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(Courtesy AmaWaterways)

Staying healthy and remaining fit can be a daunting task, and seeing others doing the same and having fun while at it can be frustrating. Here’s a little tip: act like you’re a kid again! Granted, don’t do chips and pizza for meals or snacks all day long, but go outside to have fun with your favorite active hobby! It’s a great way to actually enjoy staying healthy.

Whether it be soccer (my favorite) or a little basketball in the driveway (with or without the kids), staying fit does not always need a gym or weights. Just recently, a good friend of mine took up hockey. Hockey! And she absolutely loves it. It gives her a way to be more involved with the Predators she roots for, gives her an outlet away from the kids (so important!) and keeps her sharp and in shape. Joining a league may be a little difficult and you may not think you have the time, but it is worth it. Just like oxygen masks on airplanes, you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others!

Personally, I find it to be a huge stress reliever. When I’m on the soccer field, I don’t think about anything but the game. When I run on the treadmill, or even outdoors on trails, my mind refuses to stop thinking about work and the stress never goes away. When I’m chasing the soccer ball, however, it all falls off me, letting the stress disappear for that great moment. Plus, it is an absolutely incredible calorie burner, and seems effortless because you’re having so much fun!

If you can do these activities with or around your kids, all the better. It creates a great bond and develops healthy habits for your children. What better mentor than yourself? The best memories I have of my parents are the ones in which they were involved in my activities and hobbies. Those memories are truly vivid and have withstood the test of time, as will the memories your children have of you.

Finally, what better way to stay out of restaurants than needing to be in top form? Eating healthy will make you feel good on the field but eating a bunch of junk food will certainly make you feel sluggish and yucky. Take it as motivation. The better you eat, the better you play, the better you feel about yourself, and the better life you live.

Find or develop an active passion. It may just be the perfect gateway to a healthier, happier you.