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5 Of The Toughest Sports To Take Up In Your 30s

5 Of The Toughest Sports To Take Up In Your 30s

So you have looked at yourself in the mirror now that you are approaching something like middle age, and came to the conclusion that it is time to get in shape and start exercising again. That is good, and you can improve your body by jogging and playing some golf.

But you can do more. Maybe you can do something that provides a real challenge. You are not going to strap on a football helmet or dunk a basketball, but there are plenty of physical activities you can do that will give you a serious challenge and thrill. Here are five sports which can be fun, challenging, and get your body going.

Boxing

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    Boxing is generally a young man’s sport, because really only young men are stupid enough to think that getting punched in the face repeatedly is a good idea.

    But if you are looking to get fit, you do not have to actually punch anyone (or more importantly, get punched). There is a great deal of cardiovascular training which comes with preparing for boxing, whether it is jumping rope, wailing away on a punching bag, or practicing your reflexes and balance.

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    Many fitness centers offer boxing classes, and will understand if you come in only looking to get fit. They will give you a chance to practice without risking yourself in a serious match.

    It should be noted that you should get into reasonably decent health before you try boxing. But once you do, it is a great way to improve your health.

    Climbing

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      Climbing is a sport which you can keep at your entire life, and there are many accounts of senior climbers succeeding. Just look at this 95-year old Connecticut climber, who set a record at her local park for her exploits.

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      Climbing offers a lot of challenges, but an older person does have some advantages compared to someone younger. An older person can step back, think, and calmly take the climb slowly and thoughtfully compared to someone with more energy. And you will have more time to learn the tricks and techniques needed to become a successful climber. You will also improve your muscles and heart strength as well as your grip.

      Swimming

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        Almost any guide to exercise will tell you how swimming is a great way to improve your health without risking injury. This is because there is no jumping, the water supports your weight, and it does not impact your joints all that much.

        But as someone who has swam for most of his life, I can tell you there is a catch to it. Yes, swimming does not impact your joints and muscles as much as say, running. But because of this, it means that you can practice longer and harder than land sports where you have to stop and rest.

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        So while swimming has a reputation as an easy sport for those who are just exercising to stay fit, you can put a lot more effort into swimming compared to other sports. And that effort can translate into some fantastic health results.

        Tennis

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          Tennis can seem to be easy if you are watching the Wimbledon on TV, but it is a sport which can require jumping and short bursts of energy. So it may not seem to be suitable for an older person.

          But you do not have to be the next Roger Federer. The constant running, walking, and hitting the ball all are part of tennis and can go a long way towards improving your total body health. And tennis is a sport which you can learn and continue to play at any point in your life, as Gerald Marzorati with the New York Times details.

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          Rowing

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            Swimming can be hard. Boxing can be hard. Tennis can be hard. But generally when you’re finished with them, you can walk out, take a shower, and not be totally catatonic afterwards.

            That cannot be said for rowing, one of the most challenging sports there is. Rowing seems easy for anyone who has ever watched a rowing race during the Olympics. But it taxes all of your muscles, even your legs (in fact, the legs are the key muscle in rowing as opposed to the arms). It also requires proper technique, a lot of practice, and will leave you absolutely sore when you are finished.

            Rowing is an incredible challenge, but also gives you an incredible workout when you have finished. If you want a true, incredible challenge not for the weak hearted, then find that rowing machine at the gym or a local rowing crew and then get to work.

            Featured photo credit: coffeebugg via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on December 9, 2019

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

            Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

            Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

            1. Get Rationally Optimistic

            Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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            This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

            In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

            The result: no more mental stress.

            2. Unplug

            Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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            How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

            It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

            Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

            3. Easy on the Caffeine

            Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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            Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

            4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

            That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

            How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

            • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
            • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
            • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

            While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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            5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

            This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

            The result: mental stress will be gone!

            So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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            Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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