With the new year starting, it may be a good time to try some new ways to stay active. This has several benefits. First, a little variety helps keep you from getting bored. While consistency is key to getting good results in the gym, it can also be a little monotonous. Trying something new keeps things fresh and keeps you excited about staying active. Second, trying new things is great for your brain. You have to learn new movement patterns and new ways of thinking. You also have to practice being humble, since new skills take practice. Finally, trying new things is a great way to meet new people. If you’re ready for a new challenge this year, here are some suggestions.
Trying to grow some of your own food is a good way to stay active while also promoting healthy eating habits and possibly even saving some money. The scale can be anything from a few potted herbs to a backyard vegetable garden. Growing some of your own food gets you outside in the sun and fresh air and helps you build discipline by watering, weeding, and feeding your plants. And studies have found that compounds in soil stimulate the release of endorphins in your brain, helping you relax. Best of all, nothing tastes better than fresh vegetables you’ve grown yourself.
Very few people can juggle. Most people have never tried, or if they’ve tried, they gave up quickly. While it does take some practice, most people can master the basics in less than a week of diligent practice. Juggling has several great attributes. First, it’s basically free. All you need are three flat tennis balls and a YouTube tutorial to get started. Second, it’s an amazing workout for your coordination and concentration. You have to stay present, relaxed, and broaden your awareness enough to see all the balls and adjust to slight mistakes. Third, it’s as challenging as you want to make it. You can stop with three balls, you can add a fourth or fifth, or you can work your way up to fire and chainsaws.
Like gardening, foraging is a great way to get some physical activity and get some fresh food. Foraging will suit some people better, as it will get them out in nature, interacting with wilderness. However, it’s best to enlist the help of an expert guide to get you started and steer you away from poisonous plants and mushrooms.
How much of your city do you actually know? We typically spend all our time in cars or busses, but things look much different on foot. If you live in a walkable city, go out and explore. It might be a good idea to bring friends, to make it safer and more fun.
Lesser known sports
Most of us have played the popular sports at some point–soccer, football, baseball, and basketball, however there are tons of less popular sports that are fun and interesting and may suit you better than the more common sports. If you’ve played football, you might want to try rugby or water polo. If you’ve played baseball, why not try cricket. Or maybe combat sports are more your thing. Try a Brazilian jiu jitsu class or join a historical fencing group.
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