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.