When your only experience of keeping fit occurs within the bland walls of a gym, working out on cold gym equipment under a barrage of bass-heavy techno music and TV screens, it’s little wonder if you’re finding it hard to keep motivated. It’s probably time you take your workout regime into the great outdoors and turn fitness into a pleasure, not a chore. Here are our top 5 picks for the best fitness activities to get you closer to nature and as far away from the gym as you can get.
Hiking is a low impact activity that can be done at any age and any fitness level. Whether you’re hiking through forested national parks, across hinterland ranges, alongside winding rivers or up challenging mountain ranges, hiking allows you access to a boundless array of natural terrain. Exploring the world on foot gets you up close and personal with the natural environment and is an activity that you can take at your own pace. You don’t need to spend a fortune on gear and you don’t need to acquire any special skills before you can do it, so it’s a sport for anywhere, anytime, anybody.
Cycling makes for a great way to explore the natural world. It doubles as a cheap and healthy mode of transportation, so lots of people choose to do holiday cycling tours rather than road trips or travelling by bus, train or plane. It allows you to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. Cycling tracks and tours are a common drawcard all over the world as more and more nature lovers discover the much-loved past time as the ideal balance of fitness and nature. Cycling is ideal for building fitness from the ground up and gradually conditioning muscles back into shape after injuries as it’s a low impact sport that is easy on joints.
Whether it’s the salty surf, vast lakes, meandering rivers or foamy rapids, kayaking is the ideal way to explore the natural world from its waterways. Not only does it give you access to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders that the world’s waters have to offer, but it’s a great workout. Paddling through the water lets you take in the earth’s natural beauty with a whole new perspective, and gives you an intimate look into the planet’s lifeblood as you glide over submerged ecosystems.
Surfing is a sport that’s renowned for being utterly loved by all those who practice it, rarely will you find a surfer whose interest is only in half-measure. Surfers will tell you that, through surfing, they develop a passionate bond with the ocean and with nature. They watch the sun rise, hunt beaches all over the world for the perfect break, and spend hours floating in calm sea and conquering white water and blissful barrels. It’s great for the mind, the body, and the soul, and it’s never too late to learn.
If you’re after a bit of action and excitement while you’re getting acquainted with nature, then mountain biking is the sport for you. You can careen down hillsides, mountainous ranges, rocky terrain, lush valleys, along winding river systems and through wooded forests. You’ll feel the fresh air through your helmet and dash through exquisite terrain with breathtaking scenery on all sides. It’s challenging, it’s fun, and it’s thrilling, and offers riders an incredible way to experience the outdoors. With an outdoor activity like these, keeping fit turns into a side-effect of a healthy life and a passion for nature, watching the scales turns into watching the wildlife, and dreading the gym turns into eager anticipation to get the blood pumping. If this sounds like something you’d love, get yourself outside and experience the healing effects of fresh air and green surrounds.