Men and women of all shapes and sizes put their body under physical and mental stress when working out. Just like athletes, everyday people push themselves to lift weights, Zumba, spin, squat or jump. So are you considered an athlete? Is exercise a sport?
According to dictionary.com, a sport is defined as "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature. "
When you work out you require physical strength and power to do exercises. You may do box jumps, pushups, lat pull-downs or chest press...There are thousands of exercises that require you to put your body through stress. Overall, you put your body through this pressure to only become stronger. In essence you compete with yourself each time you work out to improve your physical capabilities.
So you don't run miles beyond miles, but some runners can barely do 10 pushups. Each type of athlete has their strengths and weaknesses. You may be able to squat thousands of pounds (being a bit dramatic here, but you get the point) but swimming might be a challenge. You're not a swimmer...you're an exerciser.
More: Cross-Training Ideas
Don't disqualify the thought of exercise as a sport and you as an athlete. You train every day to get better and healthier...that is a type of sport. Football players, baseball players, runners other athletes all have the same thing in common; they utilize mental and physical toughness. Whether you take Zumba, spin, Boot Camp, yoga, Pilates or any type of group fitness; you too undergo physical and mental toughness. It's the same idea if you strength train alone.
Most "sports" have a competitive side where there is a winner. In the sport of exercise the winner is always you. However, some days may not be your best day. On Monday you may have done 25 pushups in 30 seconds, where on Thursday you may only do 20 pushups. Your power went down and you need to work to figure out how to gain more strength and stamina to boost your power to beat your best rep. In this sense, exercise is a sport.
Crossfit has made a name for fitness as a sport because they hold so many Crossfit competitions. Crossfit combines weightlifting, sprinting and powerlifting at a high-intensity pace. During the competitions, Crossfit tests how much men and women through various obstacles and exercises. But if you don't do Crossfit, it's OK. You're still an athlete.
Look at Obstacle Course Racing; these races are becoming more and more popular. Obstacle races are challenges; they focus on climbing, crawling, jumping and mental stamina. It's a test of your fitness abilities. Again, call fitness a sport and you an athlete.
So the next time someone asks you if you participate in any sports, say yes. You participate in fitness. You're a fitness athlete.
Sign up for a fitness class.