It doesn’t matter if the sun is shining or the snow is falling. There’s always an outdoor adventure waiting to be had.
Are you looking for ways to get outdoors and be more active? If so, this list of outdoor sports is perfect for you. Check out some of the best ways to explore the outdoors below.
1. Trail Running
If you love to run but can’t stand the idea of running in a circle around a track or running in place on a treadmill, you have another option: Trail running.
Going for a run through nature allows you to enjoy all the cardiovascular health benefits of running with several added perks, including these:
- Improved strength and balance: Running on trails is less predictable and requires more ankle and core strength than running on a flat surface.
- Visual stimulation: When you run on a trail, your view constantly changes.
- Soak up the sun: Trail running lets you soak up the sun and enjoy some extra vitamin D.
Want to experience the benefits of trail running? It’s easy to get started.
All you need are some comfortable, weather-appropriate running clothes and a pair of running shoes that offer support, stability, and grip. Make sure to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen, too (regardless of the weather).
If you aren’t a runner, you can still experience many of the same benefits that trail running provides by going for a hike.
Hiking is less stressful on your joints and could be a better option for beginners with less stamina. It might take you a bit longer to reach your destination when hiking instead of running, but you’ll still get to enjoy the same beautiful views and the health-boosting benefits that the sun provides.
Hiking, like trail running, doesn’t require a ton of equipment. This is especially true when you’re just getting started and are sticking to short, relatively simple hikes.
As long as you have comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and supportive shoes with a good grip, you’ll be ready to tackle some beginner-friendly trails.
Bring a water bottle and a snack along, too, and don’t forget the sunscreen!
When hiking starts to get too easy, you might want to expand your outdoor adventures to include trekking.
Trekking is more strenuous than hiking. It typically requires some extra equipment, too, including trekking poles, which provide additional stability while you’re climbing over rocky or rough surfaces.
In addition to being more challenging, trekking journeys can also be longer than traditional hikes. Sometimes, these journeys last several days.
Trekking often involves exploring less-traveled areas as well.
When you hike, you tend to stick to a trail. However, when you trek, you can make your way into less accessible areas and get off the beaten path (literally).
4. Rock Climbing
If you want to make your mountain adventures even more thrilling, consider adding rock climbing to your outdoor itinerary.
Rock climbing offers a ton of health benefits, many of which you can’t get from other outdoor activities. The list of benefits includes the following:
- Strengthens several major muscle groups (including muscles in the hands, arms, back, and legs)
- Improves cardiovascular health and burns lots of calories
- Improves balance and core strength
- Improves problem-solving skills and helps you learn to stay calm under pressure
Rock climbing is also an incredible self-esteem booster. You can’t beat the sense of accomplishment you feel when you reach the top after climbing up the side of a mountain!
When you first start climbing, you’ll need some essential equipment. This includes comfortable, sweat-wicking clothing and lightweight shoes that help you grip the rocks easily. A climbing helmet, harness, and chalk are important pieces of gear, too.
5. Cycling/Mountain Biking
From road cycling to mountain biking, there are lots of ways to exercise outdoors on a bike.
Cycling of any kind is an incredible cardiovascular workout, and it also strengthens your legs and core. This type of workout is easy to scale up or down depending on your skill and experience level, too.
To start experiencing the benefits of cycling, you’ll begin with a bike. The specific type of bike you’ll buy depends on the type of cycling you want to do. For example, a mountain bike is different from the bike you’d use for road cycling.
In addition to a bike, you’ll also need a helmet and some comfortable, sweat-wicking clothing.
Are you new to the cycling world? If so, consider joining a local bike club. This gives you a chance to connect with other cycling enthusiasts and learn the basics.
So far, we’ve talked about outdoor activities that are most popular during the warmer months of the year. However, there are also plenty of ways for you to get outdoors and get active when winter arrives.
The most obvious winter outdoor sports are, of course, skiing and snowboarding. These are fun and exciting sports that get your heart racing, challenge your balance and provide a full body workout.
If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, you’ll need to invest in some equipment, including a pair of skis or a snowboard and a helmet. For those who aren’t sure they want to commit to these sports, there are plenty of rental options that are more affordable and accessible.
It can be helpful to start with some lessons geared toward beginners, too. This will give you a chance to learn the basics in a low-pressure environment — and you won’t have to worry about getting in over your head.
If skiing and snowboarding aren’t for you, snowshoeing can be an excellent alternative.
Snowshoeing is the winter version of hiking. To help you traverse through the snow without getting stuck, you’ll wear special shoes that distribute your weight across the snow and reduce your chances of sinking.
Snowshoeing is a great cardiovascular workout, and it also strengthens your muscles in a low-impact way while improving your balance and agility.
To start snowshoeing, you need a pair of snowshoes, as well as waterproof boots and warm winter clothing. Dress in layers, though, as you’ll definitely build some heat even when it’s cold outside.
You can also use trekking poles to assist your balance and reduce strain on your lower body. They’re very handy if you happen to fall, too.
Which Outdoor Sports Will You Try First?
Whether you want to get out on the water or up in the mountains, you have plenty of outdoor sports to consider.
No matter what sport is on your must-try list, Cascade Mountain Tech has the high-quality gear you need to face anything nature can throw at you. From trekking poles and snowshoes to replacement parts, we’ve got everything you need to stock up for your next outdoor adventure.