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We’ve been locked up in our homes enough lately trying to avoid exposure to the coronavirus. Spring is soon approaching and it’s time to make some plans to get outside, get some fresh air, and make some new memories.
When you get outside in nature, you consume more oxygen, which releases serotonin in your brain and allows your body to function using less effort. Plus, research shows that spending time outside can improve your blood pressure, digestion, and immunity. This means that when you spend time in nature, you’ll gain some serious health benefits from the fresh air that’s (hopefully) free from pollutants and full of oxygen.
If you’re looking for a new hobby that will keep you in the habit of going outside, we’ve rounded up 17 ideas here of outdoor activities that you can do on a regular basis. Read on to find the activity that suits you the best.
17 Outdoor Hobbies to Have Fun Adventures Outside
If you’re stuck inside all week while at work, hiking can be an especially helpful hobby to help build resilience against your confinement. Put your technology aside and get out into nature to gain the benefits of connecting with the outdoors.
Hiking has so many benefits including the pleasant sights, sounds, and smells of nature, plus you’ll get a good cardio workout. Walking on uneven ground can work muscles that you don’t typically use, which will help improve your balance. And, according to WebMd, hiking up even a small hill will increase your heart rate to help you burn more calories–just a 5% incline will give you a 30% boost in calorie burn.
2. Host Outdoor Movie Nights
Since the beginning of the coronavirus, my neighbor has hosted outdoor movie nights/football days every weekend for his family and friends. This is a great way to get outside while also socializing at a safe distance. Plus, watching a movie under the stars is always something you will remember.
By planning nighttime activities outside, you can make the most of your time outside, especially during those hot summer days. Set out individual chairs or grab a few big sheets, some drinks, and some popcorn to give your loved ones a unique summer screening experience.
Resource: This blog post will show you how to host outdoor movie nights in your backyard.
3. Go Camping
Camping is a great way to get some exercise while also getting a chance to stop and relax in the great outdoors. There are lots of benefits of camping, such as:
- Getting fresh air
- Socializing with friends and family
- New challenges that are physically and intellectually stimulating
- Great food!
Going camping lets you get exercise in a new environment, far from your everyday running route or designated elliptical at the gym. Plus, no two camping trips will ever be the same, so this hobby will never get boring.
While you may think that sleeping in a tent might be rough, a study conducted by the University of Colorado found that quite the opposite is true. Spending a few nights sleeping under the stars is all you need to reset your body’s internal clock, which can help you sleep more soundly if you find that you’re constantly tired during the day.
Resource: Here is a beginner’s guide for your first camping trip.
4. Join a Sports League
If there’s a sport that you particularly love to play but you never have a team to play with, find a league in your area–or start one yourself! Joining a sports league is a great way to enjoy friendly competition, get some exercise, make new friends, and add something new to your routine.
As an adult, recreational sports leagues involve some competition, but they involve an equal amount of socializing and having fun. Socializing happens both on the field and off, as many go off to a local bar after games to recap the great plays of the night.
The types of leagues you will find will vary depending on where you live. Larger cities will offer more of a variety than smaller towns, but no matter what you can find, socializing while getting some exercise is the perfect combination.
Resource: Plug your zip code into this website to find a sports league near you.
If you’re into nature, gardens, and helping the environment, beekeeping is a perfect hobby. As you’ve probably heard, the bee population is declining at unprecedented rates. This is mainly due to loss of habitat because of human development. Research shows that developed land doesn’t provide the foraging and nesting sites that pollinators need to survive, and because of this, hobby beekeeping is growing in popularity.
To provide community pollination in your area, foster honeybees on your property. Not only will you have a great story to tell, you will also be helping the environment and benefitting from hive by-products such as honey and beeswax. To help your bees thrive, plant a garden that will attract bees and generate a large population.
In turn, your bees will boost the health of your garden by offering pollination. What’s more, bees can pollinate up to five miles away from their colony–so you really will be helping your entire community.
