BOOST YOUR FITNESS LEVEL – OUTDOOR EDITION

We all know that you don’t have to be thin to be beautiful, but if we are to grow old gracefully, without a long list of medical conditions and ailments, it is essential that we stay fit, stay active, and stay healthy.

There are many ways in which you can maintain your fitness levels, you could join your local gym, you could sign-up for one of the many DIY fitness programs that you complete at home, or you could invest in a home trainer and sweat it out in your garage after work each day, but if all these ideas sound somewhat boring to you (they do to me!), then why not head out into the great outdoors and be inspired by nature!

Gyms and fitness studios sound like a good idea, but they can be expensive to join, and once the initial enjoyment has worn off, you could be stuck with a year-long membership that you never use.  The beauty of getting healthy in the great outdoors, is that you do not need to invest anything but your time and motivation, and it all starts with finding something that you love…

TOP 10 OUTDOOR FITNESS ACTIVITIES

If you’re not sure where to start, here’s some inspiration for your first outdoor adventure!

Cycling

All you need is a bike, a pair of trainers or cycling shoes, and some Lycra! Cycling is one of the best cardio exercises there is, and you can cycle anytime, anywhere.

Walking

Perhaps the easiest of all outdoor activities, walking boosts the metabolism, lifts the mood, and revitalizes the soul.  Even if you only have half an hour to spare, a quick walk around your local park will make all the difference to your fitness levels.

Hiking

Okay, you need mountains, or at least hills for this one, but if there is anywhere close to home where you can go for a hike, you should most definitely take advantage of it. Hiking strengthens the core and builds strong leg muscles, and all that fresh air will leave you feeling positively positive!

Running

We’re not talking about signing up for a local marathon here, a gentle jog around your local park or home environment will do! Running is a great way to keep fit, and it doesn’t cost a penny to get started.

Swimming

Swimming is a low impact exercise, and so it is perfect for anyone who’s feeling a little heavier than they should be. It strengthens the muscles, it burns calories, and it can boost your mood, so it’s a great all-rounder. If you are not lucky enough to live near a beach, have a look at alternatives such as public swimming pools, rivers and lakes.

Horseback Riding: If you need to work on your posture, horse riding could be the perfect outdoor activity for you. It’s also very therapeutic, so if you are feeling down in the dumps, a few horse riding lessons could be just what you need to get back to your old (fabulous!) self.

Charity Challenges

Stay healthy and support those less fortunate than yourself by taking part in a Charity Challenge. This could be a sponsored swim, walk, hike, or race – the options are endless.

Rock Climbing

The popularity of rock climbing is growing at an incredible rate, and so it’s easy to find rock climbing walls these days. Perfect for strengthening the upper body, it is both mentally and physically demanding, but do it regularly, and you’ll be as fit as the proverbial flea!

Outdoor Yoga: If you prefer to take things a little easier, why not enroll in your local outdoor yoga class. Yoga strengthens every muscle in the body, it can lower blood pressure, and can boost the entire circulatory system. Healthy and enjoyable, it’s a great way to keep fit.

Rollerblading

An outdoor activity that guarantees to put a smile on your face, rollerblading is not only great fun, it is highly effective at toning the body, improving the balance, and boosting the mood. If you are just starting out, don’t forget knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet!

There is so much inspiration waiting for you outside that with a little bit of forward-planning and creativity, you can stay fit and healthy well into your golden years, without ever having to look at the inside of a gym again!