Ultimate Frisbee and Health: How The Game Can Change Your Mental and Physical Health
Fortunately, there are games today that can help you get all of your exercise without feeling like you’re pushing yourself, but none do it better than Ultimate Frisbee.
ULTIMATE: THE BASICS
Ultimate Frisbee is played in an open outdoor area or a large, enclosed space. Teams throw discs to each other in the hopes of scoring a goal. The aim of Ultimate Frisbee is to work as a team to catch the disc in your opponents’ endzone. Ultimate Frisbee is typically played with seven players, though that’s more of a guideline than an actual rule.
The game is played with no official referees: you and your friends take the lead! Anyone from the very young to the relatively old can play Ultimate Frisbee, and it’s typically used as a team-building exercise.
BRASS TACKS: HEALTH BENEFITS
Now that you know the basic structure of Ultimate Frisbee, let’s talk about what you came here for: to learn the health benefits of Ultimate Frisbee. The game can improve mental and physical health in as little time as a few hours. Below are some of the best health benefits you can receive from heading out onto the field.
Running and Sprinting: Running and sprinting, the bane of many an athletically adverse citizen. However, when you pair running with a game, running becomes more fun. But don’t take our word for it. Go out and try it!
People who play Ultimate Frisbee consistently can run for long stretches in their off hours. In fact, many of them begin to love the effect running has on their bodies and begin enjoying it outside the game.
Ultimate Frisbee makes you run the length of a field many times over. The game requires paces that range from gentle walks to flat-out sprints. And, instead of a straight line, you can weave in and out of your opponents with ease, breaking up your patterns.
As the game doesn’t require a certain number of points to conclude, you could potentially be out on the field for hours. Sooner or later, you’ll realize that it just may be worth it to spend a good chunk of your down time indulging in Ultimate Frisbee.
Interval Training: If you haven’t heard of interval training in the past, it’s time you were introduced. Interval training is one of the top methods to losing weight, reducing your resting heart rate, and developing greater athleticism. Interval training is just what the name implies: you exercise for a short period of time before resting for half that interval.
Ultimate Frisbee consistently forces players to run, squat, dodge, and throw discs with intermittent periods of rest. One minute you’re laughing with the boys and the next you’re sprinting toward the disc and skidding through the grass.
The more interval training you do, the more you’ll notice a change in your weight, heartrate, and the time it takes for you to become tired. In essence, the more you play Ultimate Frisbee, the more your body can take when playing Ultimate Frisbee.
Agility: Have you ever wanted to do a backflip off of a building? Maybe you’ve always envisioned yourself gliding through the air in an acrobatic leap as you push yourself to do parkour. If you’re one of the many who’s looking for a reason to get off of the couch, maybe you just want to feel more athletic when you get off the couch to search for a soda.
Ultimate Frisbee is designed to give you that extra oomph that will make maneuvering that much easier. With all the twists and turns it takes to dodge in and out of opponents and the reach it takes to grasp that disc, your agility will improve rapidly.
There are two basic positions on the Ultimate Frisbee field: the offensive and defensive player. When you’re on the offensive, you’ll reach around your opponents—and possibly your teammates—to get that perfect catch. When you’re a defender, you have to be ready to slap a disc out of the air.
Each side requires a lot of pivoting and jumping, forcing your core to act. Each throw you make requires you to move muscles you probably didn’t know you had. There’s nothing easy about making your body fluid around others on the field, which is why you’ll always get a lesson in agility playing Ultimate Frisbee.
Full-Body Workout: With everything else mentioned in this article, it should come as no surprise that Ultimate Frisbee is a full-body workout. You have to move muscles that aren’t typically used. Your arms and legs get a significant workout as you coil up in both defensive and offensive positions.
Ultimate Frisbee takes a lot of practice, and there’s no doubt that you’ll start to feel the onset of soreness after only playing for half an hour.
In fact, the reason that so many professional Ultimate Frisbee players look like they’re made of rock is because of their constant exercise in the sport. Many players can maintain a fast speed while running long distances thanks to their experience with the sport.
Social Interaction: Now, it’s no secret that getting social interaction is not only extremely beneficial during the game, but you’ll likely feel the effects long after you leave the field. In the past few months of social isolation, you’ll no doubt have no trouble believing that a little bit of interaction can go a long way.
The social interaction you get from the game has serious mental health benefits. The fresh air and lively conversation can trigger dopamine—the happy hormone—into your system.
Ultimate Frisbee is also a great place to meet new people that share your interest. Not only do you develop a strong interaction between your team members, but you’ll also see an increase in your friend group from other teams in the area.
Ultimate Frisbee is a global phenomenon, so playing will help you get connections from around the country and more. Online groups and local clubs are also great places to increase your exposure to people who want to play.
Since Ultimate Frisbee is such an accessible game for people of all ages, it’s also a popular way to introduce kids to people in the area. They will learn team-building exercises and begin to understand sportsmanship. They’ll learn the benefits of winning and losing gracefully while gaining friends.
GETTING ON THE FIELD
Because it has been so hard to get out lately, it’s beneficial to know that there is somewhere you can turn once the pandemic is over. Grab people from both inside and outside your friend group to enjoy the fresh air and to experience the joy of the game.
If you don’t have a large posse of people to begin playing, not to worry. Start out small and grow your group as others see you play and want to join in. Remember, you’ll have a friend group for life when you delve into the Ultimate Frisbee lifestyle!