Escape Points of Urban People: Outdoor Sports and Activities

Due to its physiological structure, people feel the need to move continuously. Like other living things in the world, man has the physical power to protect himself and keep him in life. The realization of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries caused the mechanical and electrical energy systems of the world to develop greatly and people’s need to move gradually decreased. With the ease of technological inventions and the opportunities provided, people started to move less and work by sitting all day long.

Especially nowadays, digital development has reached a ceiling with the effect of the speed of informatics. We can meet almost all our needs at the push of a button now. For example, the everyday technologies we use; lamp, air conditioner, television, washing machines and dishwashers, smart homes, we reach all our needs without getting up by our fingers with the remote control. We prefer to ride very convenient and comfortable cars even on short distances that can be reached by bicycle or on foot. With the increase of multi-storey buildings, our houses and work offices have been moved to skyscrapers and thus the use of stairs has been replaced by the elevator. Computers, tablets and other smart technologies have condemned all age groups to a inactive life. As this topic deepens, examples can be increased.

In all words, scientific research reveals the importance of mobile life. So what should people do, who got used to the convenience and comfort? Our priority is to determine a suitable sport or physical activity for our body, no matter how old we are. These can be exercising, running, swimming, walking, cycling, and sports with equipment, yoga, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, football, hiking and excursions; if we are not working outside, we should be able to increase our metabolic rate by doing our daily work at home.

What Kind Of Benefits Do Physical Activity Provide Us?

Regular physical activity;

  • Protects us against stress and affects our emotions positively. Increases the secretion of hormones such as serotonin and endorphin in the body. These hormone secretions protect us from negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, stress.
  • Strengthens our immune system. Therefore, our risk of getting diseases decreases.
  • Eases our perception and strengthens our memory; increases our creativity and helps us solve problems easily.
  • Solves our sleep problems; when the body gets tired, it goes to sleep easily and reduces the risk of insomnia problem.
  • Improves the strength of our muscles and the flexibility of our joints, allows us to move comfortably and thus prevents pain and cramps in the legs, waist areas.
  • Allows the toxins in our body to be excreted to a great extent, helps to burn the fat in our body while accelerating our weight loss, so that we have a fit body and feel better.
  • Allows us to gain a healthy and regular eating habit.
  • Increases our quality of life. Eliminates the negative energy accumulated in our body, we have an energetic body at any time of the day.

The impact of physical activities, which have so many benefits personally, in social life will undoubtedly be enormous. Healthy society begins with peaceful and happy people. In this case, our chances of living a happy life with our family, friends, relatives and people who make up the society will increase.

A Nice Alternative To Sports In Cities: Indoor Sports Clubs
Sports activities can be performed in many indoor and outdoor areas in today’s city life. The number of private sports and fitness gyms to guide people to move is increasing day by day. Those who would like to benefit from such facilities can find a chance to do sports and stay healthy by paying various fees in monthly or yearly periods with the membership system. In addition, the indoor sports activities such as yoga, fitness, and aerobics trainings organized by local administrations especially for housewives also reach many participants.

What Is Yoga?
Not to mention yoga, one of the most popular physical activities of the last period, which provides balance of soul, body and mind.  Yoga, which is a mixture of sports and philosophy that can be performed both indoors and outdoors, consisting of the right breathing techniques and the exercises that provide the most benefit to human physiology, is a preferred way of life in the point of raising energy and living a healthy life. Yoga, as is often confused, is not a religion or a form of dogmatic rituals. It is a philosophy that belongs to all religions, faiths and all people, regardless of colour, race, gender.

It is very difficult to explain the historical development of yoga and to put this process chronically forward. Yoga, a philosophy of life, has a history as ancient as human history. It’s neither a simple exercise program nor a particular diet model. Maybe it’s a cliché, but yoga is a way of life. It is also defined as the way of unity with the universe; being wholeness, complete, peaceful, staying in the moment, and being able to communicate with the whole universe.

