Over 50 & Thriving Series

Thriving by Diversifying Fun and Wellness Activities

October 18, 2018
Top 5 benefits by diversifying Fun and Wellness Activities

Have you thought of creating a Fun and Wellness Plan?  This is the topic of my next guest Natalie from Natalie the Explorer in the Over 50 & Thriving Series.  I’m delighted to have Natalie join the series and share her thoughts on Thriving.  I’ve known Natalie through blogging for quite some time and we both share a love of travel and keeping fit and active.  I always enjoy reading about her travels and also her health and wellness goals keep my inspired.  I would encourage you to connect with Natalie through her blog and social media links at the end of her post.

Thriving by Diversifying at Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

Greetings! I’m Natalie, the blogger behind Natalie the Explorer.

First, I’d like to thank Sue for inviting me to write this Guest Post. I’ve enjoyed Sue’s writing, and other guest bloggers’ writing in her Over 50 & Thriving Series. I’m honored to participate today.

Second, I’d like to thank you for being here. I understand that each one of us is unique so please read this post as my story and take away what works for you. I hope my post is interesting enough to keep you reading to the end, and leave a comment. Together we can make this a fun experience.

My topic today is Thriving by Diversifying. Throughout my life, one consistent theme is that I like variety and thrive when I have a good mix of activities in my life. As a happy early retiree, aside from the usual home life responsibilities, I create a Fun plan and a Wellness plan for myself. I try to diversify both plans. I use them as guides for how I spend my time, mainly for wellness, leisure, family and friends. You can view my most recent Autumn fun list here, and my September Wellness goals here.

I’d like to share the Top 5 tremendous benefits that I’ve gained by diversifying my Fun and Wellness activities.

Top 5 benefits by diversifying Fun and Wellness Activities

1. Variety and uniqueness to each day

My day is varied, with no day is the same. For example, on Monday I do my morning walk, work out in the gym, learn French and Spanish online, followed by reading and writing. On Tuesday, I replace gym time with Hatha yoga, and reading or writing with a concert or art exhibition or coffee time with a friend.

When I plan for my trips, I choose to visit different continents to experience wonderful landscapes, cultures, cuisines, languages, and more. So far this year, I’ve been to Chile in South America, Ottawa and Quebec City in Canada, the Baltics, Poland and France in Europe, and will be going to Morocco in Africa. This makes each day interesting and something to look forward to.

2. Active engagement of my mind and body

Each of my Fun or Wellness activity requires focus, co-ordinates the use of different muscles, and varies in duration. To do the activities effectively, I need to pay attention to what I am doing, and more importantly I’m making the most of our natural range of motions and five senses.

For example, the language lessons, reading and writing require my brain muscles to work. With focus, I can retain better and complete my tasks sooner. The strengthening exercises in the gym or yoga require focus, balance, and definitely coordination of mind, breathing, and body movements. I think you’d agree that traveling to a new land engages our five senses. With the right amount of stimulation, we usually come home from a trip feeling more alive.

3. Lifelong exploring and learning

By diversifying my Fun and Wellness activities, it opens up opportunities for me to explore and learn new things, which also lead to the active engagement of my mind and body that I mentioned in point #2. For example, in my 20s and 30s, my frequent fitness activities were walking, yoga, and swimming.

In my 40s, I added strengthening exercises in the gym and running short distances to my fitness routine. By adding running and gym workouts to my fitness routine, I learned new vocabulary specific to the activities. I now know words related to running races such as personal best, chip time, gun time, or body strengthening exercise names such as bear crawl, inchworm, burpees, etc. I can hardly wait to add new activities to my repertoire.

4. Social connections and conversations with others

By having a diverse number of activities, we meet people who are participating in the activities. Fitness and travel are wonderful conversation starters and connectors. Imagine being part of a running club or at a running race, the energy level is high and participants share enthusiasm for the sport.

Similarly, travellers tend to make friends easily, especially solo travellers. By learning Spanish and French, I’m able to converse with the people who speak the languages. Blogging is another example of how one activity can lead to more conversations and connections.

5. Diversifying means periodic reviewing, tweaking, and rebalancing

This is a wonderful benefit that keeps my activities fresh and adjusted to my present lifestyle. I review and tweak my fitness exercises monthly. I rebalance time spent on each activity when I need to.  I choose a diverse group of travel destinations every year.

Overall, I feel that diversifying our activities contributes to living a healthy and happy life. It does involve making changes. However, in my opinion, the changes that we initiate for ourselves, especially for our health and leisure, are the best investments. They can be small changes that gently shake things up and keep us grow.

How diverse are your fun and wellness activities? How often do you make changes to them? Let’s chat.

Top 5 benefits by diversifying Fun and Wellness Activities

Meet Natalie

Natalie lives in Canada. Her love for fun adventures has taken her to fifty countries in the world so far. Her family and friends have kind of lost track of where she’s been, but they know she can plan an interesting trip fairly quickly. Natalie’s blog is Natalie the Explorer, where she writes about exploring and enjoying a bit of fitness, entertainment, arts, social activities, and travels. Her favourite part of blogging is the interaction and connection with others. You can connect with her in the Comment section below, or via her blog. She would love to hear from you.

Connect with Natalie

Blog: https://natalietheexplorer.blogspot.com/

Let’s Keep Sizzling!

