HIV Longevity Still Fighting…

29Jan/12Off

Hobbies and Extracurricular Activities

Let's kick this bad boy off with one of my favorite quotes:

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
—Amelia Earhart

Most of my blog articles about living longer have been about fitness, healthier living, mental toughness, medication, and other related subjects. One longevity subject that is often overlooked is simply having fun. A main reason for this might be because most people consider fun more of a time waster than a healing principle. The truth of the matter is that scientific research has proven that we strengthen our immune system by enjoying ourselves. Things like laughter, excitement, happiness, and pure enjoyment are just as important to us as any other topic of survivability.

I figured it was time to tackle this subject, because it happens to be one that I am intimately familiar with and very good at. I am a big fan of life balance, and trying to have equal levels of usage and improvement in all aspects of important life items. Usually, we think of things like: family, spirituality, friends, and work as objects we focus on to improve our life balance. However, it is my belief that hobbies and extracurricular activities are just as important for longevity.

Pick and Choose Your Hobbies Wisely
There are a ton of things that you can choose to do. They range from sports to games to crafts and the ideas are really limitless.

Hobbies can become very expensive, so you might find that you need to limit yourself due to funds. Also, they can take lots of your time; which is another reason to limit yourself to only a few main hobbies. A perfect example of this was racing motorcycles and track days. My motorcycle cost me close to $10,000 to build. Then I had to get $3,000 worth of gear (leathers, helmet, boots, gloves, etc.). You would think that $13,000 was the end, but remember that I needed to get new tires every weekend. Tires ended up costing me about $300+ per weekend of riding. That can add up very quickly when you race every weekend. I don't even want to mention the parts and repairs that resulted from my weekly wrecks. This hobby easily put me in the $20K realm. That said, you might find that a hobby like hiking only costs you as much as a comfortable pair of hiking shoes. There are a wide range of prices for varying hobbies.

Also, you will find a wide variety of spending in the same hobby. When my brother and I decided to climb Mount Rainier, I went out and bought all new gear to the tune of about $4,000. He, on the other hand (being the wiser of the two of us) went on to eBay, Craig's list, and other used equipment sites and found everything I had for a fraction of the cost (think $250). So, you can see how a little frugal thinking and preparation can literally save you thousands of dollars. That said, my new gear operated much better than some of his used things. He fought through a few struggles, while I was sitting pretty. You need to carefully weigh the costs: both monetary and resulting outcome of equipment choice.

Here are some of the hobbies/fun things that I have done, or am currently participating in:

  • Music (guitar, piano, drums, and music theory)
  • Rock climbing
  • Billiards
  • Fantasy football
  • Racing motorcycles
  • Building plastic models
  • Computer and video games
  • Paintball
  • Offroading
  • Golf
  • Model trains
  • Social media maven (yes, I consider the Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, yada a hobby)
  • Racquetball
  • Darts
  • Triathlons
  • This blog (and guest articles/comments on other blogs)
  • Mountaineering
  • Boating and water skiing/wakeboarding
  • Firearm target practice
  • Hiking
  • Art (ink drawings)
  • Mountain biking
  • Skydiving
  • Skeet shooting
  • Go cart racing
  • Poker
  • Collecting coins (numismatist)

Obviously this is only a partial list, and you will have your own ideas ... I just wanted to give you some ideas from my repertoire.

Be Responsible for Yourself and Those Around You
I would be remiss to talk about all of these crazy things, and not warn you (at least a little bit). If you decide to do some of the more adrenaline packed versions of these hobbies, you need to understand that you are responsible for yourself and any friends who join you. If you're doing things like rock climbing, it is imperative that you do a good amount of training beforehand and make sure that you understand the consequences of a mistake. Ensure that your friends and other participants are well aware of the dangers and that they are also trained and knowledgeable. Hobbies are meant to be fun ... Don't get hurt and/or killed trying to fulfill a silly whim. Enjoy yourself, and be safe!

Be sure and comment and let me know what hobbies you like to do, and also what you think of this article.

Remember to have fun!

-Vaughn

p.s. This post is a chapter in my blog-book, The Secret to Longevity. Checkout my similar posts here: http://hivlongevity.com/the-secret. Or, follow the goodie trail:
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Posted by Vaughn Ripley

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