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5 Recreational Activities That Can Improve Your Health and Fitness

31 May 2022

Naturally, we are inclined to have fun activities or indulge in hobbies when we are not buried in office tasks or housework. And, of course, after working for some time, we deserve some downtime.

The gym, for instance, is a popular place where people go to spend their leisure time participating in different workout routines to stay in good shape physically. Unfortunately, for all their health benefits, many of these gym exercises become monotonous over time.

At this point, you may be wondering if and how it is possible to stay fit while also having fun. Continue reading to learn more.

Recreational activities are pastimes that we participate in to make our free time more enjoyable and exciting. But have you ever considered whether these activities are more than just for fun? If you did, you probably noticed that many of them are beneficial to your physical and mental health.

If you didn't, this article would show you how randomly swaying your hips to a tune - and a few other hobbies - can be rewarding for your health. Below are recreational activities that can improve your fitness and overall well-being.

1. Dancing

Of course, dancing has always been a fantastic recreation for all ages. However, what often goes under the radar is that it doubles as an excellent fitness activity. So, instead of going to a gym, a dance studio might be a better fun alternative.

Apart from the entertainment that you will gain from this pastime, dancing can be such an effective way to keep fit and healthy. Different aspects of your well-being can benefit from dancing - from enhanced cardiovascular health and improved socialization to reduced stress levels.

Furthermore, according to a study by Stanford University Dance Division, dancing is the most efficient recreational activity for enhanced mental acuity. Notably, the fun activity recorded a whopping 76% risk reduction for memory loss and dementia.

2. Walking

Walking is a basic - yet excellent - outdoor activity that can help you keep fit. It can become even more fun when done in a group, as you will get the needed motivation from your partners.

Research has shown that brisk walking - when practised regularly - offers many health benefits to different body systems. It can help improve the well-being of the heart, lungs, and even the circulatory system.

Also, if you are looking to lose some pounds, regular brisk walking is a perfect way to begin your weight loss journey.

In fact, to improve your aerobic fitness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends doing 10 minutes of brisk walking three times a day for five days a week.

Interestingly, walking is a low-impact workout suitable for the joints and muscles. So, it is perfect for individuals with muscle injuries or joint conditions like arthritis, as it will help improve their bone health without exacerbating the symptoms of their pre-existing conditions

3. Hiking

Like walking, hiking is an excellent outdoor pastime that can help you stay healthy. Although it primarily impacts physical health, hiking can also benefit your mental health.

The presence of a natural environment is what differentiates hiking from casual walking. And spending time in nature, as you would during hiking, helps alleviate stress and promote a sense of calm in your body; several experimental studies support this.

Another study further suggests that if you are constantly swamped by your heavy workload and have no time to work out during the week, going on a long hike on the weekend may provide health advantages equivalent to a week of regular exercise.

4. Swimming

Swimming is also a low-impact activity that offers numerous health benefits. It is also one of the head-to-toe workouts, as it works on the muscle groups in both the upper and lower bodies.

As noted, swimming is an activity that doesn't strain the muscles or joints. So, it is a perfect relaxation activity for individuals recovering from an injury.

Meanwhile, the rhythmic movements from swimming can be quite therapeutic, as it offers meditative benefits.

5. Cycling

Cycling is a fun recreation for people of all ages, and it offers both physical and mental health benefits.

Firstly, it works on the lower body - your quads, hamstrings, and calves will reap tremendous benefits from cycling. But more importantly, cycling is an excellent activity for cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart muscles and reducing fat deposits in the vital organ.

Furthermore, cycling puts minimal strain on the body, making it suitable for people dealing with joint injury or pain. The fun activity can help improve your balance and coordination, reducing your risk of falls and injuries.

Cycling also provides mental health benefits. For instance, a bike ride can improve your mood when feeling down emotionally. In addition, cycling offers an excellent time to bond with your friends and family.


Good health is critical to enjoying a long and fulfilling life. For this reason, you must make an effort to maintain an excellent physical and mental condition.

Engaging in healthful activities is just one - albeit efficient - way to stay fit and healthy. After reading this article, you should know a few of these recreations to try out.