Showing posts with label Sports and Recreation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports and Recreation. Show all posts

Sunday, 1 January 2023

6 Hobbies For Physical Health


It’s an appealing idea to embody the Vulcan words of farewell, “live long and prosper.” However, navigating the creation of a long, healthy, and prosperous life can feel overwhelming, or worse, tedious. To combat this, it helps to make things that are good for us both accessible and fun. To that end, the following six hobbies for physical health have you covered.

 

1. Dance 

 

Incorporating dance into your life can be an organized event, such as taking a class, attending salsa night at a Latin club, or heading to a concert. However, it can also be more impromptu, like putting on music that gets you moving and dancing like no one is watching.  Regardless, it will be good for you.

 

A study for Complementary Therapies In Medicine found that exercise is as good as drug interventions for reducing the risk of overall mortality. In addition, they found that dance was a more enjoyable, easier-to-maintain, form of exercise that helps people to lose weight, improve flexibility, gain muscle tone, improve cardiovascular health, and convey social/emotional benefits.[1]


2. Cycling 

 

You can ride a cruiser, invest in a peloton, downhill race, road bike cross country, or some other variation on the theme. There are many ways to cycle and each of them offers health benefits, a community of like-minded enthusiasts, and an enjoyable way to move your body.


3. Couples Yoga 

 

Yoga is good for you. Few would bother to argue that point. In this case, the more can definitely be the merrier. There are postures you can try with a partner that would be impossible alone. Plus, the social aspect reinforces relationships, another key component of overall health.


4. Running

 

The wonderful thing about running is that you can do it anywhere.  All it takes is you, a pair of shoes, and the will to get going.  When running in a new place, you see it in ways that you couldn’t otherwise. It’s immersive and personal. There’s also a meditative quality to it, an awareness of breath, gait, and environment that can firmly plant you in the present, enriching the moment and your life as a whole.

 

5. Swimming

 

This is an activity that provides it all: challenges, intensity, myriad variations, low impact, and immersion in a fundamental element. In addition, there is something comforting about being in the water, perhaps an unconscious reminder of the womb.   

 

6. Birding

 

Being in nature has been proven to benefit the mind, body, and spirit.[2] When you add to this experience the mindful awareness of another species, the benefits multiply.  In a simple sense, you create a kind of treasure hunt as you attune your eyes to picking out new feathered friends. 

 

Each additional identification deepens and broadens your perception of the world around you. This connection increases your capacity to care for yourself and others by expanding your scope of care. Inclusiveness is good for everything.

 

The Takeaway

 

Making play out of the physical activities you engage in makes them more enjoyable and hence more sustainable over time. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, what’s important is that you keep moving. Use these six hobbies for physical health as a springboard and explore some ideas of your own.  This is your adventure, make it a good one.

 

References:

  1. Lakes, K. D., Marvin, S., Rowley, J., Nicolas, M. S., Arastoo, S., Viray, L., Orozco, A., & Jurnak, F. (2016). Dancer perceptions of the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits of modern styles of partnered dancing. Complementary therapies in medicine26, 117–122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2016.03.007
  2. Robbins, J. (2020, January 9). Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health. Yale E360. Retrieved September 27, 2022, from https://e360.yale.edu/features/ecopsychology-how-immersion-in-nature-benefits-your-health



Wednesday, 21 December 2022

10 New Things to Start Doing Immediately for a More Interesting and Inspired Life


When life gets dull, there’s no need to succumb to a mundane lifestyle. Instead, just mix it up! Here are 10 new things to do when you’re trying to spunk up your life. 

 

1.    Visit a New Town 

 

Variety is the spice of life, and one way to achieve that is by exploring. You don’t have to trek across the globe to mix up your whereabouts – you can travel to a neighboring town or your closest metropolis. Either way, experiencing a different culture is a great way to make your life more inspired. 

 

2.    Branch Out with Food 

 

Food culture is upon us – let’s relish it! Change up your daily routine by cooking a new meal or going to an exotic restaurant. Here’s the best part: You can do it alone or in good company. It’s your call! 

