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3 Fun and Unique Ways to Get Healthy in 2017

3 Fun and Unique Ways to Get Healthy in 2017

If you are looking to join the thousands of other people getting into the fitness frenzy in 2017, you may want to consider other ways to get fit that do not involve going to the gym.

Let’s face it, losing weight is the number one resolution that people make each New Year yet 80% of people who make a new year’s resolution fail to accomplish their goals.

We need to find creative and exciting new ways to stay fit.

Fortunately, I’ve discovered 3 unique hobbies that you could commit to trying in the new year that are not only fun and invigorating but will actually make you break a sweat.

1. Mountain Climbing

I know what you are thinking – way too extreme.

While there are famous mountains that are as high as 19,000 feet, beginners can start small and work their way up.

Believe it or not, getting into mountain climbing isn’t too hard and the learning curve can be shortened if you follow a few basic tips.

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First, you need to make sure that you have the proper mountain climbing gear. Any list of good climbing gear starts with a reliable helmet as falling debris and rocks are a constant danger.

Next, be sure to buy a good set of climbing shoes. As the primary contact between you and the mountain, your shoes are critical.

You should tailor your shoes to the type of terrain you are climbing. Some mountains require more flexible shoes with a good grip. Other peaks require shoes with attached spikes. Also, to prevent your feet from overheating and being damaged by your sweat, you should choose shoes which are breathable. This will help keep your feet warm and dry.

Furthermore, your climbing gear must include a comfortable and flexible harness. The harness will provide a point for attaching belay and safety lines. It’s important that you choose a harness that fits your body type correctly. A poorly fit harness can create damaging pressure on the underlying skin leading to blisters and other problems. Additionally, if the harness is not properly attached, it can create a safety issue and lead to accidents.

Finally, your backpack will serve as the centerpiece of your mountain climbing gear. It’s important to choose the right bag as there are many types. Some factors which might influence your decision are: how long you plan to be on the mountain, what gear you will be carrying, and how much weight you can safely carry. You should look for backpacks which have multiple storage pouches. These pouches provide easy access to frequently used items. You also want to be able to separate things to keep items safe and dry.

Wherever you choose to climb, having the right climbing gear will help keep you safe and add to the enjoyment of your experience. Choose wisely and make your time on the mountain as pleasant as possible.

2. Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Never heard of stand up paddle boarding?

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It’s actually the fastest growing sport in the world with over 2.8 million Americans who participated in 2014. Not only is SUP or Stand Up Paddle Boarding a rapidly growing hobby but it is also a fantastic way to get your exercise.

The only equipment that you need is a board, a paddle, and a personal flotation device to get out on the water – all of these can be found at your local Paddle Board Retailers.

The central question that you will face is whether to go to the lake, river or ocean.

Lakes are ideal for people that are new to Stand Up Paddle Boarding or just want to check out the wildlife. It is peaceful, calm and by far the most laid back environment of the three.

You can go to the shallow spots near the shore or dock to get the hang of climbing on your board. You will fall off a lot in the beginning, so it is nice to have a quiet place and still water to get the hang of it. Once you are up on your board, you will be amazed at the distance that you can cover during Stand Up Paddle Boarding.

Another beautiful thing about SUP is that you make almost no noise, so you can quietly approach wildlife and enjoy absolutely beautiful and scenic pictures!

Stand Up Paddle Boarding in a river ups the ante a bit which is where you really get a workout because you will have to hold your own against the current at all times. You will also have to be aware of potential obstacles such as rocks, sticks, and rapids and maneuver safely around them. When paddle boarding in the river, you will definitely want to wear a safety helmet to protect your head.

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The ocean is like an advanced course for SUP. That is one of the reasons that Destin Paddle Boarding is a popular destination for anyone that loves Paddle Sports. You are always challenged while boarding in the ocean. You have to be aware of boats and larger ships as well as surfers and swimmers.

The hardest part of paddle boarding in the ocean is, of course, the waves, but you can get into great shape fighting through the waters and have fun doing it. With a little practice, you will be up and paddling in no time.

