Recreational activities are defined as activities that people choose to make their leisure time more enjoyable. These activities can be very physical in nature, such as sports, but they can also be on the more relaxing side, such as painting. When it comes to physical activity, anything that requires your body to move and exert energy can be considered physical. As far as exercise goes, this is a physical activity that is more structured and often repetitive. With that being said, here are some recreational activities to enjoy (or maybe some that you already enjoy) that give you the same benefits as exercising.
Riding a bicycle is an aerobic activity that makes you breathe harder, whether you’re riding in a marathon or simply just biking through the park. This is a simple recreational activity that many people enjoy doing in their leisure time, and some even use it as a means of transportation. Riding a bike regularly has some immense benefits for your overall health. Stress levels and body fat are decreased, while joint mobility, bone and muscle strength, and cardiovascular wellness are all increased. You get the most out of these benefits when you bike for at least 30 minutes a day, whether you do it as intentional exercise or simply as just a leisure activity.
Dancing is another form of aerobic exercise, as many dancers will tell you. It’s a popular recreational activity and it is also used as a form of exercise because it involves structured repetitive movements. Dancing improves your muscles and strength, and also improves your heart and lung functioning; it’s a great way to increase endurance, lose weight, strengthen bones, and improve your agility, coordination, and flexibility. It’s simply a fun way to get your body moving for those who are looking to start getting more active.
Fishing is a very soothing and relaxing leisure activity, so you may be wondering how this could possibly count as exercise. Actually, fishing has a ton of hidden physical movements within it. Now granted, not all types of fishing are considered to be exercise, but it is still physical activity. Fishing from a boat requires you to use a lot more balance and strength than if you were fishing from land. Even the type of fish you catch can add to more strength training, such as catching a bass fish that weighs 12-15 pounds.
The great thing about fishing is that it doesn’t require any type of real skills. But if you indeed did start to enjoy it so much that you wanted to do it for sport, Tailored Tackle has some great guides to help you enhance your fishing skills.
Gardening is a very therapeutic recreational activity that is very beneficial for mental health, but your physical health also benefits from this activity. Gardening helps to strengthen the muscles in your fingers and hands when using hand tools, and your arm, shoulder, chest, back, ab, hip, and leg muscles are all strengthened when doing heavy gardening that involves digging with larger shovels. Heavy gardening also gets you breathing harder, resulting in cardiovascular activity. So if your hobby of gardening involves you using larger tools, you’re already completing a total body workout on a regular basis.
Yoga is a practice that seeks to unite the mind and body, with deep roots in Hinduism. Many people participate in this activity to reduce stress and clear their minds, but yoga is good for so many other things, and physical activity is one of them. From a physical standpoint, it may seem as if yoga is solely focused on stretching, flexibility, and balance and doesn’t offer many cardiovascular benefits. This is true to an extent, but it definitely depends on the type of yoga you do, as there are some movements that will increase both your breathing and your heart rate.
Regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, mental health, aids in weight loss, and can also help you sleep better at night. For those intimidated by vigorous exercise routines, but want to start becoming more physically active, try some of these recreational activities (and also consult with your doctor) as a form of exercise.