Going outdoors and participating in fun, physical activities is great for your body, mind and spirit. Besides getting your daily dose of vitamin D, getting outside helps clear your head and improves your overall mental well-being. Here’s a roundup of four outdoor activities to keep your heart pumping at any age, along with a few alternative therapy or health tips.
1) Walking and Hiking
Whether you choose to walk briskly around urban pathways or challenge yourself to conquer a natural trail, walking and hiking is a great outdoor activity that gets your heart rate going and provides a nice change of scenery. Walking is an activity which you can scale to your physical fitness level; you can have a leisurely stroll, or go for a strenuous hike. Don’t forget the basics such as a water bottle, hat, sunscreen, weather appropriate clothing, and a companion to keep you company.
Health Tip: Don’t attempt to do an uphill trail on your first walk. Train your body slowly by walking briskly on flat surfaces first, and then slowly move your way up to steeper inclines. If you have heart disease or hypertension, make sure you speak with your physician first.
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If your core and upper body are in shape, you can still enjoy a good round of golf. If you find the physical full-motion swing too much, you can still enjoy mini golf or a putting green. The game of golf can also be tailored to your physical readiness; for example, you could play a round of nine holes instead of 18, and a power golf cart can ease your walking between holes. If you don’t have the skills to play a full round of 18 holes, or even 9 holes, a game of mini-golf is a great, fun way to get a small amount of physical exercise.
Health Tip: Swinging a golf club places stress on many parts of the body, particularly the back and spine, wrists and hips. It’s important to do a few targeted strengthening exercises before you hit the golf course.
Playing with bows and arrows is becoming increasingly popular amongst people of all ages. Archery is great for those with reduced mobility as it mainly requires the upper body. It strengthens arms and shoulders while improving aim and coordination. Look around and find a local club or course in your area.
Health Tip: Are you over the age of 30? If so, you may need to take some nutritional supplements. Our bodies are genetically programmed to be in decline after 30 years. Two supplements to try are fish oil and a multiple vitamin-mineral. These will keep your body strong and healthy enough to keep doing the outdoor activities you love.
Paddling out onto a pristine body of water in the stillness of nature is one of the joys of kayaking. While canoeing is popular, it’s often more difficult to get around on your own. A kayak is more agile, faster, and is easy to get in and out of with some help. Don’t forget to stay safe on the water with a lifejacket and a buddy.
Health Tip: Kayaking mostly targets your upper body, but also gives your core a workout. Believe it or not, flexibility is an important part of kayaking. Get your body limber prior to kayaking by doing Yoga or Pilates, pay attention to your shoulders, abdominals, and lower back.
Have you ever wondered what sort of physical shape your body actually is in? At Grossman Wellness, we provide wellness physical exams which offer insight into a variety of physical markers such as mineral and heavy metal testing and a caloric needs analysis. You’ll receive helpful pointers on how to live your life to its healthiest potential.