The Health Benefits of Being a Slacker

Parks are the life of every city. Any urban dweller has one that they call "my park." A park can be a place to kill time, walk the dog, or escape from the concrete confines of urban life. You see kids, bikes, frisbees and ice cream. You see people reading books, couples having picnics, and if you're in Toronto, you might catch a glimpse of the naked news. image One thing you might be seeing more and more of in parks across the Americas are "slackers." I'm not talking about those midweek twenty-somethings napping in the sun, I'm talking about slacklining. It may look easy enough to walk the line, but if you've ever tried it, you'll know that it's not as simple as it seems. Much like yoga, this emerging sport demands balance, strength, and a lot of patience. It can range from a leisure activity to a quite competitive sport, but at any level, it can really benefit your physical and mental health. Here are just a few things you can gain from getting off the park bench:

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Balance Standing on 1" or 2" nylon webbing is tricky, let alone walking, reversing, switching directions, jumping or preforming tricks. Even raising the height of the line can throw off your balance quite a bit. There are always more ways to take slacklining to the next level. Mental Concentration Slacklining can be quite meditative. Do it first thing in the morning to clear your head and improve your focus for the rest of the day. Strength and Flexibility The act of shifting your body weight to control your balance requires the use of several small muscles in your legs, feet and core. Each time you try something new on the line, you'll use a slew of new muscles. Expect to feel sore the next day. Posture Your posture will naturally correct itself in order to maintain balance. Take note of your natural balanced posture while slacklining, and try and apply it to your daily life.

image Never tried slacklining before? Check out a great intro video here:

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