6 Secrets to Outdoor Fitness Revealed
By Outdoor Adventure Expert Alison Karlene Hodgins
Explore Magazine's Tricks to Outdoor Fitness Success
Even though we all know the benefits of exercise, it’s not always easy to drag yourself to the gym after a long work day. So skip the stuffy, sweaty gym and head into the great outdoors to get fit. Need some help creating a routine? These six tricks will guide your outdoor fitness program:
1. Pick a Time and Place - Humans are creatures of habit. Get into the routine of climbing a mountain every week, going for a jog alongside the river or waking up before the sun for early morning yoga. It might feel like you don’t have any extra time to exercise between work, family time, meal prepping and downtime, but writing out a schedule will reveal that there are wasted hours in your day. That early morning or late evening will be difficult at first, but once you get used to it, it’ll just be another part of your day.
2. Set Realistic Goals - SMART Goals are popular for an obvious reason: they work. Don’t expect yourself to be able to run up and down a mountain on your first day. Exercising in the elements can be difficult at first, but all that fresh air is so good for you.
3. Stay Accountable - Once you have clear goals set, share them with someone who can help you stick to them. This could be a spouse, friend, or even public forum of like-minded outdoor exercisers who can give you sympathy and encouragement when you need it. Publicly announcing your goal increases the likelihood of success to 95% (up from 5% if you keep it to yourself).
4. Find an Adventure Partner - Nothing is more motivating than knowing you have someone else counting on you to get up and get outside. Plus, having an adventure partner makes your outdoor pursuits more fun, safe and accountable. Try to pick someone around your fitness level or a little more in shape than you so you’re not slowing down to match their speed.
5. Push yourself - Climb that mountain. Run one kilometer further. Take a different paddling route. Try something new! There are endless ways to work your muscles and explore the outdoors, so take advantage of the natural gym all around you.
6. Momentum is everything - The easiest way to start the outdoor ‘habit’ is to build momentum. Keep your gear prepped and ready to go so that ‘digging out your gear’ or lack of equipment is never an excuse. I keep my hiking basics in the trunk of my car so I’m always prepared to get outside and adventure.
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