4 ways to help you find a new hobby to stay active
Have you always wanted to pursue a new hobby to stay active like ballroom dancing or pickleball but never got around to it for one reason or another? Finding a new hobby can be a great way to stay active, engage with your community and improve your quality of life.
There are significant health benefits associated with staying active. Regular physical activity can help reduce your risk of chronic conditions like cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. There is also strong evidence that physical activity can reduce the likelihood of cognitive diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's.
If you find your motivation lacking when it comes to staying active, incorporating a hobby can make exercise fun and keep it interesting.
Tip 1: Overcome your personal biases and hurdles
Sometimes the biggest hurdle to overcome in your pursuit of finding an active hobby is a mental one. When it's time to engage in something new, you get nervous or you tell yourself you're too busy and don't have time. Fortunately, there are simple strategies you can implement to overcome obstacles.
- Buddy up. Start a new hobby with a friend, partner, or grandchild. When you get to spend time with a loved one, it can increase your motivation to participate, and you can hold each other accountable.
- Make it easy. If you know you're going to try and talk yourself out of exercising in the morning, set yourself up for success by taking proactive steps. Lay out your workout clothes the night before and head to bed a bit earlier so you wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to go. If you know you don't like working out in the morning, make time for it in the evening. Aim to incorporate activity in a way that best fits into your daily routine.
Tip 2: Find a new hobby that's the right fit
Take some time to research possible new hobbies to help you stay active. Think about some of the activities you've always wanted to try. Maybe it's road biking, sailing or cross-country skiing. Then narrow it down to one activity that interests you most.
- Be realistic. When choosing a new hobby, be realistic about what you are willing to do. For instance, think about how far you want to commute. Also, think about what time of day you feel the most energetic and try to schedule activities then.
- Consider the investment of time and money. The cost of joining a club to pursue horseback riding or golf comes with a higher price tag than signing up for a beginner's speed-walking class. When selecting a hobby, think about how much time and money you're willing to put into it and whether it's worth it for you.
Tip 3: When starting a new hobby, take it slow
When you find a hobby you like, it might be tempting to go all in and do it every day but try to ease your body into it, especially if you are not used to regular exercise.
- Consult your doctor. Before starting any new physical activity, speaking with your family doctor is a good idea.
- Always warm up/cool down. Give yourself time to warm up and stretch before exercising and to cool down once you've finished.
- Take it one step at a time. Start slowly and gradually add time, frequency, or intensity as you get more comfortable and confident in your abilities.
- Hang in there. Once you start a new hobby it can be hard to stick to it, even if you love it! Give yourself a few weeks to get into a rhythm with your new hobby and remember that some days are better than others.
Tip 4: Find ways to challenge yourself
If you feel yourself starting to get bored, rather than give up on your hobby, try increasing the intensity.
- Get competitive. Take your activity to the next level by entering a competitive event. For instance, sign up for a more advanced yoga or Pilates class or enter a round-robin tournament for racquetball.
- Become involved. Look for ways to get more involved in your community. Is there an opportunity to plan an event centred around your new hobby to encourage others in your neighbourhood to get active and join in?
Ready for a new hobby to stay active?
It's never too late to pursue a new healthy hobby and there's no time like the present. With a wide variety of active hobbies available, you can find one that fits your fitness level and comfort zone.
If you'd like to discuss financial planning and starting a new hobby or you'd like to review your investment portfolio, please reach out to me anytime.