Pokemon Go has me thinking that sometimes a game that’s just for fun can get you outside moving and walking more than you were before. If you haven’t heard of this game it’s a virtual reality game where you use your phone’s GPS and clock to find virtual creatures. You may have seen people in your community wandering your parks and streets staring at their smart phones.
While these types of activities are slow going and won’t replace the weekly rigorous activity you need, there is something to be said about getting outside and simply moving more. According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, sitting most of the day even if you exercised in the morning is still associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and mortality. We likely need both types of activity, rigorous and simple movement, for optimal health.
One of the merits of a Mediterranean lifestyle is moving more throughout the day for simple tasks like walking to the market or picking apples from a tree. Most of us don’t engage in those simple physical activities anymore, especially if you have a desk job, so making time for simple movement is a good idea. The end result is it gets you logging more steps, which is good for your metabolism, heart, posture and a great form of stress management.
Here are some other fun ideas to get out moving a bit more and a great way to spend time with friends and family:
• Find a Hidden Treasure. Geocaching is similar to Pokemon Go. Using GPS coordinates found on local geocaching websites leads you to hidden treasures. I love this idea especially for kids who might need a bit more activity. This becomes a fun treasure hunt instead of exercise.
• Have young children? Visit all the playgrounds in your city. When my kids were younger I got bored with our daily walks and decided to visit every park in our city. We explored and found some amazing playgrounds and trails I didn’t know were here. Your kids get to play on new interesting playground equipment or explore the outdoors.
• Get in the water. Swimming or just playing around in a pool or lake is always a fun time. See if there’s a recreational lake for a family day trip or visit your local community pool.
• Bring out the yard games. I loved playing badminton as a kid as well as those scary brightly colored lawn darts (anyone remember those?). You can find a wide variety of lawn games like Bocce Ball or Bean Bag Toss to set out on a summer evening. It’s a great way to get family and/or friends on their feet.
• Take up Golf. Right now there’s cheering coming from some of you die hard golfers. Yes, golf is a great way to get fresh air, move more and interact with friends. Skip the golf cart for even more movement.
• Play Frisbee (disk) Golf. Check out your city parks to see if there’s a frisbee or disk golf course in your local area. You play similarly as regular golf but with a small frisbee disk and chained nets. This is a fun way to get up and go with your kids on a weekend day.
Sometimes movement just needs to be for fun and not rigid exercise. Find some ways to get out more even if it’s just a peaceful morning walk.