Spending time away from people and being at home all the time can take their toll on your body and mind. You may feel like you are stripped of your mental balance and control of your life, which, in turn, can affect your physical health as well.
While due to this global pandemic the options for staying active are scarce, there’s a number of things you can do alone or with a partner. Here are our picks for top outdoor activities to keep you fit and boost your mind until the world goes back to normal.
- Hike to improve your body and mind
You don’t have to go into the wilderness to hike. A nearby park for a peaceful walk will be enough to get your heart pumping and get some cardio for better circulation and cardiovascular health. Furthermore, hiking can turn into a strength training exercise if you use leg and arm weights to build muscles and enhance bone density.
Nature sounds, greenery, and moving can inspire creativity and problem-solving. If you have kids, taking them on a hike is one of the best outdoor activities to replace playgrounds and have family time. Although it may tire your body, hiking can lower mental fatigue and make you feel more energized.
- Walk for a healthier life
Walking is one of those activities you can do casually or at a more fitness level. It’s enough to have at least 30 minutes of walk every day to improve your blood flow and bring more oxygen to the organs and tissue. Strolling around the neighborhood can keep you socialized and respecting recommended distancing, but it will also burn calories and exercise your muscles.
This is a physical activity for anyone and especially those who are reluctant to work out since you don’t need any equipment or a reason. Because of this, walking is also a smart way to introduce physical activity to people who lack the resolve to start exercising. Not only will it be good for the muscles, but also improve the thought process and give a change of scenery.
- Yoga for calm and good posture
If you are looking for an activity to do in your backyard, then yoga is the best choice to stay at home and be active. This exercise is known to boost your mood and keep you fit after only 20 minutes a day workout. Back pain, bad posture, stiff muscles, and achy joints are manageable with yoga poses and breathing techniques.
As meditation is a big part of yoga, you will learn to focus on the positive and eliminate negative feelings that cause you stress and worry. Spending time concentrated on your inner self can help you grow and deal with problems in a calm manner. Look for online courses and tutorial videos to learn how to do the movements properly and for guidance you during meditation.
- HIIT to shape yourself mentally and physically
High-intensity training is a demanding and strenuous exercise that may not be recommended for everyone for its harshness. HIIT places stress on the whole body with short breaks between workouts, making it hard to keep up if you are not physically prepared. This can do wonders for the body by burning calories and adding muscle, but it can cause resignation and despair if you can’t keep up.
For this reason, it’s important to know what to expect before you decide to do HIIT since it can demoralize you to continue exercising. On the other hand, not giving up after one tough HIIT day will build your physical and psychological endurance. Instead of worrying about the bad things in your life, you will focus on reaching the exercise goals and learn how to stop overthinking.
- Swim to stay fit and boost your mood
Swimming is a whole-body exercise, often recommended for posture and back problems. Since it’s low-impact, it’s a beneficial activity for those who are recovering from an injury or suffer from certain musculoskeletal conditions. Regular swimming can increase flexibility, build muscle strength, and expand your lung capacity.
While making strokes in the water will stimulate the production of feel-good hormones, floating is also calming and relaxing. If you are swimming in open water, bring your snorkeling gear and have fun exploring the underwater world.
- Jump to start endorphins and exercise the joints
Jumping is one of those exercises you can do anywhere and even without equipment. Jumping jacks are common parts of exercise programs, but you can turn it into more serious training. Using a jumping rope will involve the whole body, with an accent on the arms, hands, and legs, as well as cardio.
All that physical activity will pump endorphins and dopamine into your body and boost your mood. If you want to turn to jump into a fun experience, get a trampoline for the backyard. Kids will love it, but you will also get a rush of happiness from effortlessly jumping around.
- Kayaking to burn calories and build self-esteem
When swimming is not an option, you can still have fun on the water with other activities, like kayaking. This is a workout mostly concentrated on the upper body, especially arms, shoulder, and core area, although you may feel some tension in your legs. If you want to turn it into a cardio workout, making faster strokes with a paddle should do the trick.
Taking a break from paddling and enjoying the calm water brings a lot of benefits for the mind, like clarity and confidence. Kayaking is also an opportunity for reflection and to reconnect with yourself, helping you with self-improvement and personal growth.
- Rock climbing as a challenge to yourself
Rock climbing is one of the hardest activities and thus perfect for people who like to challenge themselves. If you are new to this activity, start with bouldering and build your stamina on the easier form of rock climbing.
During the climb, you lift your whole body weight with only your arms and legs, giving them the ultimate strength training exercise. At the same time, you will be building your confidence and self-esteem with every successfully passed obstacle and climbs. Focus and problem solving are valuable traits for rock climbing, so you will hone those skills during your advancing to the top.
- Cycle to a healthier lifestyle
Cycling is an excellent lower-body workout that can shape up your ties and calves. On average, you can burn from 450 to 750 calories during an hour of cycling and strengthen your quads at the same time. If you sit too much, pedaling can help you keep your joints healthy and painless.
Taking your mountain bike to a nearby national park is a perfect cardio exercise and a way to clear your head. Surrounding yourself with nature is one of the best ways to deal with anxiety and stress, especially during this global pandemic. Moreover, if you have to commute to work, exchanging public transportation for a bike can take a great deal of worry off your back.
- Rollerblading for heart and coolness
Rollerblading is useful to improve agility, coordination, and balance by strengthening your lower-back muscles and abdomen. While it may seem focused on the legs, this activity is a full-body workout with engaging hands and shoulders. Those who suffer from chronic joint pain can use rollerblading as an alternative to running and with equal aerobic benefits.
- Dance for figure and happiness
Besides being fun, this physical activity will help you block stressful thoughts and focus on the present. As you become a better skater, you will enhance your sense of accomplishment and self-assurance, making you a more confident person. Falling and getting up are essential parts of rollerblading, so learning to accept that may also teach you to move forward during the tough times.
Dancing is often neglected as an exercise because people see it as something fun and forget its physical benefits. However, moving with the rhythm is not only good for building self-confidence and feeling happy, but also to keep you fit. Some types of dances can improve posture, while others are similar to the aerobics workout.
Learning some complicated and demanding moves can make you proud of yourself and have you feel accomplished. It can get your legs toned and make you more flexible, as well as improve circulation and reduce swelling in your joints.
- Gardening is an exercise
You may not be aware that gardening has a lot of hidden benefits that surpass its purpose to just grow plants and mow the lawn. Repetitive movements, like digging, tilling, and weeding keeps the body active without putting too much pressure on the spine, joints, and bones. Spending time in the sun will stimulate the production of vitamin D and improve your mood by increasing serotonin levels.
The presence of beneficial bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae in the soil is connected to lessening the signs of depression. Also, seeing the fruits of your labor when the flowers bloom or at the time of harvest can grow your self-respect and encourage you to accomplish your goals.
These top outdoor activities offer wonderful options to keep you fit and boost your mood in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some may be harder than others, but you will easily find the one that fits you the best to have the most fun and health benefits at the same time.