Staying active is a major part of the vegan lifestyle, and many of us find ourselves feeling too limited by the choices available nearby. Some vegans prefer an active lifestyle but face limitations on what sports or exercises they can enjoy due to age, disability or living in close-quarter urban settings. With New Year resolutions just around the corner, it’s time to figure out how to get ready to meet our goals. According to the University of Southern California, Americans are living longer than ever before, with babies born today seeing a life expectancy of more than 78 years. Longer lifespans means more time to keep fit and be active, and these three low-impact options can help improve health, burn calories and keep you feeling motivated to tackle your plans for the year ahead.
If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, gym or even public lake nearby, take to the water for a full-body workout that removes much of the stress and strain associated with everyday aerobics. The buoyancy you experience in the water makes it far easier to work on your posture and keep your core stable as you work out.
The near-weightless nature of time spent in the pool relieves pressure on your ankles, legs, and spine, giving you the freedom to stretch your muscles and flex your joints fully and with far less effort than when on dry land. A wealth of workout tools and toys are available so you can build strength, work on flexibility or tackle other fitness goals in a safe and low-impact environment.
Water aerobics also deliver opportunities for socialization. Group exercises at local gyms and health clubs, especially those targeted at vegans and other ecologically minded individuals, often provide plenty of time to get to know peers and make lifelong friends.
These group activities may also include time spent with coordinators for personalized aerobics counseling or dietary advice. Many health centers promote a whole suite of water-based exercises for guests of all ages and fitness levels, letting you pick and choose the aerobics activities that work best for you and your schedule.
The health benefits of water aerobics include:
- Greater flexibility with more limber joints and muscles.
- Natural regulation of blood pressure.
- A better night’s rest due to exertion and recovery.
- Calorie expenditure. Maintain or lose weight by burning calories.
One of the first exercises we learn as we grow remains one of the best tools for keeping the body limber throughout our lives. From the first time we stand upright, we gain the benefits of walking.
Core straightening, balance attunement and stamina building are just some of the spoils we reap from walking regularly. Others include the cardiovascular benefits of breathing fresh air and stamina gained from regular aerobic exercise.
Power walking takes this to the next level by incorporating the whole body in the experience. Keeping your core engaged, your arms pumping in time with your strides and your posture perfect enhances the natural benefits of walking and brings the workout to the next level.
Power walking doesn’t require any specific location or equipment. Join power walking groups at local malls and fitness centers or go it alone for a full-body workout in almost any environment. Just keep moving.
Among the many benefits of power walking are:
- Increased stamina. Go further and get more done without feeling winded.
- Stronger bones and muscles. Ward off loss that can cause trouble down the line.
- Increased coordination. Enjoy enhanced balance that helps prevent falls.
- Feeling better. Power walking boosts creativity and helps with mental clarity.
Even if there’s no pool nearby and you aren’t the type to enjoy laps around the mall, you can get out and enjoy the fresh air available when you try your hand at metal detecting. Exercising for its own sake can become dull for many vegans, and those who haven’t had much love for it aren’t likely to stay dedicated to the gym in the new year.
Some people may want something they can put their minds to as well as their bodies, engaging themselves fully in the act of treasure hunting. Vegans who greatly enjoy the interaction with friends and family can take up detecting as a way to share stories and adventures while spending time in the great outdoors.
Pick up a metal detector and head out to your favorite parks and landmarks around town. With a metal detector in hand, you can get a full-body workout just by wandering around and bending over to scoop up the treasures you find on your daily adventures. Move on to geocaching and parkour when you’re ready to take things up a notch.
More studious types can take the time to investigate historic destinations where they are likely to find more than just lost change. Relics, from belt buckles to bullets and tools of days gone by, often lie just beneath the surface, waiting for intrepid treasure hunters to come unearth them.
Metal detecting is a perfect hobby for the diet-conscious and eco-minded as it delivers:
- Plenty of strength-building through walking, stretching and carrying objects.
- The chance to connect with nature on a more intimate level.
- A never-ending supply of stories to tell about latest finds or new goals and locations.
- The ability to socialize or strike out alone whenever and wherever you desire.
- Research opportunities for those inclined to seek out historical treasures.