 

3.    Make a Trip to the Museum 

 

Unless you’re a museum buff, you probably don’t pay frequent trips to the local museum. When you have some extra time on your hands, and you’re looking for new things to do, take a walk-through history or art at the museum. 

 

4.    Spend Time with Someone New 

 

Socialization can be the source of great ideas and inspiration. Give your neighbor a friendly wave or call up an old friend for a coffee date. You never know what could come out of a friendly chat! 

 

5.    Go for a Bike Ride 

 

Fresh air, exercise, and some good ole Vitamin D. A bike ride may be just the thing you need! 

 

6.    Take a Day Trip 

 

When your budget doesn’t allow for a vacation, you can take a day trip to a fun place nearby. Experiment with different foods, visit a few shops and make memories at a new place. 

 

7.    Get Crafty 

 

You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy a good arts and crafts session. Bring out the paint supplies, and glitter and inspiration will hit! 

 

8.    Host a Barbecue 

 

… depending on the weather, of course. When you’re looking for a change of pace, it’s always a good idea to host a gathering with your favorite people. 

 

9.    Go Shopping 

 

There’s nothing like retail therapy! And if you’re working with a budget, you can go thrift shopping. 

 

10.  Pick up Scrapbooking 

 

Sometimes “new” comes from the old. As you piece together your scrapbook, you can look back on your favorite memories. It will boost your inspiration to go make more memories! 



Sunday, 11 December 2022

Heal Yourself: Get Back to Nature


Even the most anti-outdoorsy type has to admit that they feel calmer when they smell the fresh air and see the sunlight filtering in through the leaves. It fills us with a sense of comfort and relaxation.

 

Not only does it make us feel good, but it also heals us from the inside out. It shows in how we think more clearly and how our moods are restored when we’re around nature.


Keep reading to learn more about how to heal yourself through nature.

 

Why Do We Feel Good When We’re in Nature?

 

Getting back to nature acts as a reminder that we’re all part of the natural world. We’re all connected somehow, which is why you feel at peace when you’re in a quiet forest or a meadow.

 

Think of when you walk barefoot on the beach or a patch of green grass. You know that pleasant feeling you get? It feels like you’re home, comfortable, relaxed, and at ease.

 

The best part is all the stress and tension you’ve been holding onto melts away somehow. It’s like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, and you feel freer and lighter.

 

How Can We Reconnect with Nature?

 

Finding opportunities to reconnect with nature and take advantage of its healing benefits can be a challenge in our hectic lifestyles. Yet, you don’t have to go camping in the middle of nowhere to enjoy nature. Instead, there are ways you can do just that right in the comfort of your own home.

 

Take a look.

 

Gardening

 

Don’t lose hope if you’re not into hiking or camping outdoors. You can still be close to nature but in a different way.

 

For example, you can plant a vegetable garden in your yard. Tending to plants allows you to spend a good deal of time with nature and connect with the earth.

 

You get to breathe in the fresh smell of the soil and the plants themselves. But, of course, that’s even more enjoyable if you’re planting fragrant plants, such as jasmines, roses, or lilies.

 

You also get to connect to nature in a hands-on, visceral way that, for some people, can become very personal. In fact, many gardeners say that when they’re tending their gardens, they feel a deeper bond with nature they hadn’t felt before.

 

Many also feel that gardening makes them feel that they’re part of something bigger than themselves. This special connection allows them to bridge the gap between our hectic, modern world and the natural world.

 

Mindfulness Meditation

 

Being outdoors is such a wonderful opportunity to slow down and breathe. Look around and see all the colors around you. Take in how the light plays through the leaves or reflects off a big, shiny rock.

 

Next, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Inhale as much fresh, clean air as you can to cleanse out your lungs from the smog and fumes, we’re so used to taking in.

 

Then, stop and listen. Really listen to the birds and crickets chirping, as well as any other creatures, big or small.

