How often do you actually get outside? In the winter, it’s easy to skip a few days and blame it on the cold, the bad snow conditions, or the lack of climbable ice. But now that the weather is warm and the trails have thawed, there are fewer excuses for not getting outside. If the warm weather isn’t enough to entice you, here are some tips to ensure you’re getting a daily dose of the outdoors.
Start the week by creating a workout schedule, including the time and length of each workout. It can be helpful to have a goal for each workout, even if the goal is to just get outside for a half an hour. Having a solid plan makes it easier to follow through when you’re losing motivation or if the weather gets bad.
Some people thrive on doing the same activity everyday, like surfing or running, but the repetition can have negative impacts on your body, as well as on your mind. If you find yourself dreading another lunchtime run or that non-so-new climbing project has you avoiding your harness, consider switching things up with a different sport. Rent or borrow a bike (and a helmet), lace up your sneakers and go for a run, or trade your skis for a snowboard.
Sometimes, the weather sucks. No matter how techy your layers are, the thought of going out in the rain, sleet, hail, or graupel can be unappealing. Bad weather is one of the biggest hurdles to getting outside, but it can also be the most rewarding time to leave the house, for these three reasons: there are usually fewer people around, the landscape looks completely different during a storm, and think of how hard-core you’ll feel when you’re done.
Unless you’re training for a specific race or an especially grueling event, there’s no need to push yourself everyday. Just getting out for a short walk means you’re getting more exercise than the average American, so grab some shoes and walk out the door. Seriously, that’s all you have to do. Bonus points for bringing along a dog, a child, or a friend.
If you’re burnt out by the same set of singletrack or a crag that only offers crack climbing or that 5-mile run that begins and ends at your office, look for a new challenge in a new area. Sometimes a simple trick like running the loop in reverse will shake the boredom, but don’t be afraid of doing something more drastic, like searching out new track or an unclimbed boulder. Another easy change if you’re a cyclist or a runner is switching from the road to trails (or vice versa). The new scenery will be refreshing and the surface change will keep your mind active.
It’s easy to create a simple excuse and cancel on yourself, but are you really going to call up your partner and say you can’t meet them because it’s too cold, it’s too wet, or because you’re just not feeling it? Of course not. If you’re struggling to keep yourself accountable, plan to workout with a friend. It’s harder to get out of a commitment, which means you’ll be more likely to follow through. Be sure to hold your partner to accountable, too. If they try to back out with some lame excuse, you’ll be more likely to bail the next time because you know it’ll be easy to make up an excuse.
Step 1. Watch this film
Step 2. Turn off your computer, tablet, phone, carrier pigeon, etc.
Step 3. Go for it