Yearning to spend more time outside and transform your life from one spent predominantly inside to one that includes regular and plentiful time in the outdoors? This shift doesn’t have to be a difficult or painful one. All it takes is a genuine desire to change and a willingness to explore and try new things. Some of it is simply altering your mindset (perhaps easier said than done).
But there are small tangible steps you can take to begin altering your lifestyle to one that embraces the outdoors. Here’s how to begin your transformation from an indoorsy person to an outdoor adventurer.
There are many reasons why people choose to spend more time outdoors. Most of the reasons have to do with the physical, emotional, and intellectual benefits that come with such a lifestyle. Think about what your motivations are for changing your routines to help come up with achievable goals.
You may want to become a more active person, engage in new activities and meet new people, gain more appreciation for the natural world, or all of these things. Some very simple and small ways to alter your routine are to get up early to watch the sunrise or star gaze before retiring for the night.
Make a list of outdoor activities and experiences you want to add to your life, then slowly build on them. An example could be adding an early morning 15 to 20-minute walk outside, eventually getting to the point where you’re comfortable with spending an entire morning or even day hiking or walking in the great outdoors.
Dress the part
One of the simplest and straightforward things to do is to equip yourself with comfortable clothing that can handle varying weather conditions. When you’re uncomfortable outside, it’s difficult to have fun and enjoy things. You may want to choose some clothing that’s made from merino wool. Merino wool can not only stand hot conditions and make you feel cooler but also, keep you warm in colder conditions. Cotton, in comparison, will actually make you sweat more or feel colder if there’s a breeze and you’re sweating.
Move your workout outside
Running, cycling, walking, and swimming outside is free. And without the time constraints of gym open hours, you can engage in them at any time (just be sure to take necessary precautions if out on your own at night or in a new place). In many cities, you can also find outdoor yoga, pilates, or other group exercise classes.
Ditch the car
If your place of work is within a reasonable distance from your home, consider biking or walking to and from work. You can even combine walking and running with public transit, using your own two feet to get to the bus or train stop. Many buses and trains also allow bicycles.
Don’t feel as if you have to do it everyday but, chances are, you’ll soon become addicted to the freedom and brain reboot that running and cycling provide.
Turn off the television
Instead of spending the night watching television, take a bird watching or animal tracking class. Another great choice is an outdoor photography or landscape painting class. If you love botany, many parks offer instruction in plant identification and foraging. You could also take swimming lessons or even get certified in wilderness first aid.
Embrace the rain
No one but the wicked witch ever melted from water so don’t let a little rain keep you indoors. Obviously, don’t go out in a hurricane or strong thunderstorm but, if its just rain, don’t be afraid to still go for that run or bike ride.
Running in the rain can be very invigorating and freeing. Just make sure to get indoors and out of your wet clothes before completely cooling down to prevent getting chilled.
Find active friends
Hiking, running, cycling, backpacking, and camping can be fun to do with friends. There are fitness dating apps like Sweatt, online dating sites like Fitness Singles as well as meetup groups and Facebook groups where you can find people who share your active interests.
There are also local cycling and running groups in most every city and community. These groups have organized rides and runs, usually for a variety of fitness levels. Many outdoor sports stores such as REI offer classes and outings.
Plan adventures near and far
Many tools exist to aid in planning outdoor adventures all over the world. Both mapmyrun and ridewithgps allow you to plot cycling and running routes. Apps dedicated to hiking and camping are widely available.
Find Your Park is a website that lets you search for activities and parks near you. The outdoors is all around you. Start transforming yourself in an outdoorsy person today!