“This year my fitness goals are to:” lose the spare tire, get to the gym more, stop eating junk food, lose 5 pounds, not eat so much at the holiday parties…Sound familiar?
Ever wondered why you lose interest in the basic New Year’s fitness resolutions after the first 3 weeks? Maybe it’s because you have commitment issues (cold); or you need a partner in crime to hold you accountable (getting warmer); or maybe the rote exercise suggestions you read in magazines are just plain boring (hot!) and not specific to your lifestyle. Try something different this year: a new sport.
Why learn a new sport? The benefits of learning a new sport are many:
- Learning a new movement pattern has been proven to create new synapses in the brain – literally making you smarter and slowing the aging process
- Challenging the body in new ways is the fastest and most sustainable way to see improvements in your fitness, looks, and health
- Seeing yourself improve at a skill or sport is a great way to increase confidence, develop discipline, and focus energy in other areas of your life
- Branching out into new territory is a great way to make new friendships and increase networking opportunities
Sport options are going to vary depending on where you live. Sometimes the best alternative is to plan a weekend vacation to a location near you that offers the activity that interests you. Here’s an intro to the 3 sports that are keeping Sol Fitness Adventures fit and happy:
Stand up paddling
If you’ve read the Body & Sol blog before, you know we’re hooked. Stand up paddling is hands-down the best core and balance activity on or off the water. Simply stand up and paddle. Well, there’s a little technique, but before you know it you’ll find yourself welcomed into the community of the fastest growing sport on the planet. Don’t worry if you don’t live near the coast, you can find paddling schools inland too: on the Potomac River in Maryland, at Lake Powell in Utah (coming to Sol Fitness Adventures summer 2012), and even while on an art museum tour through the canals of Venice, Italy.
Beware, this Brazilian martial art-meets-dance is addictive! After about an hour of practicing the basic attacks and defenses, students gather in a circle called a roda (pronounced hoda) and take turns ‘playing’ one person at a time while classmates clap and sing to the rhythm of instruments like the pandeiro, atabaque, and berimbau. Once a year students are invited to attend a Batizado, where the best teachers congregate and students test to receive their belts. Many studios offer introductory courses each month. Sol’s favorites: Professor Chin’s Capoeira Sul da Bahia in Santa Barbara and Roberto Tapia’s Capoeira Sul da Bahia in Washington, D.C.
Via ferrata climbing
Translated from Italian, via ferrata means iron road. In this case, climbers travel a course of steel ladder rungs and cable that have been bolted into a sheer cliff, enabling even novices to rock climb to the top of cliffs inaccessible by any other means. Plan a trip to the Dolomites of Italy to climb the half-century-plus courses built during World War II; or an exclusive Utah vacation at Amangiri. With 4 via ferrata climbs built by the world class climbers of Adventure Partners, the property boasts the most via ferratas you’ll find anywhere in North America. But, if a trip to a luxury hotel isn’t in the budget this year, stay close to home and take a climbing lesson at your nearest indoor climbing wall, locations: everywhere.