As we get older, it becomes more important for our bodies and general health to stay active. Some studies have claimed that over half of the symptoms of old age may be attributed to inactivity and loss of fitness. 30 minutes of physical activity each day can help to reduce your risk of heart disease, depression, decreased mental function, and loss of muscle mass.
It may seem like a gym workout is the only option for maintaining a youthful and active body. For many of us, gyms can be intimidating and daunting places. Our discomfort and sometimes the inflated cost of gym memberships can give us another excuse to put off exercising.
Being active doesn’t always mean weights, step machines and spin classes. An active lifestyle can be achieved by incorporating a range of fun and social activities into your weekly routine. Being active can be enjoyable as well as getting the body moving, blood pumping and calories burning. Also, trying new activities and staying socially connected can help with retaining brain function.
1. Dance classes.
There are many different dance styles and classes for all experience levels. Joining a dance class is a great way to stay social and enjoy an active evening. Whether you try salsa, Bollywood, ballroom, ballet or hip hop, dance can be a low impact way to get moving. Dance can affect your general health through improving cardiovascular condition, muscular strength and tone, improving coordination, flexibility, motor fitness and strengthening bones. Classes are also a great way to meet new people or bond with a partner.
2. Paddle boarding.
A new exercise trend popping up at beaches and rivers around the country is paddle boarding. It involves sitting, kneeling and standing on a board and propelling yourself with the use of a paddle. Its popularity is due to the ease with which it can be picked up. The basics of paddle boarding can easily be learnt in a one-hour lesson. Paddle boarding is great for balance, cardio fitness and muscle tone.
It may seem like this one is only for adrenaline junkies but indoor climbing centres cater to all levels of experience. Beginner walls allow those of us who have never climbed to test out climbing using safety gear with a qualified instructor. Many centres also have beginner days where you can meet other beginners and try climbing. Rock-climbing is great for improving cardiovascular health, flexibility, muscle tone and weight loss and an hour rock-climbing session can burn 400 calories.
4. Circus lessons.
Ever wanted to run off and join the circus? If you are still feeling a little adventurous, now you can sign up for circus lessons. There are a range of circus related activities on offer from juggling, trapeze, contortion, clowning and tumbling. Circus classes can help to develop physical abilities such as coordination, muscle strength, flexibility and fitness but a study through Newcastle University shows circus skills also help with creativity and social interaction skills. Lessons are available at a range of locations, with ‘one off’ tasters for beginners and longer courses for enthusiasts.
Sharon Freeman is a freelancer who writes about Shoulder Surgery and health information for companies like Kaliper Orthopedics. She loves to write about health, nutrition and ways to prevent injuries, medical services and improve your lifestyle. When she isn't writing, you'll find her in her garden or playing with her dog.