Getting outside more in 2017 sounds great in theory, but without a clear, actionable plan it can be difficult to make a reality. That’s why we put together this list of 11 suggestions to help you get outside more this year.
1. Take a walk, or run, on your lunch break
Spending another hour at the desk isn’t the only way to spend a lunch break. The afternoon fatigue might be setting in, but a quick walk outside can often be the best thing to boost your energy levels throughout the rest of the afternoon and be active outside at the same time.
2. Start training for a fitness goal
Spring is the perfect time to start training for a running or cycling race, no matter the distance or difficulty. If a race is your game, sign up for one, put it on your calendar, and make a simple plan with 2 to 5 day of training per week to start moving towards that goal! But a race doesn’t have to be the only reason to start training. Wanting to build muscle or lose weight are other great reasons to get outside for a training session. Just make sure to set a reasonable goal number, connect that to a reasonable plan on your calendar, and start tracking progress. Remember, though, the best workout plan is the one you stick with. So, be patient with yourself!
3. Join an outdoor group activity
Stay accountable with a group. Sites like MeetUp have great activities and groups to join with people who love to do things in the outdoors. You can even start your own group outings with a group of friends.
There are 52 weeks in a year, and the 52-hike challenge is all about getting you on the trail consistently. It can be as simple as 1 hike per week. (Even though there’s less than 52 weeks left in the year that doesn’t mean you have to only do 1 hike each week!)
5. Pick up a new activity
Learning a new activity like fishing, badminton, frisbee, or trail running all require you to be outside. Practice is the best way to improve, as we all know, which means as you learn these activities you’ll also be spending more time outdoors. For activities like climbing, rowing, or CrossFit, you can often find local clubs just by searching the web.
6. Drive less and run/walk/bike/skate more
Motorized transportation doesn’t have to be the only way you get around. Consider riding a bike to work or for the next trip to the store. If you’re close enough or have enough time, you can take the leisure lane: go by foot or practice that new outdoor activity you’re learning, such as skateboarding or rollerblading.
7. Go camping
Camping is a great way to spend more time outdoors. It takes everything you would be doing inside, and lets you do those activities in the great outdoors. Sleeping, cooking, cleaning, exploring–it’s all outside, all the time. Put camping on your calendar, commit to going with no excuses, and get out there. You’ll be glad you did. Use The Dyrt to find campsites near you.
8. Visit swimming holes near you
Summer months can be scorching hot, making it unappealing to even open the door to go outside. On days when the hot weather seems to drive you deeper into the air-conditioned couch, make it a point to take a couple hours to cool off in a spring or swimming hole near you. Remember the group outings idea? Get a group together to research and find a new swimming hole to enjoy each week!
9. Join a rec league
Relive the glory days of youth sports and join a rec league. Most cities and parks have leagues for adults. Make new friends by signing up individually, or get your own group together to form a team.
10. Take indoor activities outside
Take the computer outside and enjoy some fresh air while you work or practice a hobby like woodworking. Alternatively, if it’s feasible you might go so far as to think about ditching your job and starting a new career as an arborist, park ranger, or trip leader.
11. Thru-hike a trail
Thru hiking a trail can take months to complete. This one might be a stretch because of how much time it takes, but it also might be the single best way to ensure you spend the maximum amount of time outside in 2017