If boosting your health this coming year is important to you, have you considered taking up a new sport? Trying something different can give your new years resolution a kick-start – you’ll hardly notice that you’re exercising as you get to grips with a new skill or sport. If you’re hoping to get more active this year perhaps today’s blog post will help. I thought I’d share the sports I’m planning to take up in 2019, which might inspire you to do the same.
I was such a fan of horses as a child. My only childhood wish was to take riding lessons and have a pony of my own to look after. Now, I know that wasn’t a practical wish as a kid living in a city, but when we moved to the countryside, I finally got the chance to ride ponies once a week. I even did ‘stable management’ classes where you’d find me cheerfully grooming horses, tucking them up in stable rugs and joyfully mucking out. But, despite my enthusiasm as a child, I didn’t get beyond trotting around the ring. I don’t think I ever even cantered on a horse (so fast eek!) and certainly never went over any jumps. All that is about to change.
I made some new friends last year who ride horses and I really like the idea of ‘getting back in the saddle’. It’s been maybe 20 years since I last rode a pony (come to think of it, I must have stopped riding when I became too big for the little ponies – those full-size horses looked scary to a young me!) That said, the idea of going on a hack in the countryside still delights me and I think it’ll be a great sport to take up in 2019. Horse riding improves your core strength, the muscle tone in your legs and your balance so it’s going to boost your health as well as being fun. And, for me, a childhood wish fulfilled.
I only really learnt to swim as an adult. It was only a handful of years ago that I first got in the pool and tried to stay afloat. I managed to learn a few swimming strokes but, as our local pool is open-air, I only ever get so far in terms of improvement before the pool closes again after the summer season. So, in 2019, I plan to find an indoor pool where I can swim regularly and build up my ability.
Swimming helps to build up your cardiovascular fitness but without the impact stress of other forms of cardio exercise. The water provides resistance so you’re working your muscles too. But, for me, getting in a pool has always felt more like fun than exercise (I guess that’s because I’m usually on holiday when I’ve been swimming in the past) so I’m always eager to go for a swim. All I need is a new swimming costume – one a little less ‘pool side’ and a little more ‘sporty’ instead – and I’m ready to swim.
Another new friend has inspired me to try rock climbing. Actually, is that the right term for it? I don’t mean hanging off cliffs, I mean the indoor climbing-wall kind of rock climbing. Anyway, whatever you call it, I want to give it a go. It looks like so much fun and I love a challenge. I think this is the kind of sport that my husband and I can do together and it’ll be especially enjoyable if I get to go along to a climbing centre with friends too.
I’m planning to book a taster session to give me the chance to try out climbing and bouldering and learn some of the basic techniques. This way I’ll be able to find out if I enjoy climbing – and whether I’ve got any upper-body strength at all haha! Climbing provides a cardio and strength work out in one session, and I like the idea of it being a sport I can do indoors in all weathers.
I hope this post has given you inspiration for taking up a new sport in 2019. Do let me know what sports and hobbies you’re hoping to take up this year in the comments below, to give me some more ideas for fun things to try in 2019!