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Studies Show Benefits to Learning New Physical Skills

Studies Show Benefits to Learning New Physical Skills

Studies Show Physical and Mental Benefits to Learning New Physical Skills in Adulthood

LETHBRIDGE, AB, Jan. 24, 2019 /CNW/ – New Year’s is a time when many people set resolutions to improve their lives. They typically run along the lines of lose weight, save more money, eat better, stress less. Healthy living blogger, Rachel Richards, is encouraging people to set a resolution to try a new sport to improve both body and brain health.

“As adults (especially moms) we focus on our children learning confidence and physical skills through sports and activities,” says Richards, blogger at Better Livin, a lifestyle blog focused on outdoor recreation and healthy living. “But we completely neglect ourselves! We think our only options are to hit the treadmill or lift weights. Learning a new activity or sport adds a sense of excitement into otherwise predictable lives.”

A 2015 Harvard study showed a significant drop in adult sport participation after the ages of 26, yet lack of participation didn’t discourage parent’s enthusiasm for children in sports. “89 percent of parents with a middle or high school-aged child said their child benefitted greatly from playing sports, which improves mental and physical health, discipline, dedication, and social skills.”

You wouldn’t know it, but fencing is an excellent cardio workout. (CNW Group/Rachel Richards)

“We have a responsibility to model healthy living for our kids,” says new mom, Richards. “If we know the benefits of sports, why are we teaching our kids it’s not important once they grow up?”

Learning new skills has also shown benefits for brain health. Neurological studies show learning new physical skills as an adult increases the volume of gray matter in parts of the brain related to movement control.

Common sports that beginner adults can take up almost anywhere (rural or urban environments) include;

  • golf
  • softball
  • soccer
  • tennis/racquetball
  • basketball
  • cross country skiing
  • ice skating

“Don’t be afraid of looking foolish,” advises Richards. “There is nothing foolish about learning something new! It’s brave, it’s fun, and it’s so good for you. So instead of buying yet another gym membership you won’t use, sign up for recreational softball this spring!”

Rachel is an outdoor recreation/healthy living blogger who has been running the blog Better LIVIN for nine years. A physical educator with an extensive background in sports, Richards is passionate about promoting healthy and happy living with a focus on the benefits of time spent outdoors.

SOURCE Rachel Richards

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