We all know that the key to staying young and feeling great is to keep moving. Being stuck behind a desk all day and then sitting on a couch all night once you get home is a formula for weight gain, unhappiness and general unhealthiness. Here are ten fun ways to break the monotony and stay active and well!
There’s no feeling like pumping the pedals up a hill, cresting it, and shifting gears down the hill to reach top speed and feel the wind blowing through your hair (under your helmet, of course). Cycling gets your heartbeat up, burns calories, and produces endorphins that keep you feeling energized and young. Simulators are coming closer and closer to the real thing too, so you can get the great benefits of cycling no matter the weather.
Golf is a sport you can play your whole life. Whether you get up early in the morning, pick up your iron and hit the links with friends or just squeeze in a few holes before dark after a long day at work, golf is a great way to stay fit. It’s not just a good calorie-burning workout; golf helps build muscle, increase flexibility, and even keeps your brain young as it requires creative thought and excellent mind-body connection. While not many of us have the time to play a full round of golf every day, more and more courses are offering 3, 6 or 9 hole rates to help you squeeze it into your schedule. Or, consider an indoor putting greens.
Bowling is another sport that, like golf, can be played for a lifetime. Most bowling alleys have leagues for all skill levels that can provide great social interactions as well as the benefits of physical activity. Of course, the benefits will only be benefits if you avoid the traditional bowling alley trappings of too many pitchers of beer and fried foods.
Many youth leagues need assistant or head coaches to help organize and teach youngsters. You don’t even need to be an expert in the sport, though it helps to have a little bit of knowledge. Just participate and provide a positive influence; the rewards on your mental well-being will be stunning, and the exercise you get at practices will be a great side-benefit!
Even if you can’t make it outside, you can get a workout from several different video game consoles. Whether playing tennis on WiiSports or dancing in front of an XBox Kinect, video games that involve full-body motion are perfect for rainy days or low-impact workouts. They make for fun social gatherings too!
Hosting a game night is proven to lower stress levels and blood pressure. Depending on the game, you may find yourself exercising your mental powers of strategy and creativity, or jumping out of your chair to act out a phrase you’re not allowed to say. It’s a wonderful way to broaden your social circle and forget about your stressors for a while.
You’re never too old to learn a few new steps. Taking a dance class can be a wonderful way to get your blood flowing and reconnect romantically with your partner (or to meet a new one, if you’re looking to mingle). Whether it’s a low-impact activity like square dancing or something more involved, dancing is a time-tested way to keep your mind and body feeling great.
More and more fitness regimens are avoiding repetitive, unfun workouts and turning them into events you’ll look forward to. Whether you check out a Zumba class for dance-inspired exercise or low-impact water aerobics at the local YMCA, alternative workouts are changing the landscape of what it means to work out and stay healthy. They’re fast becoming something people look forward to instead of chores to avoid.
Growing your own food is an incredibly rewarding pursuit. While gardening provides surprisingly good exercise even beyond the initial digging/planting, it also produces great quantities of delicious and healthy food. Vegetables will never taste better than when they’re freshly picked from your own backyard, especially if you season them with herbs grown in the next patch.
Recent Swedish studies demonstrated a strong correlation between singing and heart health, and more research is currently underway. Joining an adult choir or just getting together with friends for a karaoke night is a great way to stay young. You’ll improve your heart health, make social connections and just flat-out have fun.
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