Nowadays, technology is taking over our lives. As a child, it was easy for us to find ways to get outside, but, as we get older, it may seem more and more difficult to think of outdoor activities which we enjoy. It's even harder when you are trying to engage your friends or children in these activities. The millennial generation has made entire careers out of staying home and socializing on the internet. Even so, there are quite a few ways to enjoy nature without having to trek too far away from your technological comforts.
Here are twelve activities for you to try the next time you're itching to get outside.
Hiking isn't just a great way to get outside, but it is also a way to promote your health and fitness. Hiking trails provide you with inclines that test your strength, while they also provide one of the best nature views money can't buy. Most national parks have hiking trails that you can access for little to no cost. These trails are separated by ability and skill level, meaning that, whether you are a beginner or an experienced hiker, you will have a place to take a jaunt through nature.
If you're looking for hiking trails, simply pull up your navigation app on your phone. Even those who live in a big city are usually only a few miles from a decent trail. It may surprise you what nature you have been missing in your own backyard.
2. Botanical Gardens
A little bit of a more commercial option for getting outside, botanical gardens provide you views of unique flora and fauna not otherwise native to your hometown. These highly landscaped and manicured preserves are filled with color and artistic displays from highly skilled keepers. Many of these gardens also include greenhouses, allowing you to experience these displays in the colder winter months.
Botanical gardens can take many shapes and sizes. For instance, there are some zoos that open these as butterfly gardens where they breed and preserve these beautiful insects. Others are completely outdoor arboretums, comprises mostly native and non-native trees. These gardens are easier to walk than a hiking trail, but also provide you with beautiful sites and educational experiences.
Camping is a popular choice for getting outside. Roughing it can be the best way to spend the weekend. Cooking over a fire, making smores... it's romanticized by everyone. Camping is also a great way to teach basic survival skills and practice your ability to live without technology. It's a great way to escape from the world for the weekend... or longer. It is also a unique way to meet other outdoorsmen or to enjoy a music festival.
If you think that it's not your speed, you can also look into "Glamping". This is essentially camping with all the comforts of home. Electricity, full beds, and access to your cell phone at all times make this much preferable to some than going off the grid. You can still enjoy the outdoors, without having to temporarily get rid of your pampered lifestyle for the evenings.
Fishing is an age-old pastime that has been enjoyed for generations. It is a great way to get together a group of friends and enjoy the sunshine for a day. This hobby is relaxing and takes some time. The several different fish that you can try to obtain makes the activity even more challenging.
It's even a televised sport! Whether you prefer trout fishing or bass fishing, you can become even more engrossed in the hobby by learning about the sporting industry that surrounds it!
The cost of this activity, mostly goes into gear, which makes it costly for some to get into. However, stocked ponds will often provide you with tackle for free, as long as you pay for the fish that you catch! Paying ten dollars for a full day of hanging out with your friends, however, is generally well worth it. Plus, you can always have dinner utilizing the fish that you catch! Some areas may require you to purchase a license to fish, so it is important to do your research and make sure that you are in compliance with local wildlife laws in your state.
While it may sound cliche, there is nothing wrong with taking a trip to the zoo! Even in the winter, these outdoor exhibits are generally open to the public to educate them about nature and their preservation efforts. Not only can you get outside, but you will be able to experience endangered species from around the world up close.
Most zoos have programs that are fun for kids and adults. Whether you're going to walk the map and experience the animals or you're going to a wine tasting, this way of getting outside is tempting and exciting enough that everyone will be able to enjoy it. The zoo is perfect for a relaxing afternoon or for a multi-day excursion and it's always fun to see your favorite exotic creatures from the safe distance behind the glass.
Kayaking is a less common way to spend some time outside, while also getting your exercise. Kayaking can be done alone or in groups. Kayaks normally carries one to two people and are great if you're trying to explore an area with some friends. There is no time restriction on kayaking, with most kayaks being able to be rented from one hour to a full day. Those just starting out should consider kayaking for a shorter period of time than those who are experienced and one to two hours is usually enough for a beginner.
