Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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?

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

More by this author

Sara Jane Adkins

Blogger at Natural Healthy Living

5 Super Unconventional Health Choices That Will Help You Get Results Food and Juice Trends to Watch Out For in 2017 5 Unique Gift Ideas that will Impress Your Loved Ones 4 Reasons Why Your Workouts Aren’t Working 7 Unique Ways to Be More Productive in 2017

Trending in Exercise

1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 3 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 4 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 5 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on March 8, 2019

How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

Think about your current workouts:

If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

    A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

    Advertising

    Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

    Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

    Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

    Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

    This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

    Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

    Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

    The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

    Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

    Advertising

    Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

    Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

    The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

    The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

    Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

    Meet Strong Stan

    Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

    While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

    While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

    Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

    Meet Flexible Fiona

    Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

    Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

    Advertising

    To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

    Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

    It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

    Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

    Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

    What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

    In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

    In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

    So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

    You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

    If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

    If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

    Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

      Final Thoughts

      If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

      Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

      Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

      With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

      More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

      Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next