Don’t forget the sunscreen because you will have so much fun that you may forget about potential sunburn until it is too late!

3. Paintballing

This final activity is one of my favorites because it is so fun, you barely realize how much running you do until it’s over and your body is tired and aching.

Paintball is a game of concentration, thrill, and skill.

The object of the game is simple: you are essentially shooting paintballs with compressed air guns at correct angles to strike the other players present on the ground.

The result is a messy experience with many laughs, achy sores and hundreds of burned calories.

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If you are paintballing for the first time it is recommended that you layer up on clothing and drink plenty of water.

You are essentially running away from your opponents for the entire duration of the activity so a healthy level of hydration is going to be very important.

By the time you are done, you will be exhausted but the amusement of the experience will make it worthwhile.

I listed only three activities but the options are plentiful. If you are looking to stay fit in the New Year there really is more that you can do that is much more fun than laboring on a treadmill or lifting the same weights week after week.

Getting in shape can be fun and if you focus on activities that you can actually enjoy which involve a steady about of movement and exertion on your body, it really won’t be that hard to achieve and maintain the body of your dreams.

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Sara Jane Adkins

Blogger at Natural Healthy Living

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Last Updated on January 5, 2021

15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year

15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year

Starting a journey with fitness goals is never easy, and you must remember this is not a crash diet; it is a lifestyle. Don’t panic and think you have to do it all at once, as this will most likely overwhelm you. You may also find yourself giving up because crash diets are not sustainable.

The best approach is to make simple changes to your daily habits, and over time, you will notice all your bad habits have turned into good ones.

Accordingly to a study by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, on average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.[1] And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

Here are 15 fitness goals to help you on your journey:

1. Drink More Water

W.H. Auden said it best when he said,

“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

With any diet, the most important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. Drinking water will support your body with digestion, transporting nutrients to your bones and muscles, and even improving cognitive function.

Ideally, you want to drink about half your body weight in ounces per day, i.e. if you weight 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day.

2. Add Some Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Water

It is recommended we sleep for about 8 hours a day, but this means we spend about 8 hours per day dehydrated. Therefore, hydrating your body first thing in the morning is absolutely necessary.

The best way to achieve hydration is by starting your day with a glass or even two of water. For that extra boost, add lemon juice and ½ teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. The lemon and apple cider vinegar will help your body with detoxifying, cleansing, and digestion.

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3. Stop Drinking Your Calories

Yes, keeping hydrated is important, but try to avoid high-calorie drinks, such as soft drinks, specialty coffee, and juices as they are full of fast-acting sugar.

Really push yourself to stop drinking such drinks, and before you know it, you will notice the benefits.

4. Start Stretching More Often

The benefits are vast and the repercussions of failing to stretch can be dramatic.

Do yourself a favor and always stretch before and after a workout. This will promote a healthy cool down, improve flexibility, and reduce next day aches. Failure to stretch can lead to injures and muscle damage.

Here’re some simple stretching exercises to get you started: 15 Static Stretching Exercises to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

5. Add in Some High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

You may have heard about HIIT training because it is the big thing right now, and believe me when I say that it works and should absolutely be included in your fitness goals.

The benefits include lower body fat, increased stamina, leaner muscles, and fantastic hormonal benefits.

HIIT is where you perform an intense exercise for a very short time frame (about 30 seconds), followed by a slower exercise for about 90 seconds.

Performing a HIIT routine for 1-3 times a week will lead to great results.

6. Focus on Your Breathing When You Work Out

For the most part, breathing is second nature, but when exercising, you may find yourself holding your breath, and this can have negative consequences.

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It is important to consciously take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, as this will fill your lungs with oxygen and give you the necessary energy to continue your workout.

