Self-care is a modern global trend, and it can take many forms, from reading books fostering positive thinking to eating healthy food to engaging in some sports activity. Technological advancements of the last few years have made self-care a personalized and affordable experience, which pushed the development of such a positive trend even harder.
The last two years saw a surge in the popularity of many self-care activities. As such, outdoor sports activities have witnessed exponential growth. Before the pandemic, some of them suffered a decline in the number of participants. Today, such sports as camping, golf, and cycling flourish, attracting both beginners and experienced sports enthusiasts that gave up at some point.
Exercising is healthful for many reasons. Besides being obviously beneficial to your physical health, as long as you follow your training load and avoid over-exercising, outdoor activities are good for your mental health. Archery helps you develop concentration and achieve mindfulness. Running and other sports that imply a high level of physical activity stimulate the production of chemicals that improve mood, reduce stress, and boost creativity. Participation in teams and clubs positively impacts your social skills and teamwork ability.
Many people wonder about things to do outside. So, in this article, GritrOutdoors.com, the largest outdoors store in Texas, shares a perspective on an active lifestyle and provides examples of outdoor activities to those who desire to engage in sports but are still on the fence about which particular activity will meet their needs best. Let’s begin.
Hiking is one of the most popular activities in the US, and not for no reason. First of all, it’s budget-friendly. Generally, your minimum set of gear may only include a pair of reliable hiking boots and a backpack. Of course, the more exotic routes you want to take, the more hiking gear it may require, but mostly it’s down to your preferences and needs.
Also, you can combine hiking with other activities, such as camping and wildlife observation. It can help enhance your experience. For example, taking care of your camping spot will improve your basic survival skills, while watching and learning about animals and vegetable life help you achieve mindfulness and bring you closer to nature.
Over the last few years, hiking has become safer and easier because of the increased accessibility, growing awareness of hiking routes, and affordability of quality activity-specific devices, tools, and clothing. Waymarking, developed infrastructure, and high-precision GPS units have made losing practically impossible.
At the outbreak of the pandemic, the number of hiking enthusiasts seeking peace of mind and escape from the depressing reality skyrocketed. So be sure you’ll find a hiking community or club nearby to team up with. Also, hiking is a wonderful way to spend time with friends and family.
Riding a bicycle is also fitness-building and fun, and you can start without much training. The only considerable investment it requires is a bike. Depending on the environment, bikers may need protective gear, such as cycling helmets, knee guards, and elbow guards. However, your costs for amateur cycling gear are unlikely to be high.
No one will doubt that biking improves physical fitness and mental health. It’s an easy way to lose a few pounds, as even a low-intensity ride can help you burn 200 calories in an hour. It also strengthens your lower body, especially your legs, but you need to make proper adjustments to avoid overstressing your joints. Lots of novices make a huge mistake. In the beginning, when their balance is poor, they adjust the seat so that their feet reach the ground. In such a position, your joints never rest because the legs don’t straighten when working the pedals. What you need is to adjust the seat so that your leg can fully straighten in the lowest position of the pedal.
Bicycling also brings some circumstantial benefits. For example, you can use your bike to travel to work, and it will save your gas money and time you would waste in traffic. Another benefit is that you can positively influence the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.
If riding bikeways is boring, you can go with something extreme like cross-country cycling, trail riding, or full mountain biking.
Some people consider running boring or generally not as liberating as other sports activities, but once they start, their attitude makes a 180-degree change. Many runners say that their hobby helps combat stress and anxiety, the pains of contemporary society, and makes them happy. As with other sports activities, chemistry stands behind these effects. Any physical exercise stimulates the release of specific hormones and natural substances that makes you feel euphoric and calm. Running and jogging also boost your cardiovascular health and considerably mitigate the risk of cardiac arrest.
No doubt, running is good for your physical fitness and mental health, but it can be counter-beneficial if you approach it unwisely. Those who know no measure can suffer from overuse injuries and pains. So try not to make too much too soon.
One more thing. Our society loves gadgets, apps, and other technologies. Indeed, running watches and mobile applications that connect runners can be helpful, but some runners get carried away with achievements and competitions. So if you really seek calmness and genuine liberation, try to concentrate on your emotions and sensations.
Sailing through the water fosters calmness and mindfulness, while more physically demanding and extreme forms of paddling give you exercise. The most popular paddling activities are canoeing, kayaking, and rafting. They may seem similar to one another to a newbie but, in reality, offer completely different experiences.
Canoeing is a recreational activity for long-distance traveling. It’s often combined with other activities, such as camping. What makes canoeing stand out from the other mentioned sports is the construction of the canoe itself. It’s an open boat which you can load up with equipment and food.
Rafting requires a big inflatable boat that can crawl over big waves without much trouble, which makes rafting a great introduction to whitewater paddling for the inexperienced. The downside is that rafts can’t maneuver narrow passageways, unlike nimble kayaks.
Thanks to the elongated, slender, closed body and a kayak skirt sealing the hole you sit in, kayaks are extremely maneuverable and forgiving of flipping since they can be rolled back up in a matter of seconds.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Some people love winter and snow for the new opportunities they offer. Some such are skiing and snowboarding. The last two years saw an increase in the number of participants and wholesale sales of winter sports equipment. Although winter activities are not as budget-friendly as running or cycling because, along with the core gear (skis and ski poles or a snowboard), you need proper skiing clothing with insulation and waterproofing as well as protective equipment, more and more sports enthusiasts engage in them. And if you can deal with such expenses, go for it, and you won’t regret it.
Skiing and snowboarding are about overcoming challenges, which rewards you with a huge sense of personal achievement. Once you gain balance, the learning process will accelerate, and as long as you master going down the slopes, you can switch from ski resorts to freestyle snow parks to raise the difficulty level.
There are plenty of outdoor sports activities for adults and kids for every budget and taste, so if nothing of the mentioned grabs you, don’t give up and look further. We hope, though, that our humble list of outdoor activities will inspire you.
Consider how much money you want to invest, what activity level is satisfying, and what goal you pursue. Ask your friends or acquaintances about their outdoor activities. A perspective from an involved person will help you decide. And don’t be shy to begin because everybody was once a beginner.