John Stevens

John Stevens, Appeal-Democrat Sports Editor.

When I was younger I never really understood what my dad meant when he said it’s a lot harder for adults to stay skinnier than it is for kids. Metabolism was too complex of a word for me I suppose. As far as I was concerned I ate what I wanted, ran to my heart’s content and slept like a log. 

After I finished the pinnacle of my athletic career during my high school years, I went to college and boom, I put on a fair amount of weight. The freshmen 15 right? Well this was more like the freshmen 30. 

Once I graduated college, I had a inspiration to start bettering my fitness. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t quite eat how I should. Late night trips after work to my favorite fast food establishments definitely happen from time to time, but what I have found is being able to combine activities I enjoy with fitness makes for a lot more enjoyable weight loss experience. Going to the gym and hopping on a treadmill is helpful, but what if you went on a hike in a scenic trail in the area. We are blessed with the fact that we live in a beautiful state with endless outdoor activities that cost next to nothing. 

Here’s a list of my five favorite ways to get some exercise outside of the gym:

1. Paddle boarding 

If you’re like me and don’t quite have the best balance this can be a bit tricky. But there’s also no rule that says you have to stand up on them. Last weekend my girlfriend and I took two paddle boards out on Lake Natomas and it was beyond an outstanding experience. Not to mention, my arms were sore afterwards. It is a full-body workout and if you get hot, the water is right there calling your name. 

2. Bicycling 

I recently picked this up as sort of a slight hobby. I’m by no means a pro and I don’t have clip on pedals or tight fitting outfits, but man it can be a lot of fun. Going uphill is such a battle sometimes, but it’s an awesome workout for those of you who want to tone up your lower half. Plus, when you’re gasping for air after a steep incline…. What goes up must come down, right?

3. Golfing

Okay, I know this one sounds a bit funny to some of you, but you can’t tell me a full round of 18 holes doesn’t wear you out. There’s a reason that a lot of today’s PGA pros have to train for their seasons, it’s not a lollygagging sport despite what a lot of couch potatoes may think. Plus, if you really don’t feel like playing 18 holes gets you the work out you need, carry your bag the whole way instead of riding in a cart and then tell me otherwise. 

4. Swimming

I am by no means a great swimmer. Which is really hard when everyone else in your family is practically a fish. But man, even doing a few laps in a pool everyday can really get you in shape fast. You have to use every muscle to swim and it shows after you’ve spent a day out on the water because as soon as you make it back to your bed it’s lights out. 

5. Playing your favorite recreational sport

Recently, I joined a men’s hockey league down in Roseville. It forces me to be very active at least once a week and it’s a great way to meet people. You can contact your local parks and recreation department for more information on rec-leagues and see if they have your favorite sport. You will hardly notice the energy you’re spending because most of the time you’re too busy socializing or having fun.

Life as an adult is hard when it comes to staying active and healthy. But a lot of the times our excuses are very easy to get around, we just aren’t willing to cooperate. It’s never too late to start!

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