Fitness can be a boring undertaking for many people. Walking down the same street, every single day, or getting dressed and going to the same aerobics class every week. It tends to put people in a rut. Trying to get in shape and keeping up a routine is hard enough. Shouldn’t you be working towards a fun goal?
This article focuses on ways you can also get back to nature, get outdoors more and have some fun while meeting your fitness goals. Granted, these are seasonal activities and you’ll need to keep up your workouts even if you can’t get outdoors for these activities all the time. But, if your goal is to start hiking or any of the other activities listed below, you will need to be prepared for it, especially if your goal is to tackle more difficult outdoor activities over time.
Hiking is one of those activities you need to have some physical conditioning beforehand. You can start off by trail walking, which we discuss in the next section. Depending on your location, hopefully there are hiking trails designed for all levels of fitness, from gentle to more demanding. If not, you may have to plan for a hiking trip on your next vacation. Be sure to stay active and train for the hiking trip if you’re not in great shape.
Here are some benefits that hiking offers:
Improved cardio fitness
- Improves respiration
- Increases overall movements and muscle strength
- Improves bone strength and density
- Improves endurance
- Offers fresh air
- A chance to see wildlife
Many areas of the country have parks with a nature trail. The majority of these are easy for everyone to walk. If you want to add hiking to your life, it’s best to start off by walking a few easy trails first. Be sure to go walk these trails several times a week. That may sound as monotonous as going to a gym every week, but think about the fresh air and sunshine you will get. Being outdoors and working out outdoors can be more healthy, and boost your overall well-being, than being stuck in a sweaty indoor gym class.
If you live in the city, trail walking can be especially good for you, because it helps you get away from all the noise and hustle and bustle of daily life. Check your local area for nature trails and start using them when the weather permits. Over time you’ll be able to move onto hiking.
Canoeing or Kayaking
These activities are great for getting outdoors and getting wet. They do require a good bit of upper body strength and flexibility. If you have any kind of shoulder injury or weak arms, you may want to skip kayaking. Kayaking also requires a good deal of core strength.
Canoeing can be easier if you’re on a quiet lake or a gentle river, but you will still have to use that paddle.
If it’s possible, find a buddy to help you get started. They can do most of the work while you learn and eventually you’ll be in better shape and can take the lead.
Looking forward to these types of activities is a good motivator to get in shape and stay in shape. If you do have to go to that same boring gym every week, keep your focus on what you’re working to accomplish and being able to get outdoors and have fun later on.
Skiing – Water or Snow
These two sports are seasonal. If you’re lucky enough to live in a location where you can enjoy both, it’s a year round fitness goal. Both require all over body strength. Again, these are activities that you may not be able to do on a weekly basis, but if it’s your goal to start doing them, it will help motivate you to keep up your regular workouts so you’re in shape for them.
Yes, working out can get boring, but if you set your sights and goals on adding some of the above outdoor sports to your regimen, it can give you a mental boost to keep moving forward.
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