There are many sports that make for great physical exercise. Sport, in general, is an excellent way to give your kids the runaround they need to stay fit; it’s exciting, involving, and nowhere near as dull as jogging in silence can be. One of the most underrated sports for kids to try out if they need physical exercise is cricket; while it may not be quite as full-on as games like football or rugby, it still gives you a great workout, and there are benefits to following it outside of playing the sport as well. Here’s why your children should consider playing (and watching) cricket.
As we’ve already pointed out, cricket can be an excellent physical workout for your children. There’s a good reason why magazines like Men’s Health recommend “the Ashes cricket workout” to help you build your fitness; cricket players are extremely physically fit, with strong muscle definition and good cardio health. If your kids are overweight, this can also be a great way to help them gently get into the healthy weight range; they won’t need to overexert themselves, and they’ll have a great time while they work out, too.
If your kids already have any interest in sport, you’ll know that they can spend hours discussing off-pitch changes with their friends. This is the same in cricket, too. Take the Indian Premier League, for example; cricketer Kevin Pietersen recently took some time with sports betting platform Betway to chat player decisions for the upcoming IPL playoffs, as well as underrated players who deserve an England test spot. Your kids would love to talk about stuff like that, especially if they’re already sports-inclined, so why not instil a love of cricket in them from an early age?
Many people like to obfuscate the rules of cricket because they believe it’s an overly boring or slow game. This isn’t true, though, and if your kids decide to play cricket, they’ll quickly realise that’s the case. All you need is a set of wickets, a bat, and a ball, and you can play cricket with a group of your friends. There are many different kinds of cricket, too, so you don’t need to commit yourself to lengthy games. Kwik cricket has been developed as a style that’s playable in school playgrounds or on summer holidays, for example, so it may be a good idea to start with that.
You might be watching your budget right now, especially as the cost of living squeeze hits. If you are, then you’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t cost much at all to get into cricket. Unfortunately, buying tickets to see a professional cricket match is going to cost you, but that’s the same across all sports, and buying the equipment you need for a decent cricket game won’t set you back much at all. You don’t need special uniforms or clothing, either; you can simply play in your standard sporting gear, and grab yourself a relatively cheap bat, ball, and set of wickets.
It’s not just your kids that will benefit from cricket. You can also play the sport with elderly relatives or those that are more advanced in age, as well as anyone else who wants to join in. Thanks to the “stop-start” nature of cricket, you can take it at whatever pace you like, so if your kids want their grandma or grandad to join in, cricket is definitely a more friendly sport than football, for example. Grandparents who don’t want to be too physically active can be assigned as fielders, while those who do want to participate more can choose their level of involvement.
Some sports are arguably more difficult to play (although never impossible) than others when it comes to physical disability. Cricket is a very accommodating sport in this regard, so if your child does have some kind of physical disability, you may want to consider cricket as a good form of exercise. It’s a good workout for their arms if they’re able to use them, and you can adapt the sport to include wheelchair-bound players, as well as those with other levels of physical disability. It’s definitely worth researching the different ways in which cricket can be adapted in this sense.
Of course, all of these benefits wouldn’t mean much if playing cricket wasn’t downright fun, but it is. Anyone who tries to tell you that cricket isn’t enjoyable is either harbouring bitterness or has never played the sport themselves. Yes, it’s true that cricket players aren’t in constant motion like footballers might be, but like with any sport, there’s a healthy element of competition, as well as a layer of strategy and a good burst of physical exercise to keep things well-rounded. Cricket is an excellent sport to play if you’re looking to have a good time with your kids outdoors.
One currently hugely under-researched element of a child’s life is their mental health. We often think of mental health problems as only appearing during adulthood, but the truth is that they can often manifest during childhood as well. Sports can help kids with their mental health in a significant way; by doing physical exercise, you’re also looking after your mind, and that goes for your children as well. Even if they don’t want to play a full game of cricket, just running around the field for a little while and practising can be a massive mood-booster.