If you're looking to take up some new hobbies that are good for the body and the mind, then you'll find no shortage of options. Whether you're looking for adventure on the side of a mountain or something a bit less active, any of the activities below pack the one-two punch of benefiting the brain and the body.
Play 18 Holes On The Weekend
If you want to get outside, but aren't really into sweating it out, then consider taking up golfing. This sport is a low-impact activity, which makes it perfect for all ages, and the exposure to fresh air and greenery reduces stress while releasing some mood-enhancing endorphins. This leaves you feeling happy and relaxed after hitting a few rounds. All of that walking around the course boosts your heart health and strengthens the brain, not to mention giving those leg muscles a workout. For even more physical benefits, carry that golf bag on your shoulder or use a pull cart to put those arm and back muscles to more use.
Take Up Rock Climbing
If hanging from the side of a boulder or indoor climbing wall sounds like a fun way to spend an afternoon, then you'll love all of the physical and mental benefits of rock climbing. As you might imagine, it takes a lot from the body when it comes to climbing, and not just from the upper body. Everything from your fingers to your calf muscles get a great workout when rock climbing. It builds endurance and muscle all over your body. And since you need to rely on problem solving skills during the climb, it boosts your brain function as well.
Leave The Pavement Behind With Trail Running
Instead of doing a boring jog around the neighborhood, upgrade your running to a local trail. The softer surface results in less impact on your body and being out in nature like that does wonders for your mental state. You'll get all the same physical benefits that come with running on pavement, with the addition of better mental clarity, reduced stress, a lower risk of depression, and an overall happier disposition just from taking your running to a nature trail instead of the pavement.
Get A Green Thumb And Grow Something
Like golf, gardening is another great way to improve your body and mind without needing to get all sweaty and active. Of course, there is a bit of manual work required when gardening, which build muscles in your arms. Your body and mind also benefit from the absorption of vitamin D from the sun. And since you're outside with nature, your mind also get the positive benefits associated with nature exposure, such as stress reduction, lower depression risk, and increased levels of happiness. Plus, you also get the bonus of all that food to eat when it's harvest time!
Hit The Water With Your Preferred Activity
There is no shortage of water sports that offer great benefits for the mind and body. Just being out in the water itself gives you all those positive nature benefits, like reduced stress and lower risk of depression. And if it is a sunny day, then your body soaks up that beneficial vitamin D, which improves immune system function and results in a more positive mental state. Some water sports, like stand up paddle boarding, give you a full-body workout that builds muscle all over. Or you could take up kayaking, which builds your arm and back muscles. The truth is that pretty much any water sport offers muscle building and mental well-being benefits.
Though these five hobbies offer lots of physical and mental benefits, you can find plenty of other activities that do the same. So, if you're not keen on any of these, keep looking for something fun to do in your spare time.