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Check into what exercise and training you may need to improve your game and avoid injury.

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Want to take time out for sports and the recreational enjoyment it can bring? Here are some tips to get you into the game and stay there.

Choose sports and playing times that fit into your lifestyle and are at accessible venues

If you want to swing into golf but can't complete 18 holes, go to courses that offer nine holes or hit a driving range. Hockey is notorious for crazy ice-time hours, so check whether the league you're joining has decent playing times. Skate Sister in Toronto, for instance, offers Friday morning games.

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Play without joining a club or league

Find out, for instance, if neighbours or parents at your kids' school want to get soccer, baseball or ball hockey pickup games going. Check into whether you need to apply for permits through your municipality to book a field or gym.

Do it on the cheap

Affordability is a sports-participation hindrance for many women. Instead of buying new hockey or tennis gear, for instance, ask friends if you can borrow theirs, or try second-hand sporting shops. Find free outdoor rinks or public facilities such as tennis courts to avoid paying fees.

Get in shape

You don't play sports to get in shape, you get in shape to play sports. Check into what exercise and training you may need to improve your game and avoid injury.

Find some support

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Organizations offering free resources and programs include ParticipAction, and the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity.

Sources: Leigh Vanderloo of ParticipAction, Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity, recreational hockey player Kim Foley, and other sports and fitness sources.

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