If you are Over 50 and would like to contribute to the Over 50 & Thriving Series, I would love to hear from you. Send me an email at sue@sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au and I can provide more details. Click here to catch up on my previous guests in Over 50 & Thriving Series Or you can subscribe here so you never miss a post and receive a FREE Copy of my latest e-book ’10 ways to start Thriving today’! Don’t forget to post your Instagram photos using the hashtag #over50andthriving.

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply Janet Mary Cobb October 19, 2018 at 07:39

    Your post reminds me of something my son said once – “Life is too long to do the same thing every day.” I also love variety and spontaneity. I workout – but have no workout routines. I ride my bike but never the same route. I read, write, do chores, etc but not at set times, places, etc. Variety is the spice of life! Thanks for an encouraging post!

    • Reply Natalie October 19, 2018 at 08:33

      Thank you, Janet, for your comment. I agree with you ‘variety is the spice of life’. There are way too many interesting things to explore to be in a rut.

  • Reply Joanne Tracey October 19, 2018 at 07:57

    Great post. As a reader of Natalie’s blog, I’m in awe of how much she achieves in the areas of fun and wellness.

    • Reply Natalie October 19, 2018 at 08:39

      Thank you, Jo, for your kind words. The Fun plan is an easy one with little effort required to motivate me, LOL. The Wellness plan is more work, especially the gym workouts and running, so I make sure there are fun elements in them that keep me committed. Plus, life is more fun when we’re fit.

  • Reply Kathy Marris October 19, 2018 at 11:23

    Natalie you are women after my own heart! I also like to mix things up in my daily exercise routine. I blend walking with Pilates or Yoga classes and I also play Lawn Bowls twice a week. Lawn Bowls is a very social game, but also very mentally challenging. Like you I get bored with routine very easily and I like to travel to different places, either in my own region or overseas. We generally holiday a few times a year to an overseas destination. Thank you for writing this interesting insight into making life more interesting and fun! #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Natalie October 19, 2018 at 11:35

      I’m so happy to know a kindred spirit, Kathy, even just virtually. Lawn Bowls games sound very interesting. I have it on my ‘to explore’ list which seems to keep growing. There is a Lawn Bowls Association in my province and I have bookmarked their web site. Thank you for joining the conversation.

  • Reply Denyse Whelan October 19, 2018 at 18:17

    Your blog and now reading more about you here is even more inspirational. I love the term ‘happy early retiree’. Yes, grab what you can do and love to do, as well as learn for as long as you can. Denyse

    • Reply Natalie October 19, 2018 at 21:16

      Thank you, Denyse, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it. Yes, I intend to live my life as fully as I can. It’s joy when we get to do what we love to do.

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au October 19, 2018 at 19:31

    Natalie you always inspire me with the scope and variety of things you tackle on a regular basis. My life has nowhere near the diversity of yours, but I do try to mix things up a bit so my days have some variety to them. I also try to keep one day a week where I have no plans and can stay at home reading, blogging, watching TV or whatever takes my fancy – I really enjoy that downtime.

    • Reply Natalie October 19, 2018 at 21:29

      Very good point about downtime, Leanne. It’s necessary to have quiet or unstructured time to recharge. I usually have this in the late afternoon and evening. I enjoy my time flexibility and don’t book anything unless I have to (e.g. a doctor’s appointment). When I go to concerts or art galleries during the day, they are calm places.

  • Reply Liesbet October 20, 2018 at 01:35

    Great article, Natalie. I think mixing things up keeps our curiosity alive as well. And, if we don’t like a certain changes we can always go back. I love how you cover the benefits mentally, physically and with all the senses in this post.

    As for myself, I can’t imagine anyone living a more varied life, really. Not as much on a mental (writing, reading and speaking different languages) or physical level (hiking and biking), but in an environmental way. Every day, we eat, sleep and “exercise” in a different location, never knowing much ahead of time where that might be. 🙂

    • Reply Natalie October 20, 2018 at 05:19

      Thank you, Liesbet, for your kind comment. Your lifestyle of being in a different location every day is certainly ‘a life less ordinary’. I’m drawn to being nomadic and lived that lifestyle for a while when I was single. It was very freeing and diverse.

  • Reply Donna October 20, 2018 at 06:19

    Hi, Natalie – It is wonderful to find you here. You are an awesome model of “active engagement of my mind and body.” I always find your posts to be very inspirational — and this one was no exception.
    Hi, Sue – Welcome home! I look forward to catching up!

  • Reply Natalie October 20, 2018 at 06:44

    Thank you, Donna, for your compliment. I figure I have one life to live so may as well live it as fully as I can 🙂 Sue has a a great line-up of guest writers in her Over 50 & Thriving Series. I’ve learned from each guest writer’s post, including yours.

  • Reply Debbie October 21, 2018 at 20:23

    Such a great post Natalie that sums up everything we should be doing as we age. You are extremely organised and I love the vitality that comes off the page. Your posts are always interesting and I enjoy your blog.

    Welcome home Sue, great to have you back.

    • Reply Natalie October 22, 2018 at 00:42

      Thank you, Debbie, for your kind comment. You made my day 🙂 I read about the ‘Go-go, Slow-go, and No-go’ years that naturally occur as we age. Although I’ve always been active, now that I’m at mid-life, I’m motivated to make my ‘Go-go’ years as fun and meaningful as I can. I’d encourage others to do the same at their pace.

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit October 22, 2018 at 05:58

    ooooooh yes. Strongly agree to all! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes 🙂

    • Reply Natalie October 22, 2018 at 06:57

      Wow, we’re twins 🙂 Thank you, Leanne, for your affirmations.

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