How often have you been in the gym, perhaps doing a weight workout or using a treadmill, when it is a perfect day outside? In today’s society, we are often spending more time indoors than we do outside, and this can have an effect on our health and well-being. Fresh air and natural surroundings nourish the mind and spirit, and that is just as important as our physical health. If you are fed up with exercising indoors and want to make the most of the world outside, this guide shows you some of the best activities to rekindle your love of the great outdoors.
When you ride a bike, you get the opportunity to explore much further than you could on foot, while enjoying all the health benefits that cycling brings, such as strengthening muscles and improving fitness.
There are numerous cycle paths, quiet roads, and trails that are great for a cycling adventure, and you’ll get to see some amazing scenery along the way. Because bicycles are quiet, you are more likely to see wildlife cross your path, and be able to take in the sights, smells, and sounds of nature. Another reason to go cycling outside is that you use more of your natural navigation skills, as there is nowhere to put a sat-nav!
Cycling in the fresh air gives you time to think through any problems your day has brought up, or if you join a cycling group, you have the opportunity to socialize too. Once you are bitten by the cycling bug, you will find that you will want to go out for a ride more often. Why not try cycling to work instead of driving, or go out in the evenings before dinner? There’s always time to fit a cycle ride in during your day, even if just for a few minutes around the streets.
Golf is a game that takes place outside, and many happy hours are spent on the golf course by those who enjoy the game. Golf takes a long time to play, so you get the benefit of hours of fresh air and exercise. Golf courses tend to be well-kept, so you can enjoy acres of rolling grass, trees, flowers and shrubs as you walk around the course.
There is lots of natural daylight, so by being outside, we get our much-needed dose of vitamin D. This vitamin plays a key role in how well we absorb iron and other minerals, so it has a great effect on our health.
Being outside on the golf course is relaxing, and it is a sport that people often do to de-stress and unwind. The mental challenge is also a fun part of the sport, and finding the right angles to pay a shot takes skill and practice. So find your best mallet putters and get out there and enjoy your nearest course!
Anyone can try golf; you don’t have to be a good player to have a go. To begin with, you can just find your nearest course and hire the equipment you need.
Trekking, or hiking, is an outdoor activity that anyone can do. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes, some protective clothing against the weather and snack and drinks to carry with you in a backpack. Some trails are easy, others are more of a challenge, but any trail you choose will bring you up close with the natural world.
Feeling the wind on your face, sheltering from a shower under a tree, or enjoying the sunshine as you take in some beautiful scenery are some of the pleasures of outdoor trekking. You also get to explore places you’ve never been before, as well as finding walks to enjoy again and again.
- Water Sports
If you enjoy adrenaline fuels sports or prefer the more sedate approach, you can have it all with water sports. Outdoors, you can enjoy lots of different activities on rivers, lakes, lagoons and the sea.
Try sea kayaking, water skiing, tubing or white water rapids. Or how about a gentle row across a glass-like lake, outdoor swimming in the wild, or sailing? When out in the natural elements, you get the chance to see nature at its best, and it makes you feel part of it.
There is a water sport for any ability, so see what you can do in your local area, to begin with.
Have you ever seen joggers out on the road or trail, and wondered why they do it? Well, running not only boost your fitness but makes you feel good too. Not only that, running is a natural movement that human beings are designed to do, and getting out there and enjoying the weather is much better, and more interesting, than churning the treadmill.
Running outside is very different than running on a treadmill. You have different surfaces, angles, muddy puddles to leap over, and gates to open, and that means you use muscles differently. Plus you get to look at lots of interesting things along the way that helps take your mind off any feelings of tiredness!
Running helps improve your mood and helps you feel relaxed, and so does spending time outside. Combining the two gives you double the effect. After a good run, you will often notice the happy effects last for the rest of the day.
All you need to do to enjoy running outside is a pair of running shoes and drinking bottle of water. No excuses; get out there and enjoy it!
Soccer is a fun outdoor activity that can be played anywhere. Take a ball to your local park for a kick about with friends, or practice your skills with tricks that improve your game. Soccer brings all the health benefits of running, but there is more to it than that. Chasing a ball requires bursts of speed, fast feet that can stop on a pin, twist and turn to move you in different directions, and leg power to drive the ball forward.
Playing soccer outside gives you the fresh air and exercise you need to feel happy, and the social side of the sport creates a team spirit amongst friends. Even just focusing on keeping a ball in the air using your feet, knees, and head has a kind of meditative effect that can make you forget the stresses of the day.
So, rather than settling down to watch the soccer on TV with your friends, grab a ball and go outside instead.
Geocaching is a treasure hunt that takes place in thousands of locations all over the world. It is simple to do, you download the Geocaching app and use it to find hidden containers. There are different levels of difficulty to provide a challenge, and you never know where you might go to find the geocache.
Geocaching gets you outdoors, and looking for hidden treasure is a fun activity to do on your own, with friends or family. Once you find a geocache, you sign the log book inside. There are also items you can swap, so if you take an item from the geocache, you must put something back in for the next person to find.
Geocaching takes place in both rural and urban areas, and it is a good way to make exploring outside fun. With over 190 countries with geocaches, it is a great vacation activity that allows you to explore places you would normally go.
- Skating / Skateboarding
Remember the skateboarding days of your youth? Or perhaps roller skating was more your thing. The good news is that you never forget how to do it, even though you might be a little rusty!
Skating is an outdoor activity you can do either at a park or smooth sidewalks. Skateboarding combines balance and flexibility, as does roller skating, and both sports tone the leg muscles and help develop a strong core. They also provide a cardio workout that pumps blood around the body and detoxes the system.
Skating gets you places faster than on foot, so is a great way to travel outside, so get your skates on and enjoy the best of the weather.
These are just eight activities in the great outdoors you can try, but there are also many more. Spending as much time outside as you can, will have a significant effect on your physical and mental health, and learning new skills and tackling challenges of an outdoor sport gives you a sense of achievement and confidence.
If you are not used to spending much time outside, make a commitment to yourself to spend at least half an hour per day outside doing some form of physical activity. That might mean a brisk walk around the block, pulling up weeds in your garden, or collecting natural materials to make a decoration. No matter what activity you choose to do, spending time outside will have a positive effect on your life.