Resource: This video will show you how to start your own beehive.
6. Take Your Kitchen Outside
Looking past your everyday grill, portable kitchen gadgets are increasing in popularity, diversifying outdoor cooking from your usual burgers and hotdogs. You don’t need to build an entire outdoor kitchen (although you can, if you want) to be able to make some of your favorite foods outside while spending time with your family or entertaining guests.
You can make an alfresco culinary experience with the space you have now. And think about how easy clean-up will be, plus you’ll avoid lingering food smells in your kitchen!
Resource: Here are 8 new ways you can cook outside.
7. White Water Rafting
If you’re looking for a great outdoor adventure, look no further than white water rafting. Aside from the exercise you will get as you’re paddling with all of your effort to avoid going down the wrong path, you’ll also be working your muscles as you’re continually maintaining your balance in your raft.
In addition to the exercise you will get, you’ll have a blast doing this adrenaline-pumping activity as you fly through the air and crash into waves. And during those few calm moments, you’ll have a chance to enjoy the wildlife around you, the wide array of vegetation and plant life, the scenery, and time spent with loved ones.
Resource: Here are some tips to know before hitting the water for the first time.
Your outdoor hobbies don’t have to be limited to when the sun is out. Astronomy is a science that anyone can do, even if you have no experience yet. This sublime activity is both enjoyable and inspirational, as you look out into the galaxy and think about all of the mysteries that are out there.
Grab a blanket or a chair on a starry night and find a comfortable spot where you can sit for a while and just look up. There is a low barrier to entry for this hobby because you really don’t need any special equipment aside from your eyes to get started.
Once you learn your way around the sky, you can get some binoculars or a telescope to find stars that are more distant. What’s more, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world–there’s always something up there to see!
Resource: Here is a guide to get you started with stargazing.
9. Build Something
Depending on where you live and what the season is, you can create your own adventure by building something with your friends or family. Whether the conditions are right to build a snowman, a sandcastle, or a treehouse, you can always find something to build outside.
If you want to build something practical, create a unique bookcase or bench that you can use in your home. Or, you can build a planter box to go in your backyard to start your own little garden. This is a fun activity to get your kids involved in too, especially with the growing popularity of STEM education, which focuses on teaching creativity, innovation, problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration, which are a few of many skills required for success.
Photography is a great hobby to pick up that you can really take with you anywhere you go. There are endless things to photograph in the great outdoors, so this hobby can even be used in conjunction with another one on this list.
Exploring new places in your area to take unique pictures is a great way to get outside and discover your city. Turn your focus away from your everyday problems and concentrate on getting that perfect picture of a freshly blooming flower or your child’s hair blowing in the wind.
Plus, getting behind the lens can give you a sense of confidence as you use your imagination to document your journey through life. Spending this time being creative will benefit your physical health, and you’ll end up with beautiful end products that you can display in your home.
Resource: Here is a beginner’s guide to photography.
There are so many benefits to going fishing, from absorbing the vitamin D from the sun to getting a full body workout. That’s right–while fishing may seem like a sedentary hobby at first glance, it actually provides you with a low-impact cardio workout that can be as intense or laid back as you want. As you’re using your upper body strength to reel in tonight’s dinner or balancing while you’re standing on the boat in the wavy waters–you’re definitely giving your body some unique exercise.
Being out on the water also helps reduce stress as you breathe in the oxygen-rich air and enjoy the scenery. And after spending a day refreshing your mind and body on the water, hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy the fruit of your labor by cooking up a fresh fish dinner. Fresh fish is full of essential vitamins and minerals, from omega 3 fatty acids (which are good for everything) to vitamin B12, to pure protein.
However– this hobby is definitely more about the process than the end result, so don’t worry if you come up short. The joy you will get from baiting your hooks, practicing your casting skills, and feeling light tugs on your pole are all worth it in the end.
Resource: Check out this beginner’s guide to fishing.
