It's a new year, is it time to adopt a new sport?
An aging executive, like everyone else, lives a fuller, more satisfying, and certainly healthier life by staying physically active. As such, it's vital to engage in the kinds of activities or sports in which you can participate for your whole life. To emphasize the point that a lifetime physical activity or sport, one that you can play for decades, is beneficial to your long-term health and well-being, I offer this story;
When in college, I was able to get full credit for physical education without taking gym class, because I passed a series of tests prior to the start of my first semester. Freshman had to swim four laps, run through an obstacle course under the time limit, climb a rope to the gym ceiling, and discuss their participation in a 'lifetime' sport, such as golf, hiking, tennis, or racquetball – for which I got credit. I also explained the length of my walk from my dorm room to my most distant class across campus.
Mike Duane, who was from my high school, and by coincidence, in the same college dorm as I was, didn't fare so well. Even though he was captain of the football team in high school and starting center fielder on the baseball team, he had to take the gym class, three times per week, for one hour, for the first semester.
Today, there are more activities for career professionals to choose from than ever before. You already know about longstanding sports, so let's review a handful of new sports that you can adopt, enjoy, and perhaps engage in for decades to come.
1. Pickleball – This sport is sweeping the U.S. It is played on a small court, somewhat like tennis. Type the term pickleball into your favorite search engine and you will be amazed at the data already available on the topic.
2. Paddle Tennis – Much like pickleball, paddle tennis is played on a shrunken tennis court, somewhat larger than a pickleball court. People in their 60s and 70s are still playing this sport, and perhaps you will be, too.
3. Skateboarding – I know, the moment you read the term skateboarding you thought about 18-year-olds skating around a skateboard park. Yet, there are 60 and even 70-year-olds who have discovered the wonders of skateboarding. You can skateboard along a sidewalk, in a park, or any unencumbered straightaway.
4. Mountain biking – Mountain bikes have been around for a long time, and undoubtedly, you've heard the term. Have you ever considered this viable activity for yourself? You don't need to be climbing up mountains to receive great benefits. Mountain bikes, as opposed to racing bikes, offer many advantages: you can sit up while you ride, you can enjoy the view, and you don't need special clothing.
Mountain biking is the perfect activity for a couple, for friends, or for a biking group who want to enjoy themselves, get exercise, and actually see what they're passing.
Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" and the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com