 

Also, if there’s a brook or stream nearby, pay close attention to the sound of the water. Studies show that the sound of running water is calming and can even have an anti-depressant effect.

 

Yet, the best thing to listen out for in nature is nothing. That calm quietude has become so rare that we sometimes don’t know just how much we miss.

 

Forest Bathing

 

Forest bathing,’ or ‘shinrin-yoku’ in Japanese, is the art of moving slowly and mindfully through a forest. The aim of this Asian practice is for you to engage all your five senses along the way.

 

So, with each step, you take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of your surroundings. This experience is similar to mindful meditation, which we mentioned above.

 

Yet, it goes beyond stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system or reducing your stress levels. Forest bathing also helps increase anti-inflammatory properties in your body and boost your immune system, all thanks to the terpenes you inhale as you’re walking through the forest.

 

Conclusion

 

More and more, people are starting to realize that the best way to heal themselves is by getting back to nature. It’s true that the more time we take to relax and unwind in nature, the better off we’ll be.

 


Wednesday, 20 July 2022

5 Ways To Stay Fit Without Entering A Gym


Let’s face it, the gym environment (despite the diversity of options for gyms that are present in most places) is not for everyone, either due to personal preference of atmosphere, lack of self-confidence, or possibly simply logistical issues such as time or transportation, but fortunately there are a number of ways that you can stay in shape and get some exercise without ever stepping foot into a gym.

 

Consider the following 5 suggestions that provide a workout in an alternative setting.

 

Hiking/Walking

 

Whether you go to the park closest to you and walk around for 20 minutes, or you take a day trip to whatever state park with hiking trails is most feasible for you, or even if you just take an hour to explore your town or city.

 

Consider it taking yourself on a tour of your town which likely would result in you either re-discovering the town that you call home or learning things about your city of which you were previously unaware.

 

Walking and hiking are excellent ways to get some exercise without going to a gym. Anything from a brief stroll to a vigorous hike will most certainly be worth the time and the effort, and you will be happy that you did.

 

Donate Your Time/Labor

 

Volunteering in a community garden, or with a charitable organization such as Habitat for Humanity, or any other activity of the like will not only get you moving and active without stepping on a treadmill, but the sense of accomplishment and reward that your philanthropic activities will yield will make you feel better both inside and out.

 

Your local Chamber of Commerce or YMCA would likely be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing the volunteer activity that is right for you.

 

Turn Cleaning Into A Workout

 

Basically, most weekly or daily household chores (vacuuming, mopping, general maintenance and cleaning) involve a certain amount of physical activity anyway, so why not turn these tasks that need to be done anyway into a work out of sorts? Accomplishing this efficient use of your energy is as simple as putting on your work-out clothes and shoes, turning on your favorite work-out music, and just putting a little more energy into your movements as you get your house chores done.

 

Take Up A Sport That Suits You

 

Most every town and certainly every city has adult league teams that play a variety of sports such as softball, soccer, basketball, etc. Even if you’ve never played a team sport before, there is a good chance that you will find a sport and team that is appropriate for your skill level and physical ability.

 

And you might be surprised at how much you enjoy your new found activity and the comradery of your team mates, as well as you may discover a talent to which you were previously unaware you possessed which, like volunteering, will not only give you exercise and help you to stay fit but will also improve your mental and emotional health. If you find the right sport and the right team to join, it will most certainly be a win-win situation for you

 

Participate In An Obstacle Course

 

A fast-growing trend in outdoor fitness activities are organized obstacle courses, and there are options for every level of athlete, many of which are also themed which makes them more fun and interesting.

 

Obstacle courses such as Tough Mudder, Zombie Mud Run, Spartan Race, etc. are just 3 of the multiple options of fun obstacle course races that will certainly give you a work out but won’t make you spend time at the gym.

 

SOURCES:

 

http://www.health.com/fitness/10-fun-ways-to-get-fit-without-a-gym#sign-up-for-an-obstacle-course-race

 

http://www.health.com/fitness/10-fun-ways-to-get-fit-without-a-gym#join-a-team

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=obstacle+course+races&rlz=1C1CHBD_enUS790US790&oq=obstacle+course+races&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.4464j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

Sunday, 8 May 2022

The Power of Nature Walks


Here’s something that many of us simply don’t do enough of: walking in nature.