This freeing hobby offers a great excuse to get outdoors and experience an adventure. Sailing is exciting, relaxing, and challenging all in one, and you can enjoy it with friends and family as you create life-long memories.
It’s not too tough to learn the basics of sailing, and there is always more to learn once you get the hang of it. It’s a great hobby to take up to keep your mind active. And, while it can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be if you have a place where you can rent boats to take out for the day.
Resource: Check out this step-by-step beginner’s guide for sailing.
Geocaching is the modern day treasure hunt, with an app to go along with it. This outdoor hobby will take you on an adventure through your city to find “caches” in places that are marked by GPS coordinates. All you need to get started is a membership and maybe some comfortable shoes.
Once you enter your zip code into the “Hide & Seek a Cache” page on the website, you can pick the cache that you’re going to go after and then go find it! Once found, add your name to the logbook and put it back where you found it. Then share your adventures with fellow cachers!
You can also leave your own caches for others to find! Just get a waterproof (and weatherproof) container and put a small treasure in it. Add a logbook and a pen and mark the coordinates on the website. Check on it every few weeks to see who has found it!
Resource: Here is your complete guide to geocaching.
14. Go to the Dog Park
If you have a dog, locate your nearest dog park or dog-walking group and become a regular! This will allow both you and your furry friend to get some exercise and some socialization into your day. This is also a great bonding activity to do with your pet, especially if you’re separated all day due to long working hours.
Dog parks offer a safe space for you to exercise your dog, and watch him play freely. These unique parks can facilitate socialization among a variety of dog breeds and allow adolescent dogs to expend the energy that they’ve built up during the day.
Resource: Here is a link to help you find dog walk meetups near you.
15. Go to Live Music Festivals
If you enjoy listening to live music when the weather is nice, make a hobby out of searching for and attending live concerts and music festivals. You will probably find some local talent who is looking to share their craft along with some bigger-named bands who are touring the country.
People travel far and wide to attend music festivals too, which is sure to be an adventure. Grab a few friends and go in on this hobby and experience together–as music is a unique tool that really customizes the human experience. And, when people from all different backgrounds come together to appreciate this artform together, it is an occurrence that’s unlike anything else.
16. Keep Free-Range Chickens
As urban areas grow in density, food deserts start to grow, leaving people miles away from having access to fresh food. Rather than having to take the trip, people are looking to their own yards to obtain the nutrition they need for their families. And with a chicken coop, you can definitely create some memories with your new project and all there is to learn about maintaining your nesting box.
The low cost of baby chickens quickly offsets the high cost of eggs. While chickens take responsibility and care to stay healthy and continue to provide you with vitamins and minerals, many people enjoy taking care of their chickens and watching them through their life cycle.
Resource: This is a great beginner’s book for raising chickens in your yard.
You don’t have to be training for a race to run outdoors on a regular basis. This is a great hobby for people of all fitness levels, as you can go at your own pace and you can decide how long you’re going to hit the pavement. Plus, you’ll get major health benefits from this hobby–both mentally and physically.
Many people who have taken up running as a hobby claim to have really dreaded this activity at first, so if you think you’re “not a runner”–you’re not alone. But after getting into it, you may find running to be a stress-relieving activity that could also relieve your body of some extra pounds.
Whether you choose to run alone or you want to join a group to make it more of a social hobby, the activity will definitely give you a break from your everyday life while also keeping your body in shape. Plus– the barrier to entry for this hobby is extremely low–all you need is a good pair of shoes!
Final Thoughts on Adventurous Outdoor Hobbies
Spending time outside will improve your mood while giving you an opportunity to get some exercise and sunlight. Your outdoor hobbies can get physical while also exercising your brain.
Being actively engaged and experiencing adventures outside is a powerful way to contribute to your overall health and well being. So pick one or two of these hobbies to start with as the weather begins to turn and enjoy spending the time becoming one with nature.
Connie Stemmle is a professional editor, freelance writer and ghostwriter. She holds a BS in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her 4-year-old daughter, running, or making efforts in her community to promote social justice.