From sportsbooks to karate: the best sports-related ‘downtime’ hobbies to try in 2023
- Benefits of sports-related hobbies
- Physical fitness and health benefits
- Personal growth and skill development
- The best sports-related hobbies to try in 2023
- Running and Jogging
- Hiking and nature walks
- Martial arts
- Incorporating sports-related hobbies into your routine
- Why you should engage in sports-related hobbies in 2023
Downtime provides an opportunity to unwind, recharge and pursue activities that provide joy and personal fulfilment. This article aims to guide you through the best sports-related hobbies to try in 2023, offering a diverse range of activities that promote physical fitness, relaxation and personal growth.
Though many people in New Zealand enjoy non-sporty downtime activities, such as reading, playing video games or listening to music, there are substantial benefits to spending your downtime on a sports-related activity.
Physical fitness and health benefits
Sports-related hobbies provide an excellent avenue for improving cardiovascular health, increasing strength and enhancing flexibility. Regular physical activity promotes a healthy heart, strengthens muscles and bones and improves overall fitness levels. There are also added benefits to the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural “feel-good” hormones.
These contribute to our sense of wellbeing and happiness. When physical activity is added into our routine and downtime, we experience increased energy in our work time, decreased stress levels and improved physical health too. Most people appreciate the benefits sport brings, even if they find it difficult to find a physical activity they enjoy or can commit to.
Personal growth and skill development
The benefits of sports-related hobbies go beyond the physical activity itself. These activities also provide opportunities for skill development, personal growth and socialisation. Engaging in these hobbies fosters discipline, perseverance and goal setting.
When people set goals to work towards, they learn valuable lessons in determination, dedication and self-motivation. What’s more, the challenges encountered during sports-related activities allow individuals to develop resilience and overcome obstacles, contributing to personal growth and character development.
Additionally, these hobbies offer the chance to acquire new skills and knowledge related to the chosen sport. Whether it’s learning proper technique, understanding game strategies or honing specific skills, individuals can expand their knowledge and expertise in the sports they enjoy.
Even if not directly taking part, many people enjoy watching sports. Even just watching sports has been associated with higher levels of life satisfaction and lower levels of loneliness – the community that comes from being a fan of a team or athlete is almost unmatched.
This continuous learning process not only enhances their performance in the sport but also promotes cognitive development and a lifelong love for learning.
Ultimately, these hobbies provide a well-rounded experience that goes beyond physical fitness, contributing to overall personal development and a fulfilling lifestyle.
Looking to explore new sports-related hobbies? Here are some of the best activities to consider for a fulfilling and active lifestyle in 2023.
Running and Jogging
Running is a versatile and accessible hobby that offers numerous benefits for physical fitness. Whether you’re a beginner starting a couch to 5K training plan or a seasoned marathon runner, the benefits to your cardiovascular health, endurance and mental wellbeing cannot be denied. If you are a beginner, it’s important to include a proper warm-up and find suitable running routes to help you achieve your goals more easily.
Cycling is a joyful and effective way to improve cardiovascular health and engage in outdoor adventures. From road cycling to mountain biking or indoor cycling, this hobby offers a variety of options to suit different preferences. Cycling helps strengthen leg muscles, improves overall fitness and allows you to explore scenic routes and destinations.
Forget the myths you might have heard about this activity, yoga has unique benefits and is great for everyone, no matter your age, size or flexibility. This sport combines physical activity with mindfulness and relaxation, what more could you want?
There is a range of yoga styles to suit all people, each having unique benefits. However, they all aim to improve flexibility and balance and reduce stress. Yoga also promotes mental clarity and we can feel a sense of peace and wellbeing during and after practising it.
Hiking and nature walks
For a cheap and accessible activity that almost anyone can enjoy, immerse yourself in nature and enjoy hiking or walks. If you do sedentary work, a walk will help you break up the day and refresh your thoughts, which can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. With lots of accessible trails and natural landscapes out there, hiking gives you an opportunity to reconnect with nature while reducing stress and improving overall fitness.
Swimming offers a complete body workout with low impact on joints, making it suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Dive into this refreshing hobby to improve cardiovascular health, build strength and enhance overall endurance. It’s also never too late to improve your swimming technique, which can further enhance your swimming experience.
Martial arts training promotes physical fitness, improves coordination and instils a sense of empowerment and personal growth. This sporting activity, whether it’s karate, ju-jitsu or taekwondo, provides a unique combination of mental discipline, self-defence skills and physical training. Martial arts provide opportunities to develop your focus and confidence, which can help in other areas of your life too.
Many choose to place bets on professional events, which can further increase the link between the viewer and the athlete. Many of the best sportsbooks in 2023 carry a huge range of sports and events – and betting on those events will increase the investment that you have into the event. While backing your favourite team or athlete is the usual circumstance, it can be a great way to get invested into a new sport you don’t much care for as well, as you benefit by the side you back winning.
One of the biggest challenges in modern life is fitting everything into our day or week. Work, family, pets, chores and other responsibilities take up a huge part of our lives. However, the benefits of incorporating sports-related downtime activities into our routine mean it’s certainly worth making time for.
Managing and prioritising your schedule is key to ensuring you have time for your chosen hobbies. Tips for finding time include identifying pockets of free time, blocking off dedicated hobby time in your schedule and being consistent in your commitment. Setting realistic goals helps you stay motivated and ensures you can maintain a sustainable routine.
Seeking like-minded individuals and joining local sports clubs or communities can enhance your hobby experience too. When you connect with others in your sporting endeavours, you’ll benefit from their shared experiences, support and the social connections they provide.
Clubs and communities offer opportunities for training together, participating in events and learning from experienced individuals, fostering a sense of belonging and motivation.
By effectively managing your schedule and prioritising your hobbies, and by actively seeking out clubs and communities, you can fully integrate sports-related hobbies into your routine.
Everyone knows it — we spend far too much time looking at screens and sitting down these days. Making time for a sports-related hobby during your downtime is not only a good idea but it’s a pretty important one. There are numerous benefits of sport to our physical and mental wellbeing while also developing skills and growing personally.
Sports-related hobbies offer a gateway to enhancing your physical fitness, boosting cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility. They also provide an avenue for stress reduction and mental rejuvenation. In addition, these hobbies can foster discipline, perseverance and goal setting, allowing you to develop valuable life skills and achieve personal growth.
Now that things are back to normal post-pandemic, it is the perfect time to take up sporting activities. So, try running or jogging, delve into the joys of cycling, discover the harmony of yoga, embark on refreshing hikes and nature walks, dive into the invigorating world of swimming or explore the discipline of martial arts. The options are plentiful!
As you incorporate these hobbies into your routine, remember the importance of managing your time, setting realistic goals and finding support by joining clubs and communities. So, lace up your running shoes, grab your bike, roll out your yoga mat and explore the world of sports-related hobbies with enthusiasm and determination.