Looking to get outside more and enjoy the grand outdoors? Not sure where to start? The lifestyle shift doesn’t have to be difficult. All it takes is an open mind and the will to say yes to new opportunities. Here’s how you can transform yourself from living a life indoors to exploring the outdoors:
10. From Living Small to Having it All
So, you’re ready to walk out into the big wide world and embrace all its natural splendor. You’ve decided to live a more active lifestyle, to engage with your environment, and to strike out on new adventures. Venturing outdoors expands your physical, emotional, and intellectual horizons, leading to a life full of exploration and possibility. Think deeply about your motivations as you prepare to take the plunge; this will help you formulate attainable goals that will lead to a successful transition to an outdoor lifestyle.
9. From Wish List to Check List
As you construct goals for your new, outdoor lifestyle, make a list of things you’d like to try. Start with small changes, like adding an activity to your morning or evening routines. Unplug and listen to the birds on your commute, stargaze before bed, or watch the sunset. Changes in your routine will prepare you to add bigger commitments to your list, like day hikes or overnight backpacking trips. As your wish list transforms into a checklist, your confidence will grow, allowing you to push the bounds of your comfort zone and experience anything you set your mind to.
8. From Gym to Whim
Exercise is critical to a more outdoorsy lifestyle, as your physical fitness will ultimately determine what you can do. While strength training is undoubtedly important to any exercise routine, the majority of these workouts are done inside. Instead, consider limiting your gym time in favor of outdoor activities. Running, hiking, nature walks, cycling, and swimming are excellent choices that improve balance, cardiovascular health, and endurance. The best part is, you can do most of these activities on a whim, without paying a dime!
7. From Drive to Thrive
Find a car that supports an active lifestyle, one that can handle the unpaved roads and difficult driving conditions. Four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles are excellent options, as they give drivers more security on the road. 4WD systems are manual, allowing the driver to maneuver the car easily in poor conditions. They have excellent traction, and are the best option for ice and snow. On the other hand, AWD vehicles require no manual input from the driver to adjust terrain, and the car can usually detect danger before the driver. Choose a system that both fits your needs and allows you to be comfortable behind the wheel.
6. From Commute to Reboot
Ditching your car on your commute to work isn’t always a choice for everyone. However, if you live close enough, consider using your body to get you to work every day. Walk or run, even if it’s to a public transit stop. If your route is safe for cycling, ride a bike! Depending on the traffic conditions, cycling can even get you to work quicker than driving or public transit. Just be sure to wear a helmet, make traffic signals, and use lights. Even if it’s only a few days a week, cycling, walking, or running part of your commute reboots your brain and prepares your body for successful day.
5. From Watching a Show to Learning to Grow
If the weather is poor, or you’re in need of motivation, turn off the tv or try taking a class. There are plenty of courses to engage you in the outdoors. Prepare yourself for dangerous situations by taking swimming lessons or wilderness first aid. Learn about your local ecology with an animal tracking, bird watching, or wildlife photography class. Budding botanists might enjoy edible plant identification or foraging. REI is a great resource for classes, outings, and outdoor events. If there’s a location nearby, sign up for a couple. Or, if you have a predilection for the arts, channel Bob Ross and take your skills to a landscape painting class, or even to your local park!
4. From Movie Nights to Daring Heights
No matter what your passions are, good friends encourage you to stick to your commitments. So, get a friend involved in your new outdoorsy lifestyle! It’s always a good idea to have someone else with you when you’re hiking, backpacking, camping, rock climbing, or doing anything risky away from civilization. However, if you or your friends can’t commit to more than a few hours, try something small. Instead of a night at the movies, camp out in the back yard with some s’mores. Skip bottomless mimosas and have a picnic at a local park. You’ll end up spending more quality time with friends, while also getting out and about!
3. From Weekends in Bed to Weekends Un-tread
When days off come around, it’s hard to resist binge watching, snacking, and lazing your weekends away. While there is a time and a place for these activities, make room for the outdoors in your weekend plans. Go bold—since you have more than an hour or two to work with, plan a day of kayaking, or backpack into the backcountry. Or, if you want to stay close to home, map out a long route for a bike ride or urban hike. The longer your time commitment, the longer you will need to plan, so be sure to look into trail, weather, and equipment conditions before you go.
2. From Tourist to Naturalist
Everyone wants something different from their vacations—some enjoy pampering and relaxation, while others prefer to sightseeing and cultural immersion. No matter how you like to travel, there’s always a way to vacation outside. Instead of relying on air travel and chain hotels, consider road tripping and sleeping off the beaten path. There are plenty of rugged Airbnbs and gorgeous campgrounds all over the world, and they often make for a cheaper stay. Hipcamp is another resource for finding off the wall places to stay. Although not always the cheapest option, they’re well worth a surefire Instagram post. If international travel calls to you, look into self-guided walking tours, or take a course through the National Outdoor Leadership School.
1. From the Comforts of Home to Adventures Unknown
If you are feeling overwhelmed, there are plenty of tools to inspire you to leave the house. Hiking apps help users find local, accessible hikes, complete with terrain details. The Find Your Park website matches your location with nearby activities in National Parks, and Map My Run connects runners and cyclists with popular routes in your area. If you’re interested in getting involved in the outdoorsy community, look into Facebook groups, courses at your local community college, or outdoor sports store. Whatever it takes, the outdoors is calling. The time is now!