Eager to Exercise

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Alright, I’ve got to get my body moving. All this classwork and studying is making me feel really sedentary, and I don’t want to turn into a couch potato! I’m not huge on intramural sports or running, although I do appreciate basic exercise and just moving in general. I’d like to try out a few different options. I’m really open to quirky and creative things, too! I just feel like I’m blanking on an idea. Where can I start exploring?

Written by Martin J. Young, former correspondent of Asia Times.

Getting moving is a smart thing to do. You probably know that the U.S. is experiencing an obesity epidemic. Even if you’re not obese, you are at risk: most college students gain about 10 pounds over the course of their tenure. It’s important to establish healthy habits now, especially before you enter the workforce. Regular exercise will also boost your mood and help prevent major diseases.

Even if you’re not into team sports, there are several athletic activities that you can do, such as skiing, swimming, yoga, or even scuba diving. Take a look at what’s available in your area. Are you in a place with lots of hiking? Maybe a lake? Even in a city, there is plenty to do, especially if you can find a park or a recreational facility. Your university might offer recreational services. Lots of schools offer groups that hike, go rock climbing, bike, go boating, or do other activities outside of the “usual” team sports.

No matter what activity you engage in, you should use good protocol and safe technique. Collegiate and professional coaches strongly recommend that, even if you’re just engaging in a sporting activity for fun, you employ proper form and safety guidelines. A bad injury could force you into couch potato-hood, which will be antithetical to your goal. Don’t be afraid to attend a beginner’s class or ask a friend who’s knowledgeable to show you the right way to get started with an activity.

If you decide to pursue an activity that requires equipment, take advantage of the seller to ask how to use it–even if you’re at a store that sells lots of different types of equipment. Also be aggressive in asking if they have recommendations for other kinds of activities you can do. The veteran boat sellers at BoatCrazy, for instance, emphasize that sporting vendors maintain expertise in all kinds of related areas.

Check out what alternative opportunities are in your area, as well. Many local dance studios will offer drop-in classes for adults. You could take up tap, jazz, ballroom, or even salsa! Indoor trampoline parks have also become pretty popular. This could be a fun outing with friends or a great idea for a birthday party. If you are interested in community service, volunteering to pick up trash along a lakeside or a highway will allow you to walk several miles and do something positive for the community and environment as well.

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.― Ellen DeGeneres

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