7. Build More Lean Muscle

We all want to have lean muscles. Not only does it look good, but it also has great health benefits, including:

  • Improved posture
  • Reduced body fat
  • Improved metabolism
  • Strong bones
  • Protects and improves joint health
  • Improved stamina

You can build lean muscle by lifting weights or through other specific exercises. Learn more about building muscle in this guide: How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

8. Decrease Body Fat

This may seem like an obvious one, but it is one of the most important steps to a healthier you. Reducing your body fat has a lot of benefits such as:

  • Improved joints and tendons
  • Lowered risk of diabetes
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Better performance and endurance
  • Improved appearance and confidence
  • Better hormonal profiles in your body

Remember, it is not a race to see how quickly you can decrease your body fat. Healthy weight loss is around 1-2 pounds a week for your fitness goals.[2]

Crash dieting or pushing yourself too much in the gym can lead to you achieving an unrealistic target, and you may find yourself gaining all the weight you have lost.

Think of it as a lifestyle, and take it slow and steady.

9. Eat More Greens

What you eat is the most important factor in a healthier living plan. It is important to ensure you are getting as many nutrients and vitamins from the food you are eating as possible.

Focus on dark, leafy greens, as they will provide you with a wide array of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants—all of which you body needs!

Don’t forget to avoid processed and manufactured food. They are usually high in fat and have minimal vitamins.

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10. Start Eliminating Sugar

Another top goal you can start immediately is reducing the amount of sugar you consume. It also won’t cost you anything, and will save you money and improve your health in the long run.

There’s no surprise we eat too much sugar, and this should be one of your top fitness goals moving forward. Cutting out liquid calories is a great way to start. If you’re looking for something sweet, turn to fruits or even dark chocolate.

Be careful to eliminate sugar from your diet slowly. Cutting it out all at once can cause symptoms of sugar withdrawal, which can drive you back to sugary snacks[3].

Common symptoms of sugar withdrawal

    11. Allow Yourself to Rest and Recover

    The workout is where you go to break down muscle tissue, and it builds back through proper nutrition, rest, and recovery[4]. It might be tempting to go to the gym for two hours every day as hard as you can to achieve your goals, but that’s not the most effective approach.

    If you don’t allow for proper rest and recovery, it can set you back a few steps. Your body is more prone to injury and even illness as you can weaken your immune system from all the progressive intensity the body is facing.

    12. Get More Sleep

    When you are deprived of sleep, you make it next to impossible to achieve your health and fitness goals. Lack of sleep can increase stress hormones in your body, and over time these can lead to inflammation and chronic diseases.[5]

    Make sleep a priority to let your body heal and rejuvenate. A good approach is 7 to 8 hours. Also, allow yourself some wind-down time and a pre-bed routine to help get more consistent sleep every night.

    13. Focus on the Habit, Not the Result

    It’s easy to get caught up in trying to achieve a certain look or shed time off of your mile, but the more important focus is on the habit that will bring you closer to those fitness goals.

    Don’t look at the scale, the tape measurer, or the body fat percentage. Focus on the habits that will lead to those achievements.

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    Don’t compare yourself to where others are; you’re right where you need to be.

    14. Take Your Fitness Outside

    This may be hard depending on the weather you experience, but the more you can be outside exposed to fresh air and sunlight, the better.

    Being stuck in the gym doing cardio while staring at a wall won’t do much for your mental stimulation.

    Try to challenge your body more by getting outside. Hiking is great and also just running and walking. Give yourself more access to nature and a constantly changing environment. It also beats breathing in that recycled gym air.

    15. Do at Least One Pull Up

    This is a great last goal to focus on because it’s a great test of strength and to see how you are progressing with your fitness.

    If you haven’t been able to do one, you know what a challenge it can be. Having the goal of doing at least one pull up will not only show you how far you’ve progressed, but it is a great way to become dedicated and motivated.

    The Bottom Line

    These fitness goals will become more attainable through the year if you’re consistent with your fitness. Set yourself a concrete timeline for when you want to accomplish some or all of these in order to create realistic goals in the short term. In fact, start making one of these goals happen this month!

    More on Setting Fitness Goals

    Featured photo credit: Ivan Torres via unsplash.com

    Reference

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