Playing racquetball for an hour a day, three times a week is John Schaap's ticket to unwinding when the pressures of running an 800-acre corn/soybean operation start mounting up. “It gives you a lot of intense, physical exercise in a short amount of time,” says Schaap, Leota, MN. “You start playing and your heart rate goes up right now. Because of the speed of the game, you don't have time to think about anything but racquetball. I absolutely love it.”

Schaap, 61, has been playing with a group of three or four friends for nearly 20 years. “I'm competitive and I like to win,” he says. “But it's more about having fun. I've had the good fortune of having nice people to play with over the years.”

Schaap and friends stick to the three times a week routine year-round with just a couple of exceptions. “We do take a break for six weeks or so in the spring and fall when we're busy with fieldwork,” he says. “But even then, if we get a few rainy days, we'll try to get together.”

The benefits of the exercise sessions are clearly evident when Schaap returns to the office or field following each workout. “When I get back to the farm, my mind is clear,” he says. “I think better and I make better decisions. I just have a brighter outlook overall.”