In many cases, parkour can be described as an “extreme” sport. But, everyone has their own level of expertise and skill, which means it’s a great way for almost anyone to get some exercise – even kids!
If you’ve been trying to switch up your workout routine or you’re looking for something that inspires and motivates you, parkour could be the answer. Studies have shown that the more you enjoy the type of exercise you’re doing, the more likely you are to stick with it and be self-motivated. That’s why people try things like dancing and group classes. It’s also why it’s hard to stay motivated on a plan that requires you to walk on a treadmill each day.
Parkour is one of the most fun ways to get the activity your mind and body need to stay healthy. It doesn’t matter how old you are. In fact, one of the best ways to stay healthy as you age is to exercise regularly. Parkour combines a cardio and strength workout seamlessly to give you a great workout every time. It’s a fantastic, unique option for physical and mental health that more people should try.
Does that mean you’ll be jumping from building to building tomorrow? Probably not. But, there are plenty of ways to get started with parkour that will help you meet your health and fitness goals. Let’s talk about some of the benefits and how they can help you to stay physically and mentally fit.
Reaching Your Physical Fitness Goals
If you’ve ever seen someone doing parkour, you can’t deny that they’re probably in great physical shape. It takes a lot of strength, stability, balance, and stamina to do parkour well. But, everyone started out as a beginner. No matter your current fitness level, you can experience the benefits this sport has to offer, including:
- Building core strength
- Improving bone strength
- Cardiovascular improvement
- Promoting quickness
- Providing a full-body workout
Because parkour requires you to make quick decisions on your feet, it also improves coordination. That’s a skill that can improve your entire life, especially if you’re a senior. There are parkour programs specifically designed for seniors that help them improve balance, core strength, and stability. It’s a great way to strengthen your muscles and reduce your risk of falling – a somewhat common problem among older individuals.
Even if you’re younger, taking care of your body with parkour now will make getting through the aging process easier. It will encourage you to live a healthier lifestyle, overall, so you can feel strong and confident in everything you do.
The Mental Health Benefits of Parkour
While no one can deny the fact that parkour is a physical sport, there are so many mental health benefits to consider, too. Exercise, in general, is great for your mental well-being. It boosts your mood, can give you more energy, and reduces the risk of developing depression and anxiety.
Parkour takes those mental health benefits one step further.
First, it promotes quick-thinking skills, which can help you to trust your instincts in your everyday decisions. That tends to boost confidence and self-esteem. Being able to do some of the basic moves can also be a confidence builder, which can change your whole perspective on life.
Parkour also fosters creativity. There is never one set path to take on a parkour course or out in the world. It’s up to you to decide how you want to move and what objects you want to use. Knowing your workout will be different every time is exciting, and you can carry that creativity with you in your career or personal life.
Speaking of your personal life, parkour can help to reduce antisocial behavior, as well. It gives you a way to use your time effectively and meet like-minded people who are trying to stay physically and mentally fit. Not only is being more social good for your self-esteem, but it can help to reduce your stress levels and make you feel more supported
So, if you’ve been under the impression that parkour is nothing more than a physical challenge, consider the ways it can boost your mental health. As a bonus – you’ll have a lot of fun! What’s better for your mental wellbeing than that?
Bigger Than a Bucket List
Parkour isn’t just a fad. As of 2014, there were over 11 million participants. Since then, that number has undoubtedly grown – especially with so many people looking for new ways to stay active during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because it’s here to stay, there’s no better time to give it a try and reach some of your goals. Parkour is a great way to combine those goals and help you scratch a few things off of your bucket list. Maybe you want to spend more time outside. Guess what? The world is your parkour playground, especially if you want to improve things like:
Parkour can also help you to overcome some fears you might be struggling with. Yes, it can be scary to make that first jump or even stumble and fall for the first time. But, when you do, you’re also taking a jump to beat the things that scare you. When you fall, it builds resilience and helps you get back up again. The adrenaline rush you’ll get from landing your first jump or doing something you didn’t think you can do is truly an unmatched experience.
In many ways, parkour is the perfect exercise for all-around fitness. Your current skill level doesn’t matter. Your confidence level doesn’t matter. Choosing to start and try something new is what counts. No matter what your fitness goals are – physical or mental – this type of exercise can help you to accomplish them in ways you never thought possible. So, don’t be afraid to take that first leap – literally. When you choose to keep looking forward, you’ll have no problem meeting your health and fitness goals.