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When is the last time you tried something entirely new to you? As an adult, it can be harder to make time to try new things, and even harder sometimes to convince ourselves if those new things are related enough to physical activity in order to count as a “workout.” We can get stuck in our same daily/weekly routines and rarely push ourselves to step outside of our comfort zone; whether that be in workout routines, playing sports, or otherwise. This new year, why not dedicate some time to yourself and that new activity or sport you’ve always had interest in but have never tried? It’s not too late to try a new sport and reap the many benefits attributed to this new endeavor. Here are just a few of the many reasons for why trying a new activity should be added to your bucket list.

First, creating a bucket list is a great way to set goals that will guide you to new experiences while hopefully having fun and growing you as a person. Get your creative juices flowing by creating your list, and you may even learn something new about your values and what is most important to you in life at that very moment. Heck, you can always add to and subtract from your list! So stop procrastinating and get after it!  Simply creating a bucket list is an excellent way to begin the journey of getting out and discovering new opportunities that could become passions. Go now!

The top three reasons to try a new sport as an adult:

The Physical Health Benefits.

It isn’t rocket science. Physical activity is beneficial for your health. While most of us recognize this to be true, it doesn’t always equate to regular involvement. Even if you regularly exercise, trying a new sport is a great way to introduce new movements to stretch muscles groups you may not be used to working. The counterbalance will help you improve your overall strength, endurance, and flexibility, all things needed to keep up on as an adult, as activities and recovery don’t come so easy to us as they did in our youth. If that isn’t enough to convince you, studies show that regular exercise can reduce your risks for disease in older age, and can even slow down aging. Don’t take my word for it, do some research!

The Mental Health Benefits.

Learning something new does wonders for our brains. Trying a new sport not only encourages us to overcome things like, fear, which is rewarding in itself but will also serve to stimulate our brain by engaging our motor learning skills. Studies show that regular exercise can increase the amount of new brain cells developed in association with memory! Talk about growing your knowledge; you are literally creating new brain cells! Likewise, trying new sports in adulthood can also lead to an increase in the gray matter parts of our brain related to movement control. The bottom line is, learning a new sport is a noted way to sharpen your motor skills as an adult.

The Social Benefits.

What better way to make new friends than by bonding over a shared experience? Since many relationships are forged in the trenches, it’s not a stretch to believe that trying a new sport can be an ideal way to meet new people and build your social circle. It’s a great conversation starter and can even lead to great business networking opportunities. I personally know two fellas who met casually in a gym and went on to develop a friendship that lead to a business partnership and now a very successful best in class company with over 1,000 employees and greater than $500M in revenue!  Additionally, sports have been linked to development in leadership skills and to boosting self-confidence, both helpful benefits that can crossover to the workplace whether you are an entrepreneur or working for someone else.

The reasons to try a new sport in adulthood are plentiful. If you are unsure as to where to start, check with your workplace first to see if there are any organized teams within the office. Also, your town. Many offices or local communities engage in friendly games of baseball, kickball, or dodgeball. Even some local gyms offer club sports teams while others offer more “extreme” or “action” sports such as rock climbing, stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP) and more mellow activities like organized hikes.

Lastly, what better time to try a new adventure activity than on your next vacation? If you travel somewhere warm with water, scuba diving, wakeboarding, and surfing are all fun activities to try to get your adrenaline pumping while learning and growing! In the end, while it can be hard to push yourself out of your comfort zone, it generally is well worth the experience, so I encourage you to have fun and embrace checking off trying a new sport on your bucket list.