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Burning calories while having fun

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Burning calories while having fun

An Acoreano player dribbles the ball as he speeds away from his opponent during an open men’s recreation league match at Turlock Indoor Soccer earlier this month.

FRANKIE TOVAR/209 Health & Wellness

POSTED May 29, 2013 5:39 p.m.

Working out; the ever important activity that many dread.

It’s commonly understood that exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, necessary for longevity, confidence, and squeezing into skinny jeans. While all that’s true, working out can also be tedious and boring. Whether you’re running circles around a track or channeling your inner hamster on a treadmill, working out can be a drag, and it only gets worse with age.

Instead of succumbing to the effects of time and letting difficulty get in the way of their health, a large number of adults in the Valley have opted to battle the perceived lack of fun associated with exercise by joining recreational sports leagues.

One emerging alternative to traditional workout regimens is the open men’s and co-ed recreation leagues at Turlock Indoor Soccer. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays multiple teams comprised of former high school players and average soccer enthusiasts come together to burn calories while they compete.

“I’ve played soccer pretty much all my life; outdoor and indoor,” Roger Aguilar said. “I come out here to get in shape and get exercise; it lets me eat a little more.”

Aguilar—a 1998 Hilmar High graduate and athlete—has been competing in recreation soccer leagues for most of his adult life. With Turlock Indoor Soccer and Livingston Premiership Soccer, Aguilar has been able to get his soccer fix while simultaneously keeping his 32 year old body active and in shape. Though he’s had to cut back on his soccer schedule, playing once a week instead of two to three times a week, Aguilar says he intends on playing in recreation soccer leagues until his legs fall off.

“It’s a team sport, there’s a purpose behind it instead of running on a treadmill where there’s no end in sight,” Aguilar said. “It’s fun for me.”

George Palacio shares Aguilar’s sentiments but his outlets are the sports of softball and basketball. The 1986 Denair High alumnus played football, baseball, and basketball as a Coyote and continued his athletic streak right out of high school with various recreation leagues. Now, as a 45-year-old father of two, Palacio gets his exercise through the city of Turlock. Every Friday during softball season Palacio can be found with his friends at Pedretti Fields, and once that’s over he can be found at Turlock Junior High shooting hoops in the gym.

“I work out at home and then I play softball and basketball in rec leagues,” Palacio said. “It’s more fun to be outside with friends instead of going to the gym, and at my age I don’t really want to lift a bunch of weights.”

It’s not all old men with a longing for their glory days, though. Palacio is part of a wide demographic of athletes who compete in recreation leagues, young and old, extremely athletic — or not.

“In my head I’m still young. I see these young guys playing and I want to compete with them,” Palacio said. “It’s good fun and good cardio.”

As with most things, it seems the answer to exercise as an adult is fun. So next time your dad, husband, mother, or wife complains about the rigors of working out, point them in the direction of a recreation sports league and tell them to play ball.

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