Top five healthiest sports for women

There are five sports that provide greater health benefits for women. Playing sports can be a wonderful way to stay in shape and lose weight.

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However, dedicating time to some of the healthiest sports for women can provide faster and better results.

1. Squash

Squash has been rated the healthiest sport by a group of fitness consultants and physiologists in Forbes. This sport may seem deceptively simple and easy to play, but it provides an intense cardio workout that burns 517 calories in 30 minutes. Squash is perfect for busy women because it does not require a lot of time or equipment. This healthy sport works the upper and lower body by toning and improving flexibility.

2. Swimming

Swimming is one of the healthiest low impact sports for women. In an hour, it is possible to burn 790 calories by swimming. This healthy sport improves the cardiovascular system while building endurance. Swimming is capable of improving flexibility, building muscle mass and toning the body. In addition, studies have revealed that swimming can be better for the heart than running or walking.

3. Cycling

Numerous studies have shown that cycling can help women maintain and control their weight. This healthy sport provides cardiovascular benefits and can burn 475 calories in a half an hour. Cycling can also provide endurance training, lower body strengthening and muscle toning. The benefits of biking extend beyond the physical, and researchers have found its positive influence on mental health. Cycling has been linked to a reduction in anxiety, depression and mood disorders.

4. Running

Running may be a high impact sport, but it provides a variety of health benefits for women. This sport improves cardiovascular health and prevents bone loss. Running can also burn 475 calories in a half an hour while toning the legs and building muscle. Researchers have also discovered that running can diminish the impact of aging. It reduces stress, increases life expectancy, controls weight and improves sleep.

5. Rowing

Rowing is a low impact alternative to many fitness options and is one of the healthiest sports for women. It can burn 475 calories in a half an hour and provides a workout for the entire body. Rowing creates an intense cardio workout that focuses on the core. It contributes to improving endurance, building muscles and losing weight. Rowing can reduce the risk of heart disease for women without adding the risk of joint problems created by high impact exercises.

Lana has a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry. She is an avid athlete, youth coach and follows several sports.

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Updated Thursday, Sep 29, 2011