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Ditch the old and Ring in the New…Five reasons why trying a new active pursuit isn’t just fun, but also good for your health

Let’s face it — we tend to be creatures of habit.  When we find an active pursuit we like or perhaps something we can do well, we tend to stick with it.  While there’s nothing wrong with improving on what you love, here are five core benefits to trying something new.

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  1. Improved physical stamina/overall health — Always wanted to try zip-lining?  White-water rafting?  Or find out what the fuss over stand-up paddle boarding is all about?  When you’re learning a new physical skill, your muscles (including your mental ones) get a better workout than they did from your old sweat session because they haven’t yet adapted.   Overall mental and physical coordination improves as well.  Throw in the benefits of added energy, increased calorie burn, improved cardio and lung function, better sleep and decreased risk of serious health conditions and diseases and you’ll quickly wonder why you stayed in a “rut” all these years.
  2. Builds Courage — Trying something new requires courage.  Summoning this is itself a benefit and opens the possibility for you to enjoy something new.  You know the phrase “you won’t know until you’ve tried it”?  Well, entire careers and life paths are created when people dip their toes into small ponds and discover a love for something they had no idea would capture their imaginations.
  3. Inspires You to Grow — Thrusting yourself into new situations forces beneficial change. When you constantly seek new ways to challenge yourself physically and mentally, it forces you to move forward on a bigger scale.  Finally, a spirit of constant self-challenge keeps you humble and open to new ideas.
  4. Brings renewed energy to the most important pursuits in your life — Carving out much-needed time for yourself helps you stay clearheaded, focused, happy and opens your mind to creative possibilities you wouldn’t think of otherwise.
  5. It’s just plain fun — If you enjoy something, you’re more likely to do it again.  Meeting people who share similar interests will help you incorporate these habits into a new daily routine.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?   Here are some great options

 

Sources:  Psychology Today (“Trying New Things” blog  April 1, 2010 by Alex Lickelman) 

                  Fitness Magazine (Nov/Dec 2010)

 

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