Going for a nature walk is one of THE most effective ways to feel calmer, to help improve your overall health, and even to stimulate creativity.

 

Walking of any kind is in fact extremely good for stimulating creativity and encouraging calmness. The reason for this, is that when we go for a long walk, we are engaging in a form of low-level activity. We need to think a little about where we’re going and how to coordinate our feet, but nothing too strenuous. This in turn prevents us from getting bored and frustrated, while freeing our minds up to explore other diverse topics.

 

And more specifically, it triggers what is known as the ‘default mode network’. That in turn, means that you’re going to find yourself daydreaming and thinking more creatively about the future.

 

This is why many people had their best ideas while going for long walks – countless famous authors, scientists, and others have expressed the same.

 

What’s even more potent though, is to take a walk-in nature. Why? Because the natural surrounds of a forest walk or seaside stroll can help to make us more relaxed, which in turn stimulates further creativity. 

 

The reason is evolutionary: in the wild, the sight of lush green trees meant that we were approaching shelter, supplies, and resources – nourishment. Today, even looking at the color green on its own has been shown to lower the heart rate and to help improve calmness.

 

There’s more to this as well. For example, walking outdoors is also a brilliant way to boost your health. Walking outside not only means getting some exercise and burning some calories/fat, but also increasing your production of vitamin D. Vitamin D acts like a ‘master hormone’ and can help to boost other hormones that improve mood and encourage a more ideal physique.

 

The fresh air likewise will help in all kinds of ways: it will increase your energy at the time, and going forward. It will also help you to sleep better the following night, significantly improving your stress levels the next day.

 

So, make time for walking – not just as a way to get from point a to point b. Walk for the sake of walking, and take some time to breathe deeply, drink in the sights, and listen to the birds. It’s good for the soul and even better for your brain.

 


Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Building Habits Slowly is the Foundation for Success


When I worked in New York City, I found myself getting into some bad habits. I took the train to work and got off at the station that was closest to my office. I had a checkup and my doctor was not very happy with my numbers. I needed to change my ways. She said I needed to get more exercise and eat better.

 

I did some research on diets and found that adding more fiber to my diet was a great way to be fuller and hence eat less. I started eating oatmeal frequently for breakfast and increased my intake of fruits and vegetables. I didn’t give up sweets altogether but scaled back on them significantly. But I didn’t do this all at once. I incorporated these diet changes over several weeks.

 

As for my exercise, I decided to start walking. Even here, I started out slowly. For about a week or two, I decided to get off at the train station that was a couple blocks away from where I worked (both to and from work). As I got used to the pace, I started taking the train station two stops away from my work. Since this took longer to walk, I had to increase my pace a bit in order to make sure I wasn’t late for work.

 

I continued this process of choosing train stops further away from my office until I was walking about three miles per day. I was also power walking because of the distance. Because I built this up slowly, it became a natural part of my routine and I found myself eager to walk.

 

In my next checkup, the doctor was amazed at my results and told me to keep doing what I was doing. My results weren’t just an improvement. She told me the results of my checkup were fantastic.

 

The point is not necessarily to go to work in New York City (unless you want to). It’s that I was able to build up good habits by doing so in a slow and steady manner. Had I tried to walk three miles in that first week, I don’t believe I would have been successful. By making small changes over the course of several months, it became a part of my life and something that I enjoyed doing.

 

Of course, during the times when there was bad weather, I did scale back my walking on those days. But it just made me more willing to get back to it the next day.


Contributed Article

 


Easily Make Exercising Daily a Habit


We all know we’re supposed to stay active, but how many of us have struggled with making exercise a daily habit? 

 

When we exercise throughout the week, we build our bodies, keeping our energy levels high, which makes for added productivity. But exercise is also good for us in other ways. Exercise helps you to sleep better and keeps you generally healthier as you age. Exercise not only keeps your body in top form but leads to better moods and overall mental health.

