3 Frugal & fun sports you might not have considered

If you're embracing a healthy lifestyle and want to get more movement into your routine, playing sports can be a fun way to exercise and connect with others. Here are three interesting sports you might not have considered...

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I’ve never considered myself a sporty person. In fact, I was the kind of teen who avoided PE lessons at all costs, only turning up when it was table tennis time. However, I’ve since realised the importance of daily movement and am now always looking for new ways to get active.

The thing is that I don’t like ‘exercise’. However, this isn’t really true because I love to run around, jump about and play games – I just won’t be hitting the gym for a workout any time soon. I prefer to enjoy movement in a way that doesn’t feel like a chore; more of an enjoyable way to exercise both my body and my mind.

Which is where competitive sports come in. Sunday football teams and tennis club nights are popular ways to get some exercise plus they allow you to get social and join in with a bit of healthy competition at the same time.

But what other sports can you enjoy that give you that same so-fun-that-it-doesn’t-feel-like-exercise effect? And that doesn’t cost a fortune to get into? Here are some ideas…


I rate this racket sport a little more highly than tennis, solely because I’m a bit rubbish at tennis and I’m okay at badminton. It gives you the chance to play in pairs or individually and you’ll be running around, jumping, stretching, sprinting and reaching, all while having fun and getting competitive.

Competitive games like this have set rules, and the game isn’t over until the scores say it is, meaning that you’ll probably keep exercising for longer than if you were working out alone; badminton games can take up to 45 minutes if you’re well matched with your opponent.

Another thing I like about badminton is that it’s mostly played indoors as the wind would make it difficult to play outside. So, this means it’s a sport you can enjoy all year round. Icy courts and dark evenings can put a stop to your tennis sessions in the winter, but at least you can go inside and play badminton at any time of year.

Also, it’s a thrifty sport to get into, with a set of junior badminton rackets for beginners costing less than £30 for a pair, so you and a friend can play together whenever suits your timetables – before work, during your lunch break, in the evenings or on weekends. Give it a try, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.


I’ve been inspired by Gladiators here. After watching the contenders and gladiators climb the wall at super-fast speed, I was impressed and wanted to give it a go. Climbing is the kind of sport you find at holiday parks, along with bowling and mini golf, making it more of an ‘activity’ rather than ‘exercise’.

But don’t be fooled, it definitely IS exercise. You’re using the muscles in your legs, arms, back and core, making it a whole-body workout; the kind that builds strong lean muscles. At first, it’s just loads of fun but as you do more sessions you’ll start to become stronger without realising it.

Now, I’m not talking about climbing actual rock faces of cliffs or mountains – although you could do some tree-top adventure climbing and abseiling – I’m referring to the sport of climbing a man-made structure, which can be outdoors but is often indoors – again, another all-weather, all-season sport that you can keep up all year round.

Price-wise, I think it’s similar to a game of bowling as you pay for the duration of the session – about £10-£15. Plus, just like bowling, you don’t need to own the equipment; you can hire the shoes, harness and belay so you don’t have to splash out on all the gear before you start, which is a bonus.


On to the final sport that you probably haven’t considered: bowls. I know I’ve just been talking about bowling but that was in reference to a game of bowling at a bowling alley whereas what I’m discussing here is lawn bowls or carpet bowls; propelling a biased ball towards a ‘jack’ target ball with the closest bowls winning points.

You can play individually or in pairs or teams, making it a social sport too. This is a lovely way to introduce some gentle movement into your routine, which is especially good if you have reduced mobility and want to build up your abilities before moving on to a more fast-paced sport. Both indoor and outdoor bowls are slow, strategic games but they have health benefits too.

For a start, you’re bowling over long distances, with a green being 31m-40m in length. And you have to walk from one end to the other each time an ‘end’ is complete. With a match possibly having 15-18 ends, that’s a lot of walking!

Also, the bowls have weight to them and it requires some effort to propel them down the rink – especially outdoors. You can choose a size and weight of bowls to suit you but, whatever you choose, you’ll be lifting, handling and rolling them, which will inevitably use your muscles even if you don’t feel it at the time.

You don’t need much gear to get into bowls, other than a pair of flat-soled shoes to preserve the playing surface, so trainers are usually suitable. Most clubs will have sets of bowls that you can practise with so you can figure out if you enjoy the game before investing in any equipment.

Although bowls can costs £££s brand new, it’s easy to find second-hand ones – my set cost just £40 and they do the same job as a new set. And once you’re a member of a club, going to play for a few hours can cost as little as £3, so it’s a budget choice compared to most other sports or games.

What do you think of these three sports that you might not have considered playing before? Would you try any of these options to add a little extra movement into your routine? Have you tried any other thrifty sports that you’d recommend? If so, I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.

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This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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