It’s an appealing idea to embody the Vulcan words of farewell, “live long and prosper.” However, navigating the creation of a long, healthy, and prosperous life can feel overwhelming, or worse, tedious.  To combat this, it helps to make things that are good for us both accessible and fun. To that end, the following six hobbies for physical health have you covered.

1.   Dance

Incorporating dance into your life can be an organized event, such as taking a class, attending salsa night at a Latin club, or heading to a concert.  However, it can also be more impromptu, like putting on music that gets you moving and dancing like no one is watching.  Regardless, it will be good for you.

A study for Complementary Therapies In Medicine found that exercise is as good as drug interventions for reducing the risk of overall mortality. In addition, they found that dance was a more enjoyable, easier-to-maintain, form of exercise that helps people to lose weight, improve flexibility, gain muscle tone, improve cardiovascular health, and convey social/emotional benefits.

2.   Cycling

You can ride a cruiser, invest in a peloton, downhill race, road bike cross country, or some other variation on the theme.  There are many ways to cycle and each of them offers health benefits, a community of like-minded enthusiasts, and an enjoyable way to move your body.

3.   Couples Yoga

Yoga is good for you. Few would bother to argue that point. In this case, the more can definitely be the merrier. There are postures you can try with a partner that would be impossible alone. Plus, the social aspect reinforces relationships, another key component of overall health.

4.   Running

The wonderful thing about running is that you can do it anywhere.  All it takes is you, a pair of shoes, and the will to get going.  When running in a new place, you see it in ways that you couldn’t otherwise. It’s immersive and personal. There’s also a meditative quality to it, an awareness of breath, gait, and environment that can firmly plant you in the present, enriching the moment and your life as a whole.

5.   Swimming

This is an activity that provides it all: challenges, intensity, myriad variations, low impact, and immersion in a fundamental element.  In addition, there is something comforting about being in the water, perhaps an unconscious reminder of the womb.  

6.   Bird Watching

Studies have shown that being in nature has been proven to benefit the mind, body, and spirit.[2] When you add to this experience the mindful awareness of another species, the benefits multiply.  In a simple sense, you create a kind of treasure hunt as you attune your eyes to picking out new feathered friends.

Each additional identification deepens and broadens your perception of the world around you. This connection increases your capacity to care for yourself and others by expanding your scope of care. Inclusiveness is good for everything.

The Takeaway

Making play out of the physical activities you engage in makes them more enjoyable and hence more sustainable over time. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, what’s important is that you keep moving. Use these six hobbies for physical health as a springboard and explore some ideas of your own.  This is your adventure, make it a good one.

Check out this article on exercises to try if you’re tired of the gym!

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