-$500.
6. Roller Derby
If you loved roller skating as a kid, you’ll love roller derby. This exhilarating match-up of teams racing counter-clockwise around a track is competitive but friendly. Learn how to jam and block and race without falling down (too many times).
Each league differs, but fees can start at $30 per month. The main expense will be your roller skates and adding flair to your uniform.
Basketball is probably one of the most popular arena sports. Even if you haven’t played since middle school gym class, you can still join a social league or pick up a game. Getting out on the court is an enjoyable way to spend some time with friends and work out without the boredom of a gym.
While you might be able to enjoy pick-up games at a local gym, join an adult league to guarantee more regular practice and play. The cost to start is minimal as you just need sneakers and workout clothes. League fees vary by team and area but typically range about $350-$500.
Volleyball isn’t just a beach game. It’s also an indoor sport that can be played any time of year. You can join an organized league or just ask around about informal pick-up games at your gym. Each level will likely have its own rules so make sure you’re clear on your experience level.
Whether you have your own team or join as a “free agent,” you’ll likely pay around $80 per season.
9. Martial Arts
Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, Taekwondo, and more! Each form of martial arts has its own unique tradition, and can be a fantastic self-growth experience. Many martial arts studios have introductory lessons where you can try it out. Classes often run for consecutive weeks and require tests to pass on to the next class.
Lesson prices vary considerably. Drop-in classes can be $15-$20 per class or you might be able to sign up for a monthly or annual membership for around $100 per month.
Step up to the pitch and see if you have what it takes to survive a rugby game. The brute force of this game is not for the meek. Only the strong will come out of the scrum unscathed. But it’s still an incredibly fun game that is slowly gaining more popularity in the US.
Fees will vary depending on location and the level of competition you’re seeking.
With the growth of workout routines such as CrossFit, weightlifting has made something of a resurgence. Lifting is an integral part of any fitness routine but taking it to the competitive level is a whole new game. You’ll get to build strength you didn’t know was possible.
Typical CrossFit memberships cost around $150 per month but you can also train with a regular gym membership.
Boxing may seem too brutal for anyone who is not already a professional, but it’s actually a very good workout. When you train properly and protect yourself, you’re less likely to get hurt. Although sometimes a male-dominated sport, more boxing gyms are targeting women who also want to build the strength and dexterity you get from boxing.
Boxing-only gyms cost around $50 per month, although you may be able to get promotional discounts periodically.
Despite the old-man stereotype, squash is actually a great indoor sport – the speed of the game and minimal equipment investment makes it ideal for players of any age. Many gyms have dedicated squash courts and it should be fairly easy to find a partner if you don’t already have one.
The cost of play is usually the same as your gym’s daily fee.
Summing It Up
You don’t have to brave bad weather to get that beach bod (hey, I’ve been working on it for 20 years and am still not there!). As we’ve seen, if you want to tone those muscles, lose some pounds, make new friends, or even relieve anxiety, there are plenty of indoor sports you can try out, no matter your tastes or budget. So, get motivated and head to your gym for some awesome arena sports action!
What are your favorite indoor sports? Do you do them year-round?
* All prices are rough estimates and can vary widely.