We all have our favorite sport. Whether it’s running, cycling, swimming, or anything else, we all have that one thing that we feel most skilled at. We call it the comfort sport.
It’s extremely difficult to try new sports when you’re used to being so comfortable at one already. But with the variety of movements available, adding a new activity to your tool belt can bring surprising athletic benefits.
By adjusting your routine to incorporate different activities, you’ll give your body active recovery from its normal repetitive motions, and you may find an unexpected new passion. Here are some of our favorite alternatives.
Cliche or not, hiking is a great group activity. Whether it’s with a group of friends, co-workers, or just you and your dog, hiking is a nice way to slow down and enjoy the natural scenery. Sometimes we’re too focused on perfect form or Strava records to look up and take advantage of the visual beauty around us. Hiking around without an athletic agenda is a great way to fully experience the moment, and it comes with plenty of cross-training benefits.
Summertime can be a pit of poor health decisions: too much beer, hamburgers, and sugary margaritas when it feels too hot to do anything physical. However, getting in an early morning paddle board session is a great way to see a different side of nature and experience full body movement. If you’re really feeling bold, many lakeside towns have paddle board yoga classes that add an extra edge.
While there are spiritual attributes to yoga, we’ll just focus on the physical benefits. Yoga will help you find tight spots that you may have been completely unaware of. While moving through various poses, you will undoubtedly realize that certain moves are much harder, or possibly even painful. This will give you a better understanding of what parts of your body need more time for stretching or recovery. The patience and mindset of the practice can also have a significant positive impact on your mental game when competing in your primary sport.
Race With a Friend
Sometimes it’s good to take the competitiveness down a level. Run a 5k or ride a quarter century with your aunt or a friend who’s trying to get in shape. It’s good to show others that we we can adjust our pace to help someone else achieve their goals. Be motivating and make it fun. Plus, having a race that’s just for fun is an amazing mental break from structured competition.
Join a Local Rec Team
Softball, volleyball, basketball, indoor soccer, oh my! Rec teams of all types are available in pretty much every town in the country. This is a great way to get social with people in your community and build teamwork skills. Focusing on individual sports is great, but team sports give you a larger breadth of skills and are a great opportunity to make new friends.
Remember, these are just a few suggestions for alternative ways to get active, but we encourage you to get out there and give everything a try. Learn to free dive with sharks, ride motorcycles, or climb mountains. Try new things, live a colorful life, and don’t get comfortable. Live Fluid!