Unless you are a professional athlete, the old saying of “no pain, no gain” as applied to exercise is completely off base and should be totally ignored. For the average person, exercise should be nothing but a fun and very healthy recreational activity.
As mentioned in the previous post, exercise for weight control and general health should be incorporated into your daily life by making sure that you move regularly throughout the day, i.e. building your passive fitness environment (1, 2, 3). Any additional exercise should be done for only two purposes: having fun or taking your body to the next level. This post will focus on the fun part.
Our modern world has provided us with a myriad of ways in which to “have fun” and “relax”, but the sad news is that the majority of these are very unhealthy, expensive and even dangerous. Sport, on the other hand, is perhaps the single healthiest form of recreation available to us today. And the good thing is that there is something for everyone.
Indeed, the nice thing is that you do not have play some high intensity, high skill, high contact sport to get these tremendous benefits. There are many much more relaxed alternatives to make sure that anyone can partake. Try things like ten pin bowling, golf, ballroom dancing, yoga, tabletennis, snooker, synchronized swimming, frisbee, horseriding, juggling or social hiking. Depending on your likes and dislikes, many of these relatively gentle activities will allow you to achieve the ultimate aim: having fun while moving your body. The more fun it is, the more you will do it, and the more you do it, the more fun it becomes. This is an awesome positive feedback loop to get caught up in. Take the plunge…
But aside from the benefits in terms of general health, strength, endurance and coordination, sports also offer a very appealing social aspect. Sports make socializing more fun and socializing makes sports more fun – another highly benevolent cycle. It does not matter whether you convince your friends/family to start on a specific sport with you or whether you gain some new friends through trying out a new sport, just be sure to make the most of this highly virtuous health/fun combo.
So, take some initiative and get involved in a gentle sport that you think you might really like. You really have nothing to lose. If you don’t like it, just try something else. Just don’t miss out on the healthiest and purist form of recreational fun on planet Earth 🙂