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Alternative ways to get active!
We all know that being physically active can bring us many physical health benefits. However, it is also important to highlight the positive mental health benefits that physical activity has to offer, especially at this time of year when it is easy to be affected by the winter blues!
When we think of getting active, many of us automatically think about running in the cold and the dark or going to the gym which can be intimidating and unenjoyable for some.
For this reason, we have written this blog to inspire people to think of physical activity differently and find other ways of being active that works for them!
Maria, who has recently joined our team as a community activator for the Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust has shared her experience of finding an alternative way to be physically active! Maria was looking to try something completely new and to meet new people which is why she joined a local community theatre group in Lockleaze.
Whilst taking part in one rehearsal Maria checked to see how many steps she had done. 26,000! This is the equivalent to 11.5 miles! It just shows that activities such as this get you active without thinking about it whilst having fun! Maria also shared the additional benefits she gained from the sessions such as gaining the confidence to create and perform.
The best way to find out about these and others types of sessions that are happening locally is by checking in at your local community centre where they will have all the information about what is on offer!
If community theatre isn’t up your street either here are some other recommendations to try out:
Gardening can be hard work, which means you’re getting a good workout! As well as the physical benefits, being outside and in touch with nature has proven to help reduce depression, anger and stress!
Yoga is great workout that also allows you to slow down and relax. Now imagine doing this with your dog. Studies have proven that spending time with your dog can reduce stress, anxiety and depression so combining them together is great!
A non-traditional team sport that involves passing the frisbee between your team to get it down the other end of the field. Trying a team sport provides us with an opportunity to meet and interact with new people which is a great way to boost your mental health.
A real-life version of a treasure hunt which encourages you to be outdoors and moving whilst also getting your imagination going too! Once you’ve made your journey through the assistance of maps or apps, you get that sense of accomplishment when finding the treasure! (the geocache).
Climbing is a great alternative for getting active. Working all the muscles in the body whilst being fun at the same time! As well as the endorphins exercise releases, once your confident enough and with the correct supervision you can get outside and be in touch with nature. The closest one to us is based here at UWE Bristol!
Now when you hear video games, you associate them with sedentary behaviour right? Well researchers including some from the University of Bath have stated that playing active video games such as Just Dance & Beat Saber has similar fitness results as running with higher enjoyment levels! There are also traditional board games such as twister that get you moving whilst having fun at the same time!
- Be a tourist – can also be in your hometown
Depending on what type of tourist you are, you may like exploring new places you travel to, which usually includes a lot of walking without thinking about it. Well, why not do this at home? You may think you know you home area, but we bet there’s something new to be discovered!
We hope this gives you some new and different ideas of how to get active this year!