Its that time of year in when daylight is short and long quiet nights can lead to some less than healthy over-indulgences. I’ve struggled with this for years, what to do in these times other than cooking, then eating too much, or enjoying a good beer or three in the evenings. It’s tough but possible to redirect into more positive activities.
1) Learn a new game and invite others to learn it with you. For example, Go is probably the oldest board game in the world. It is relatively simple to learn how to start playing yet will become incredibly complex and nuanced the more you play and gain expertise. Boards are pretty inexpensive. As it originated in China, host a ‘Go Night’ and serve green tea with fruit instead of hootch and junk food.
2) We all have smart phones with step trackers, for the most part. If not, then pair up with somebody who does. Meet a group of friends at your local big box store and without racing, walking only, see who can bag the most steps in a given time frame. A strong walking pace is about 3 miles per hour. This is perfect for late evening entertainment as the shopping rush is typically over then.
3) This might be more of a weekend activity. Volunteer at your local park or forest preserve in Resource Management (RM), also known as pulling invasive weeds. You’ll be providing a greatly needed assist in protecting the native habitat, scoring some awesome exercise, and meeting some interesting folks.
4) Create a new habit around fitness. Like most new endeavors start slow and work yourself up and make it a nightly thing. So instead of popping that second or third drink look forward to your new routine and think how miserable that ab workout is going to feel on a belly full of high calorie booze. Put together a 5-8 minute routine so that you DON’T break a sweat. String together 6-10 slightly different ab exercises or push-up variations, squats, single leg core holds, etc. Not super strenuous but very healthy.
5) Get lost. Literally. As a little rugger my grandfather would drive us around with our eyes closed and after 10-15 minutes he’d have us open our eyes and attempt to direct him home. Pile in a car, put on some good tunes and all the passengers close their eyes. Drive for a short period of time then stop. Each person, with eyes still closed, states where they are. The person closest to true location is the next driver, and DJ.
The point is, there are so many options. Think outside of the box, gather your friends, make new friends, and enjoy. Have a wonderful New Year!