Easy Tips for Getting More Outside Activity
“Go outside and play!”
As kids, most of us heard this line often from grown-ups who wanted us to be healthy and active. Now that we’re the ones calling our health shots, it’s still great advice.
Whether you’ve loved the outdoors since childhood or are just getting started, there’s a place for you outside. Your body and mind will thank you.
The health benefits of physical activity are well-known. A physically active lifestyle may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Staying active can also lower blood pressure and heart rate, plus reduce the risk of depression.
Heading outside adds the extra health benefits of fresh air and vitamin D. Spending time outdoors also nurtures an appreciation for nature and our ecosystem.
The benefits of an active outdoor lifestyle include not only improved overall health but also better quality of life.
What Does It Mean to Have an Active Outdoor Lifestyle, Anyway?
Being “outdoorsy” can mean different things to different people. In simplest terms, it means someone who loves spending time outside. The label can carry assumptions that may be intimidating to beginners, though:
“She spends a fortune on high-tech camping gear. I can’t afford that, so I guess camping isn’t for me.”
“He gets up every morning at 5 am to go hiking, but that doesn’t work for my schedule.”
“Those mountain bikers have been doing it for years, I could never learn to keep up.”
Don’t let the fact that others are more experienced than you stop you from jumping in. If a big commitment of time or financial resources isn’t feasible for you, don’t worry. There are a lot of different ways to live an active lifestyle.
Here are some easy ways to get more active in the great outdoors:
Start Slow But Get Moving
If you’ve been hibernating indoors too long, it’s natural to be excited about your decision to get moving outside. Just don’t overdo it at first. If you push too hard and hurt yourself, it could sour your motivation to keep going.
You don’t need to through-hike the Pacific Crest Trail to be active outside. Something as simple as walking on a path through a city park can be a starting point.
Start with a daily goal of 30 minutes. You can even break that up into two or three shorter sessions if you need to. What’s important is that you’re 1) outside and 2) moving. That’s it.
You Don’t Need Special Gear to Get Active Outside
Some outdoor activities require specific equipment, but even if you don’t have the budget to buy new gear, it’s still easy to get moving outside.
Ask around about local parks that offer the opportunity for outdoor adventure close to home. A pair of hiking boots or athletic shoes can get you on local hiking trails for minimal investment. Hiking is a great way to grow your appreciation for the outdoors, and maybe develop an appetite for additional activities.
Local sporting goods stores often organize group outings for hiking, biking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and more. These events typically cater to various ability levels. The stores may rent equipment, too. Renting gear allows you to try new activities without making a long-term commitment or investment. When it’s time to buy, watch for sales or used gear.
Once you’ve experienced the local scene, consider planning a road trip. Farther-flung adventures are a great way to keep nourishing your outdoor lifestyle. Make a plan to visit a national forest or spend time in other “off the beaten path” destinations.
Don’t Forget to Pack the Essentials
A good day in the great outdoors means being prepared for conditions, so you can stay comfortable and safe outside. Depending on your plans for the day, essentials include sunscreen, bug spray, reusable water bottles or hydration packs, snacks, and possibly rain gear.
Listen to Your Body
After any workout, even outdoors, don’t skip stretching. Stretching can cut your likelihood of muscle cramps and injury. It also boosts circulation and improves flexibility.
If raising your activity level results in new muscle aches and pains, don’t worry. As your body gets used to being more active outside, your muscles will become more conditioned. If your pain is severe or you think you’ve injured yourself, call your doctor.
Three favorite muscle and fatigue support products can help you with post-workout recovery:
- CBFreeze™ is an all-natural pain relief roll-on with CBD and other natural oils that helps relieve sore muscles.
- JointEase Plus™ is a natural supplement for muscle and cartilage comfort and health.
Ready? Now go outside and play!
- Kennedy, K. “Why Living a Healthy and Active Lifestyle Is so Important and Tips on How to Make it Happen.” Women’s Health Specialists. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://foxvalleyobgyn.com/why-living-a-healthy-and-active-lifestyle-is-so-important-and-tips-on-how-to-make-it-happen/
- “Promoting Active Lifestyles Among Older Adults.” Centers for Disease Control. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/pdf/lifestyles.pdf
- McDermott, A. “6 Ways to Live a More Active Life.” Healthline. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health-active-lifestyle
- “Indoorsy to Outdoorsy: 10 Ways to Transform Your Lifestyle.” Love the Backcountry. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.lovethebackcountry.com/indoorsy-to-outdoorsy-10-ways-to-transform-your-lifestyle/
- Bauer, K. “4 Reasons Why An Outdoor Lifestyle Can Help You Live Longer.” Mountain Lovely. Accessed June 3, 2021. https://www.mountainlovely.com/outdoor-lifestyle-can-help-live-longer/