Are you trying to get in shape, or adopt a healthier lifestyle, but aren’t quite sure what sort of activities you should be doing? If joining a gym or doing online workout classes indoors doesn’t appeal to you in the slightest there are plenty of outdoorsy activities that you can pick up. There are a plethora of health benefits that extend beyond physical health and well into the realm of mental health. Interested in how you could be one of the many people benefiting from outdoor activities? Here are a few you definitely need to try.
1. Stand Up Paddle Boarding
SUP is a great way to get in a workout. It’s one of the few outdoor activities that has such an extensive range of motion. People love it because it offers a relatively low-intensity workout, making it a really fun thing to do. Rather than being stuck in a single physical place, there are so many different places to go paddle boarding around the world. This simple activity is acceptable to people of all ages and sizes, regardless of their fitness. It is a great activity for your core and can really help you with your balance. Watch the fat fall off your body and get that six-pack in no time. It’s gentler than core targeting exercises but has similar, if not better results. But that’s not all. Your arms and legs benefit just as much and without the same amount of ache and exhaustion, you get from push-ups and other popular muscle-building exercises.
2. Go For A Walk or Hike
A change of scenery is really important when you’re trying to keep things fun. This gets you out of the house and allows you to decompress and get rid of the stress of the day. Daily walks are great, but this should be coupled with a hike once or twice a week. Walking and hiking are important to clear your mind and get your blood pumping. It is recommended that you walk for at least 40 minutes a day to relieve stress by decreasing cortisol levels. You could walk on a treadmill, but you wouldn’t have the outdoor scenery which significantly aids in reducing cortisol levels. Hikes are also a great way to gently get your cardio workout in. It works your core, legs, and even arms if you decide to go for a more intense hike that requires some climbing.
3. Pick up Trail Running
The surface you run on makes all the difference. When you run on tar, it feels completely different from a treadmill, or sand and rocky roads. The dynamic nature of running offroad, and on trails makes for a far more pleasant run. People tend to hate running because of the repetitive and boring nature of it, but running on a trail is anything but that. Because of the different surfaces that you’re constantly switching between – compacted soil with small rocks, bigger rocks, puddles, ditches, etc – the task feels less repetitive and it can be really enjoyable, especially if done with someone else. It becomes a very meditative activity as it requires you to think about what you’re doing and calculate the best footing, which means that you don’t have any other room for mental clutter. You can focus on the exact task at hand, your breathing, and nothing more.
4. Pick Up a Jump Rope
This one doesn’t necessarily have to be outdoorsy, nor does it have the connotation of being an outdoor activity, but it’s honestly the best place to do it. It doesn’t require you to have a large outdoor area and it can travel with you wherever you go, which makes it that much easier to continue. You can do it in your backyard, you can do it in a park, or you can even do it out somewhere in nature. It is incredibly versatile. When you jump, you need to ensure that you have a good jump rope posture. The movement comes from your wrists. They are pretty small and tight, but this ensures that you engage your core a lot better. You should not be rotating your arms, but rather flexing and engaging the muscles. When you jump, you should be jumping with your toes, never letting your entire foot touch the ground or jumping from the heel. Think low and stead when it comes to how high you should jump and not the higher the better. An inch or two off the ground is ample and will improve your ankle stability. This could really help you tone your muscles if you struggle to run. You can take a look online for a variety of workout plans. Most are less than 30 minutes long, making them really easy to fit into your day.
5. Ride a Bicycle
Cycling is for everyone. People of all ages really enjoy this one and you can, too. You don’t just have to cycle hard to reap the benefits of this activity. The moment you start peddling, your heart rate jumps and the cardio begins. Try to pick more picturesque routes. If you live along the coast, try to cycle along the ocean, provided there is a cycle path. For something more intense, you can try offroad and mountain biking. Both are an excellent way to blow off some steam and have a blast while doing it.
6. Rock Climbing
For the more adventurous adrenaline seekers, take up rock climbing. Rock climbing offers you that full-body workout in a completely new way. You will feel muscles worked in places you never even thought you have muscles. It is a great and social way to exercise outdoors and is one of those activities where you see results pretty quickly. You will steadily see results as you are able to climb things you weren’t able to climb the week before.
Outdoorsy activities are incredibly gratifying. There’s something about exercising outside that links you to your childhood and having fun. We hope that you try at least one of these activities. You won’t be disappointed.