If you’re like me and millions of other people, getting fitter is one of your New Year’s resolutions. You intend to hit the gym and exercise more, maybe even start a new diet and finally get those extra pounds off. Diets and gyming can be tough to maintain though. In fact, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80% of people who join a gym in January quit within 5 months. Boredom and expense are the biggest saboteurs of your fitness plans. Here’s a list of outdoor activities that are big on fun and light on your wallet to help make 2016 the year you get active!
Go for a Walk in Your Local Park
One of the simplest ways to get outside is to just for a walk around your favorite park. Most people’s jobs today involve sitting for hours on end, which can be very unhealthy. One of the healthiest things you can do to combat this is just make walking part of your daily routine. Rather than sitting at lunch time, use some of your break time to get out of the stagnant office air and take a walk outside. You’ll be amazed at the hidden gems you’ll find once you go exploring, not to mention that you’ll go back to work more refreshed. Make a commitment with a co-worker to go walking during your break. That will motivate you to go and you can enjoy a pleasant conversation en route.
Bike to Work
With most cities expanding bike lanes while increasing parking fees into the stratosphere, it makes sense to start biking to work. It’s fun, saves you the aggravation of the morning commute, and in most big cities, may actually save you time compared to driving. Once you’re at work, well, you’ll have to get home, so there no temptation to skip out on your workout. You’ll soon be relishing that mental transition from work to home that your bike commute affords you. If you live a significant distance from where you work, you can begin by combining bus and bike commuting. In a couple of weeks, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start bike commuting sooner.
Your local bike shop can help you find the best bike for your style of riding. Be sure to test ride any bike you think you’d like to buy. If you can buy a new bike, we advise you do and get an expensive one that you have an emotional connection with. Get one that makes you feel fast or is just beautiful to you. Then, you’ll love riding it and because of the expense, you’ll feel more obligated to ride it. If you haven’t ridden in a while, don’t worry, it’s just like, well, riding a bicycle!
Even though January just begun, it’s never too early to start planning your garden for spring. While not the most physically exhausting of outdoor activities, gardening gets you outside for some fresh air and that very necessary vitamin D. And if you’re looking to eat healthier, nothing tastes better than a salad you grew yourself.
Whether it’s in an ocean, lake or pool, swimming is a fun and inexpensive form of exercise. It’s a great full body workout that burns a lot of calories. And while it’s cold in many places around the country currently, it’s usually pretty simple to find and indoor pool near you. You don’t have to just go to swim laps either, playing a round of Marco Polo with some friends is great for you too.
Join an Outdoor Class
Looking for a new outdoor hobby but not sure where to start? Try joining a class that teaches you an outdoor activity like skiing or kayaking. They’ll help you with your journey towards learning your new favorite activity. It’s also a great way to meet friends, in case that’s another resolution for you. Check out REI and see if they have any classes coming up that interest you.
I hope you’re able to get outside and enjoy yourself this year. Let us know in the comments what you recommend for keeping your resolutions. Have an amazing and active 2016!