Working out in a gym is great. It can keep you in shape and give you an endorphin high that lifts up your day. However, sometimes, just sometimes, it starts to feel a bit too routine. If you want a break from the everyday, and you want to put your body to the test, nothing beats spending time in the great outdoors. Getting close to nature will remind you why we evolved to be able to run and jump and climb and swim. It will restore the visceral thrill of being active, and you could take in some amazing scenery in the process. Even if you’re just going for a jog through your local area, you’ll find it much more stimulating than a treadmill workout, and sunlight and fresh air will also do your body good.
To exercise outdoors, you’ll need the right gear. Most important is having footwear that’s up to the task and taking a warm jacket or jersey with you – even in summer – so that you don’t cool down too fast after working your body hard, but you’ll also need to think about smaller items. Browsing through a women’s collection of compression gloves, socks, and other such items can help you find what you need to giveyour body the right support for different activities – compression gloves, for instance, are great for things such as climbing, sailing, and mountain biking, which can be tougher on the hands than you might expect. You won’t want to wear all your gear all the time, so make sure that you have a well-balanced backpack to carry it in, and don’t forget other important items such as bottled water if you plan to go into the wilds.
If you live near an area of wild country or a National Park, why not get out there and explore its potential as a place to exercise? You might be surprised by how many people overlook what’s right beside them. Hiking along rough trails can be really good for muscle-building because the constant small adjustments that you need to make to keep your balance give your legs a serious workout. There are local hiking groups that you can join in many places like this, which make it a safer activity and a great way to make new friends.
Get the adrenaline flowing
If you prefer your exercise to be a bit more exuberant than hiking, look out for opportunities to go mountain biking or horseback riding in the wilds. Moving at speed in the fresh air feels amazing and is a great way to build up your fitness. If you live in a desert area, you could go quad biking. If you live in a city with no open land nearby, you could try rollerblading or skateboarding in your local park. These activities are no longer the sole preserve of young men, and they can be tremendous fun.
Make those muscles work
If you really want to put on some serious muscle, few things will do as much for you as climbing. Climbing in trees may sound like an activity for children, but there are also plenty of challenges out there for adults, and as long as you’re not breaking any rules, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy it. Climbing cliffs is usually a tougher challenge, but if you can find a group that will help you – literally – to learn the ropes, you’ll find it thrilling and a fantastic form of exercise.
If you have access to a lake, a river, or even a stretch of the coast where it’s safe to swim, why aren’t you using it? It’s amazing how many people who live beside the ocean have swimming pools, which simply cannot get them fit in the same way and are not nearly as much fun. Learning to handle a boat is thrilling, and it will really toughen up your arms, which can also benefit from activities such as canoeing and kayaking. Swimming itself exercises every muscle in your body.
Do something different
There are any number of ways to keep fit outdoors, so get creative! Depending on where you live, you may find that activities such as skiing, white water rafting, or dune riding don’t need to be limited to vacations. Look at the way that children use the local environment and ask yourself why you’ve stopped looking at it as a place to have adventures. Getting back into the spirit of play will enable you to enjoy a host of opportunities, many of them free – and it will remind you just how much fun being physically active can be.