Sunday, December 31, 2006

Physical Fitness Hobbies

If you are looking for a new hobby, you should consider taking up something fitness-related. The United States is becoming a land of overweight people. Obesity rates are higher than ever, and more people are turning to convenience foods because of their busy lifestyles. Still there are only two real ways to lose weight: eat less or exercise more. If you like to have pasta whenever you want it and have the occasional soft drink, too, then your option basically is to increase your physical activity. That is where a new fitness hobby comes into play.

Now you may be thinking that you do not have any athletic ability or that you cannot possibly get into a team sport. That is not all there is to fitness hobbies! In fact, there are many individual physical sports you can get into. You can try out power walking, yoga, or even free weight lifting if you want something that you can do alone. For the power walking, all you need is a good pair of shoes. If you will be walking far, think about getting some ear buds to listen to music and a pedometer to mark your steps.

All you need for yoga is a yoga mat (which you can find pretty cheap) and some comfortable, stretchy pants. Although there are pants made specifically for doing yoga, you can wear sweats or other moveable materials to begin. Lifting free weights can be weird at the gym but try out an at-home system before you give up on the idea. You would basically get a set of dumbbells that come on a rack. If you are a beginner and are not very strong, you would be looking at 1 to 10-pound weights. Try using them with different techniques, even while you are watching television.

If you are into more excitement in your physical activities, then you could try hiking or mountain climbing. Mountain climbing itself may be a stretch unless you happen to live in a mountainous region, but you still may be able to climb some small cliffs or work on your skills at indoor climbing arenas. Hiking will allow you to spend some time outdoors while you are working on getting in shape. Though hiking is stop and go, it does require you to carry a pack and often teaches you to balance and have endurance.

Do water sports sound interesting to you? Consider taking up swimming. Like walking, swimming is one of the easiest physical hobbies to start as long as you have access to a pool. Check your local YMCA as well as your parks department. You may just find that there are pools available to you at little or no cost. Check their hours and begin going in once or twice a week. A bathing suit and a towel are the only requirements. Begin with doggie-paddling for five minutes and work your way up. You can learn other strokes slowly and begin making laps into the pool.

Kayaking, white water rafting, and canoeing are among other water sports that will help get you in shape. You will need some arm strength to begin unless you will be doing very low-key canoeing, but you can rent the equipment for all of these sports. You can take a day trip to go to a nearby body of water. Rent a kayak for a three-mile trip to begin. Though you may be tired at the end, soon you will be able to try more difficult currents and stay on them for longer.

There are also recreational team sports available in most areas, and the best news is that you do not have to be good at most of them. Unless you happen on a team of competitive people, you will find that adult league softball, bowling, and other sports are more about having fun than about winning games. That you get a workout in during the practices and games is an added bonus for you. Participation in any type of physical hobby will help you to get moving. Even if the hobby does not require you to break a sweat, you will not be on your couch watching television, which may be motivation enough for many people to be even more active.

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