January is Hobby Month!
The benefits of taking up hobbies include providing stress relief, creating a positive new challenge for your mind and body, potentially uniting you with others who share your interests, encouraging you to take a ‘break’ from a busy life, and even offering positive physical health benefits, such as lowered blood pressure.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few hobby ideas…
Trending and Creative: Coloring with crayons!
You’ll notice online and in popular book stores that adult coloring books are top-selling items. Coloring has been said to increase work performance, reduce stress, and even reduce insomnia. Here is a listing on amazon.com of popular book choices.
Getting Outdoors: Hike or Bike.
When asking many of our acac Personal Trainers and Instructors what hobbies they enjoy, hiking and biking were common activities!
- Find a good pair of shoes. We suggest starting online to check reviews. Then visit local stores to try a variety of pairs to make sure you’re getting the best fit.
- Enlist a friend. You’ll have someone to keep you accountable, and it’s also better for your safety!
- Research trails before you start. Check your local bookstore for a recently written trail book, or look online at your local parks and recreation pages.
- Start simple. If you haven’t ridden since you were a child, perhaps first connect with an exercise professional who can help you get positioned comfortably on a stationary bike or spin cycle. Then try a cycling class at the gym. If you find that you enjoy biking and want to continue outdoors, consider borrowing or renting a bike before making your purchase. Ask a friend of a similar stature if you can borrow their bike, or contact a bike shop to find rental options. Find a short off-road trail and test your skill levels. You can also contact local bike shops to see if they have any events for new riders.
- A helmet is a must! If you don’t have one, you can borrow or rent from a local shop, or check out gently used helmets from sports shops.
- Invest in a good pair of bike shorts. Your backside will thank you later.
- Wear the right shoes. If you are not ready to jump into pedals with clips and clip-in shoes, make sure you wear shoes with a solid, hard sole. Running shoes that are too flexible can cause foot pain.
Indoor Sports: You don’t have to brave the elements.
Try a new type of class! If you usually take classes such as BODYSTEP™ and BODYPUMP™, try something like Zumba or Nia® that is a little more fluid with movements. Yoga enthusiasts, pack a bathing suit and try a water exercise class. When you try something different, you’ll likely make a few new friends and challenge yourself–a good way to break through any fitness plateau you might experience! To see the class schedules at our acac clubs, click the corresponding club name/city:
Charlottesville | Short Pump| Midlothian | Eagleview | West Chester | Timonium | Hunt Valley | Germantown
Join a recreational team or league. Check with your gym for sports that offer beginner’s leagues to get started. Some ideas could include badminton, racquetball, squash, basketball, or pickleball.
Tasty Hobby: Give your try at cooking!
Start with something simple. Think of an appetizer or side dish that you loved from a favorite restaurant. You can look up comparable recipes online at sites like restaurant.food.com.
As you become more familiar with what ingredients you need to make some of your favorites, you can look for similar dishes made healthy at www.cookinglight.com (a popular source among our Registered Dietitians.) You can also find ingredient substitutions in this article from mayoclinic.org.
Short on time but still want something yummy for dinner? You can save money by cooking for you and your family rather than dining or ordering out. You can find some quick and easy recipes at realsimple.com.
A great resource for even more hobby ideas can be found on Buzzle.com.