Exercising has more importance in your life than developing an attractive body shape. Exercise is vital in keeping your body regulated and to reduce your risk of various conditions, from cardiac arrest to diabetes. However, a recent study published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) revealed that fewer than a quarter of all Americans are getting enough exercise.

According to the study, the average adult should do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of intense exercise every week. But the NCHS discovered only 23 percent of the country’s adults meet these requirements.

Unless you have an indoor gym, recent events can make it difficult if not impossible to exercise. For example, sports like gymnastics require special equipment and areas to perform. Instead of spending a lot of money building a personal gym, why don’t you try exercising outside?

These four outdoor activities are invigorating enough to meet your exercise requirements and keep your body and mind healthy.

1. Skiing

What better way to get your blood pumping than by shredding some snow by skiing down some sleek slopes? Skiing is an exciting sport and requires plenty of discipline and practice. However, it’s an extremely rewarding activity. Not only would you burn calories, you’ll also develop great reaction times and improved balance. Skiing also lets you take in the beauty of the outdoors. The best ski slopes in the country all contain beautiful and breathtaking vistas you can explore either as you speed down slopes or go cross-country.

Recommended Equipment: To ski safely, you’ll need a pair of skis and requisite poles. Your safety is paramount when you ski. Protect your head from nasty concussions with products like Giro’s MIPS ski helmet, which combine comfortable padding with durable materials. You’ll also need to acquire appropriate cold weather gear: sweaters, jackets, ski masks and socks are just as important in keeping you safe.

2. Hiking

Just like skiing, hiking allows you to explore the wild outdoors but at a much slower pace. There are plenty of studies recording the positive mental and physical effects of being surrounded by greenery and the wonder of nature. Hiking through parks and nature trails is relaxing but can get intense, particularly if you take a prolonged trip. It also helps you increase your endurance and excellent for building cardiovascular strength.

Recommended Equipment: The correct footwear is important when going hiking. Your shoes need to be sturdy and comfortable, as well as providing enough grip to prevent slippage on wet surfaces. If you’re going on a prolonged hiking trip, you’ll also need an appropriate hiking pack, with plenty of pockets and storage space for supplies.

skiing

3. Biking

If you’d rather stick to exploring the streets of your community than the untamed wilds, you may want to take up biking. This outdoor activity drastically improves your cardiovascular health as well as give you some impressive leg definition. It’s also a great way to work up a sweat and burn calories. Biking also has plenty of practical applications. Instead of using a gas-guzzling car, you can bike to nearby appointments and keep yourself and the environment healthy.

Recommended Equipment: Obviously, you’ll need a bicycle. Be sure to check if your preferred bicycle fits your height perfectly as it will affect your posture. Safety equipment is also essential when biking, especially in an urban environment. High-visibility clothing and reflective strips on your bicycle could be just as helpful as a helmet and elbow pads.

4. Running

Finally, why not go on one of the older outdoor physical activities: running. Gyms and sports facilities in Ancient Greece included outdoor areas for running, meaning this exercise has a history that goes back thousands of years. Today, you can easily run at home with a treadmill, but where’s the fun in that?

Running outdoors lets you integrate into your neighborhood. You can exchange pleasantries with neighbors as you trot past them, check out the latest developments in your area, and get a large dose of fresh air with every step.

Recommended Equipment: Of course, you’ll need running shoes with protective features that meet your stride. Exercise clothing made of moisture wicking material will also help keep you cool and comfortable as you run. Download apps on your phone to help you monitor how far you’ve run and how many calories you’ve burnt to get a more accurate picture of your wellness. Investing in a pair of high-quality earphones or earbuds will also help you keep pumped during your runs with energizing music.

After months of staying cooped up, you may want to stretch your legs and go outside for a bit. Exercising outdoors lets you feel the wonder of the world as well as keep your body in good condition. So bust out your exercise shoes, open the door and get moving today.

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