I am a huge nature person. As long as I can remember, I was playing outside, building rescues for insects (don’t ask me why), make magical potions out of dirt and making forts.
Nowadays, I try to bring nature into my house as much as possible and spend time outside by taking my workouts outdoors.
Here are 10 top activities to do outside with some of the pros and cons. Of course there are more and they depend on you as an individual but try not to take things too serious… Maybe it’ll give you some ideas to try out something new!
Walking is about as straightforward as it gets. Take a walk on the beach, a forest, park or trail. It is a low impact activity which doesn’t require any special gear and even though you don’t burn a ton of calories, there are still plenty of physical and mental health benefits!
– Easily accessible for most people
– Great to clear your mind
– You can observe things well
– Low impact
– Won’t make you a super athlete
– Might not be challenging enough for some people
– You can see much more because of speed
– It’s fun to do by yourself or in a group
– Builds amazing endurance and fitness foundation
– Requires quite a bit of equipment
– Depending on your level, you might have to shave your legs
So this one has gotten very popular in the last few years and with reason. It’s a fun and bit of adventurous activity for many.
– After falling off too many times, your balance improves
– Great core workout – because who doesn’t like a nice looking stomach?
– Brings you out in the water where you otherwise might not come
– Paddleboards can be expensive (even renting one)
– If you have horrible balance, see the next activity
– If you are a father and your daughter does this, you might want to scare off some of the young male lifeguards
Kayaking obviously has most of the same pros and cons as paddleboarding does. The big difference is that you can sit down and balance might be easier. You can also fish if you have the right kayak! I just got one (never fished in my life) in camo… You know just in case I want to hide somewhere on a lake – which will NEVER happen.
5. Body Weight Training
There is no reason why you couldn’t do a challenging and fun workout outside by only using your body weight!
– All you need is yourself – no equipment
– Challenging and diverse workouts
– Full body results
– You have to be willing to put the work in
– You will sweat… a lot… Oh wait that’s not bad! Unless you’re that “not showering” type of person.
I love tennis! Not that I’m good at it – my wife beats me 80% of the time (but still proud of my 20%), however it’s a great sport since it is challenging but without person to person contact.
– Excellent cardio
– Great for hand – eye coordination
– No physical contact (except the sweaty handshake at the end of the match)
– Memberships can be expensive, depending on location
– Not a low impact sport due to the running aspect
– Not for the unfortunate forever clumsy individuals
Yes volleyball is done outside and it rocks! My favorite is beach volleyball, mostly because I don’t break anything when I dive – which I do even when it’s not necessary.
– You don’t need that much equipment, you can just pass the ball even without a net
– Great group activity
– Time flies when you’re having fun!
– Difficult to do by yourself
– Be careful when diving for the ball, maybe start playing in a standing position
8. Hiking / Backpacking
This is one activity I love to do, even though I don’t get to do it enough. Being in nature, not surrounded by any structures or anything modern, makes you feel alive.
– Doesn’t need to be expensive
– You can do it in many places
– You can do it solo or in group (but use common sense – you are in the middle of nowhere)
– It brings out that primitive survival instinct and awareness
– You’re in the middle of nowhere so take precautions who you’re with and who you might meet. Also keep medical emergencies in mind.
– You need to make some preparations. For example, the weather might change drastically depending where you are, drinking water, non perishable food etc.
– Be aware of wildlife for your safety but also theirs.
9. Skiing / Snowboarding
– Great calorie burning workout
– Just plain fun!
– Walk around in a ski town and see how many people have broken limbs… Enough said.
– Can be expensive – lift tickets are soaring and equipment rentals and purchases are as well.
– Not easily accessible for many people
Swimming is a lot of fun and a fantastic workout. If you take it outside, it’s a completely different activity due to additional factors (wind, waves, current, etc.)
– Not much equipment is needed. None really but basic swim wear is always appreciated.
– Full body workout
– Low impact
– Make sure the water is clean and safe to swim in
– Wildlife – Up to you how worried you are about what’s around
– For your safety, make sure you have someone around who can help you if needed
Running is of course the number one activity outdoors for most people. That is because it requires little equipment and a lot of opportunity – basically the best bang for your buck! However, running might not be for everyone as it is high impact.
– Little equipment
– Versatility in courses (trails, dirt roads, beach etc.)
– Easy to find running buddies
– High impact (knees, ankles, spine etc.)
– Can create a one dimensional athlete (but most sports really can, just pretty common with runners)
By Sander Vanacker for FitGuana
Sander Vanacker is a personal trainer, CEO of Bring Back Nature, Inc. and founder of FitGuana. He believes in improving health and wellness by incorporating more nature into our lives, being active and spending more time outdoors.