Whether you are looking for a lazy day on the lake or you are taking a full day excursion out on the ocean, kayaking can be a relaxing activity. Those seeking a challenge can also go whitewater kayaking (similar to whitewater rafting, just a different vessel), which is a more difficult experience of navigating swift-moving rivers. No matter which version of kayaking you choose to explore, this is a great low-impact workout for anyone to do.
Ziplining is an amazing adrenaline rush. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most thrilling outdoor sports that you can participate in. Invented in China, the original intention of ziplining was transportation across rivers. Now it can be done all around the world.
Ziplining requires no experience, making it suitable for both children and adults. With the proper safety training, one can find amusement from the sport. There are ziplines all around the world of varying inclines and lengths, meaning that, as your skill level advances, you can advance to steeper inclines.
For those who are nervous because of how precarious it looks, safety is an extreme priority when ziplining. You will have a guide who is meant to keep you and your group members safe through your entire excursion. You will wear a full-body harness and you will be locked to the zipline. No matter how dangerous it looks, ziplining is actually incredibly safe. It is definitely something that is worth a try for any thrill-seeker who wants a bit of outdoor adventure.
Riding your bicycle is one of the easiest ways to get outside. If you already own a bicycle, it's free and easy to get out of the house! This low-impact physical activity can help to prevent serious diseases and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. To add to the incentives that riding a bike brings to you, it is good for the environment! Instead of driving to get ice cream with your friends, consider all taking a trip on your bikes!
Not only are you getting outside, but you are also doing something good for the environment and accomplishing two things at once. You're combining your everyday transportation with a regular exercise routine!
9. Rock Climbing
If you're looking for another adrenaline rush, consider rock climbing! While rock climbing can be done at indoor facilities, true rock climbing is done on cliff faces in beautiful sceneries. Rock climbing is challenging. It teaches you to carry your body weight on your legs. You can't use your arms to pull yourself onto the rocks! You can also keep fit while getting your adrenaline rush!
Rock climbing is also a good way to build your focus and determination. These skills are not only good in rock climbing, but, also, in everyday areas of your life. It also helps to teach and enhance self-control and confidence! It's a great way to get your daily dose of the sun while having fun and getting an adrenaline rush.
10. The Beach
Going to the beach is largely good for your health because you can spend the day in the sun. However, going to the beach actually has other health benefits! For instance, swimming in salt water is good for your skin and body! The minerals help to exfoliate your skin. Sand does much the same, exfoliating your skin! Taking a walk on the beach with your bare feet can remove the dead skin from your body without harsh chemicals or a long beauty routine!
Sealife is also easily experienced on the beach! Seashells, sand dollars, and starfish are seen scattered in tidepools around the entire beach! Fish swim with their human counterparts in the shallow waters! Some beachgoers even experience sightings of dolphins and seals in their natural habitat, without a trip to the zoo. It is a low effort way to experience animals in their habitat and get your daily dose of vitamin D!
11. Nature Walks
Contrary to popular belief, a nature walk is not the same as hiking. Nature walks are more low-impact and can be experienced by people of all ages. Nature walks can be guided by a human, an audio track, or via a map. These paths are not steeply inclined like many hiking trails are, which means that you won't wake up with your knees hurting the next day.
Nature walks are also designed to see wildlife and nature! This is why these walks are generally guided in some way. They educate you on the trees and plant life that you may see as you walk, the different animals you may see, and, also, many times there are protected bird nests that are marked on the map. Some state parks have protected eagle's nests and osprey nests where people can see these birds of prey feeding their young.
12. Wine Tour
Though this one may seem a surprise to many people, wine tours are actually a great way to get outside without being stuck in one place. Most wineries use their wine tastings as opportunities to tour their entire facilities, many of which are outside. Touring the vineyards combines the opportunity to be educated about wines with the opportunity to get your steps in under the sun.
You simply have to schedule these tours. Someone else will do the homework on local wineries for you, meaning that you just have to show up places. There are often so many highly rated wineries to tour that it can be overwhelming, but scheduling a tour allows someone else to do all that homework while you get to drink wine and take a walk.
There are so many ways that you can get outside and experience the outdoors. Whether it's organized activities or an individual excursion, getting outside can do amazing things for your health and fitness. Enjoy the sunlight and maybe find a new hobby along the way. With the endless choices you have, you're sure to find something that's just for you.