 

So how do you make exercise a daily habit? Follow these step-by-step instructions, and you’ll be on the road to building this healthy habit in no time!

 

1. Set time aside in your schedule. Being deliberate about when you exercise means that it’s more likely to happen, even when life is busy. Also, it trains your body that it’s time to move at a specific time each day. Before long, you’ll find yourself craving movement and the many benefits it offers.

 

2. Use your smartphone. Set a reminder on your phone for when it’s time to exercise, so you don’t forget.

 

3. Prepare yourself. Lay out your exercise clothes and gear the night before so you can’t use the excuse that you don’t have time to find everything. Keep your exercise bag right near the door and ready to go.

 

4. Just leave when ready. Is it time to go? Don’t overthink it. Just go whether you feel like it or not. Your body will click into gear once you get started. 

 

5. Take baby steps. By starting small, you won’t overwhelm yourself, or worse, do damage to a body not ready for a heavy workout. You can always increase your time/reps later when you become fitter.

 

6. Keep it fun and interesting. Noting screams boredom more than the same routine day after day. Mix up what you’re doing – run a new route or try a new exercise machine at the gym. Adding new types of exercise also makes sure you are working all your different muscles too.

 

7. Take a break – occasionally. As you build your new healthy habit, you don’t want to skip days. Consistency is key. However, it’s good to have the occasional lighter exercise day when you’ve recently upped your game or when you are especially tired or sick. 

 

Once you make exercise a daily habit, you’ll come to look forward to it. You won’t even think about it; you’lljust do it. With so much benefit, it’s obvious that keeping a daily exercise habit is essential to a happier and healthier you!

 


Avoiding Too Much of a Good Thing


One issue some of us may face is overworking our bodies. While it is true that staying active and getting regular exercise is incredibly important, there is also a dark side to getting too much activity. Sometimes becoming addicted to exercise, movement, and activity can actually put extra stress on your body and mind. This can be especially true if you find a sense of validation from trying to work toward a specific body image.

 

Stress from attempting to accomplish these types of goals can cause a lot of stressors, not only in our minds but physically as well once that drive goes into action. Most people fail to realize that there is such a thing as overdoing it with their physical exertion. If you aren’t visibly injuring yourself, then it may seem like there is no problem at all in exercising your heart out.

 

Unfortunately, the things that we are experiencing in our bodies are often invisible. We do not get signs and symptoms of serious issues until it is too late, and constantly exercising releases stress hormones into the brain. It is important to make sure that you are not overloading your body with this type of stress, as it can ultimately be problematic for your heart and sometimes even your mood. Make sure that you are giving yourself a reasonable amount of rest so that your muscles can repair themselves and you are able to do things in a healthy way. 

 

It is always important not to put yourself to extremes in any situation. While there can always be room for improvement, there is also a lot to be said for enjoying things in moderation. You can still maintain a healthy lifestyle. Just do your best not to obsess about it and if possible, keep in mind the fact that your physical fitness is not a total reflection of your worth. It is okay to take things easy once in a while and still find value in yourself. 

 

While it is always important to stay active, everything that we do takes a toll on us. Constantly putting yourself through stressors that can easily be avoided is dangerous. Consider all of the stories you may have heard about people who are shocked by a loved one who is in peak physical condition having heart attacks or other health issues that we are often thought exercise is meant to avoid. It is possible those people are guilty of overdoing it with their exercise regimen.

 

The purpose of this article isn’t to discourage you from exercise. Being active is a vital part of living a healthy life. However, make sure that you are being active in a safe way, because too much of a good thing can easily turn into a bad one, no matter what it is!

 


Monday, 11 April 2022

Does Your Fitness Band Really Work? (Infographic)



Which Activity Tracker is Right for You? (Infographic)



 

Wearable Tech & Preventive Healthcare (Infographic)

 


Health Trackers: A Day of Counting Steps & Calories (Infographic)