How Can We Participate In Yoga Programs?
Yoga is an activity that can be done easily in indoor and outdoor areas. There is the possibility to participate in sessions and trainings at a nearby sports club, gym or only yoga centers. Recently, various yoga training centers organize yoga camps in quiet and natural areas. This can sometimes be parks and recreation areas in the city centers, and sometimes it can be a pastoral area of natural beauty. Participants in these camps state that they have achieved a balance both physically and spiritually and yoga makes urban life more bearable.

Istanbul’s Running and Hiking Trails

Belgrade Forest
The Belgrade Forest is a place where you can see the people who are jogging in summer and winter, which is very popular in Istanbul in every period. The length of the course is 7 km. Walking and running between the trees will both re-adjust your body rhythm and provide you with an activity full of oxygen free from stress.

Suadiye-Feneryolu Coastal Road
In at most 6 km part of the Suadiye-Feneryolu Coastal Road, which is located on the Anatolian side of Istanbul and attracts the attention it deserves on the weekends, sports can be done. It can be preferred any time of day in the spring months but in the summer early hours of the day and evening hours should be preferred in order to avoid the heat.

Polonezköy Running Track
One of the other sports fields on the Anatolian side is the Polonezköy Nature Park.  After playing sports in Polenezköy, which has an ideal track for running and walking, finding places to eat and breakfast in the environment makes the region an extraordinary place to spend a wonderful time.

Maçka Park
Located in the center of the city, it is very easy to reach. Thanks to the trees, it is one of the most preferred parks for people doing sports at all hour of the day. Maçka Park is perfect if you have to climb stairs in your exercise program.

Zeytinburnu-Bakırköy Coast
Located on the European side of Istanbul, the Zeytinburnu-Bakırköy Coastal Road has an 8 km long sports field. The sports grounds on the shore have an interesting track that can make those who come here feel both inside and outside of the city.

Bostancı-Feneryolu Coast
It is one of the very special sports routes for the residents of Anatolian Side. The beach has a long track and facilitates doing sports with its special flooring. It can be done sports with pleasure every hour of the day with peace of mind there.

Balat Coast
It is located between the Atatürk Bridge and the Golden Horn on the European side. It has a short trail of 3 km. The shortness of the trail does not prevent you from doing a pleasant sports activity. Choosing this track early in the morning would be a good decision.

Üsküdar Coast
For those who do not want to go to the European side, it is a beautiful activity area on the Anatolian side where you can get a Bosphorus atmosphere. It has a long coastline. A suitable track for those who love the crowds.


The Importance Of Physical Dynamism
The projects developed by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization in our country contribute to the formation of various awareness. In the one of these projects, started with the catchword of “10.000 Steps a Day for Health”, the importance of physical mobility in terms of health is emphasized and in this context “October 3rd World Walking Day” was declared.

New Life Style
While the speed of technology has limited our daily activity capacity and pushed us into a relative comfort area, health researches show that the situation is getting worse for people day by day. The negative effects of this new way of life on body and mental health are that people will lose their well-being as they move away from an active life. As the minimum amount of movement required in the daily routine of modern life is reduced, it is an inevitable fact that people have increased physical and mental disorders.

Indoor Sports Types
If there are activity opportunities such as pool, steam room, sauna, Turkish bath, tennis in the indoor sports halls, sports club; those who serve under the apartment are classified as a gym. Sports activities for all kinds of physical exercise can be performed in such halls. These facilities, which provide services to people living in the city and having limited physical activity areas, are attracting serious attention with many sports alternatives, especially instrumental sports, yoga, pilates, cross-fit, spinning, zumba, crunch, aerobics, swimming and tennis.

Benefits Of Yoga
It is thought that yoga helps to the issues such as balance, focus, improve problem solving skills and increase endurance. Yoga, which experts recommend as a solution to sleep problems as a full urban disease, is treated like a kind of non-chemical urban medicine.

By: S.Bahar Alban

*This article was published in the September-October issue of Marmara Life. 

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