10 Easy Challenges and Ideas to Get You Back Outdoors
By now it is well known to us the importance of getting outdoors to help with our physical health and mood. “Being outdoors in nature can be healing and beneficial for the body and mind,” says Erica Price, who is a certified therapeutic recreational specialist at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital.
And it is true! There is nothing like getting out into the fresh air surrounded by nature and being beamed down upon by the sun as a way to relieve stress and anxiety from ourselves. Now that it is getting sunnier and the days are becoming longer, it is the perfect time to kickstart your adventures outdoors, however, that is sometimes easier said than done.
Maybe you’ve been quite stressed lately from work or life and need a change of scenery. Perhaps you are wanting to work on your health and fitness, or you’ve noticed you haven’t been outside for a while. Getting the motivation to do so is what can be quite hard and overwhelming especially if you don’t know how to get yourself outside more.
A great way to combat this is trying to complete challenges or doing activities with others. This list hopes to provide you with some excellent ideas on how you can actively get outdoors more without that overwhelming feeling.
Challenges and Ideas to Get You Back Outdoors
1. Join a group
Whether it is a group for hiking, trekking, cycling, climbing, or whatever else you want to do, joining a group of like-minded people is always an excellent start to getting you outdoors. You can join a group for an activity you already enjoy or something you’ve always wanted to try, the main purpose is that by finding a community of people that are also interested in doing what you want to do it can make the experience more exciting for you and help give you some new friends which can motivate you to want to go outside more.
Groups can be found anywhere such as on Facebook, Instagram, blogs, locally at community centres, etc, or even make your own little group. It can be a wonderful way to get you outdoors more and socialize with others, both of which will boost your mood dramatically.
2. Visit a National Park
Another great way to get you outside is going to visit a National Park. Within a national park, there will be plenty of hiking trails to pick from that can range in difficulty. You can also wander around and visit local or historical sites, see wonderful nature and wildlife and soak up all the fresh air and sunshine possible.
There is always a national park nearby no matter where you are, here is a list of some of our favourites for you to visit in Europe.
3. Try something new
Sometimes doing the same outdoor activity can become quite boring and that can cause a lack of motivation. Instead, mix it up and try something new. It can just be simple like going cycling or on more adventurous hikes or you could go for something more dramatic like white water rafting and rock climbing the choice is yours.
Whatever it is, getting outside and doing something new is a great motivator and personal challenge for yourself, and who knows it could become a new favourite activity for you!
4. Plan your own route
Similarly to the last point, doing the same thing over and over again can be quite repetitive and boring which is not going to make you want to get outside. If you’ve exhausted all local hikes or walks in your area it could be quite fun to instead plan your own route of where you would like to go instead, which could allow you to see places you don’t normally go past and explore new parts of your town you didn’t even know were there.
Of course, you do have to make sure these routes are safe for you and within your limits so keep that in mind when planning your route, you don’t want to get carried away and plan to trek up a whole mountain when you are at a beginner level, that could be a bit too much of a challenge.
5. Complete a full hiking trail
If you are someone that loves hiking and walking but realize you have never completed a full hiking trail this is an excellent challenge to get you outdoors. Simply pick a hiking trail that bests suits you in difficulty, length, and duration, and then attempt to complete it. The best part about this personal challenge is that once you have finished one trail you will most likely want to complete others, which will help get you to continuously go outdoors and visit new places. You can also increase the time, length, and difficulty of the trails as you go along.
If you already love completing hiking trails you could work yourself up to completing multiple-day hikes and again working your way up in difficulty as you go along. We have plenty of guides offering options for hikes, here is a list of beginner ones in the UK to get you started and provide inspiration.
6. Camp outdoors
A great way to fully throw yourself outdoors is outdoor camping. It could be a way to get you and your family outdoors, it could be trying to complete hiking trails that take multiple days to complete, whichever is motivation to attempt this outdoor camping is really a great way to experience the outdoors as best as possible by fully immersing yourself in nature. You also get to see the outdoors at night time under the stars, which with most activities on the list isn’t as likely.
7. Climb a Mountain
Nothing feels more like an achievement than being able to tell people you have climbed a mountain. You don’t have to start with the most difficult, you can find mountain summits at all levels of difficulty and go from there. Again it provides excellent motivation and by setting an achievable goal for yourself that you will be able to complete it will also really provide great benefit to your mood and mindset.
8. Complete the 52 Hike Challenge
For a challenge that you can work towards by going outside weekly the 52 Hike Challenge is a perfect fit. The aim is to go outside and complete one hike a week, but you can adapt it as you see fit such as doing multiple hikes a week during summer months, which could work out especially great if you have children for something to do with them during summer break. The official website for the 52 Hike Challenge has different options and a list that you can pick from that best fit for you and even have one that is made specifically for children too.
9. Do a marathon
Another goal that can be really motivating to work towards is training for a marathon. Picking one that can be completed by anyone of any skill level would work best to manage a maintainable goal, and then go from there. This works great to get you outdoors as you first have to do training before attempting the marathon.
Additionally completing a marathon is an incredible achievement for anyone to do, but you can also use it as a way to do some good by donating to charities you believe in through sponsors. You can take part in marathons with friends or family members, which can be a great source of company throughout plus getting support through sponsors gives you further motivation and shows people believe in you too.
10. Take part in Local/ National Challenges
Listing all local or national challenges there are would be impossible, so I instead suggest researching your area to see if there is any notice. For example, in the UK there are multiple three peak challenges that can be completed, the Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge involves climbing Ingleborough, Whernside, Pen-y-Ghent continuously in 24 hours, however, you could adapt this to simply just climbing all three of these summits if that’s more manageable for you.
Completing challenges like this can give you a chance to get out in your local environments you may not normally visit otherwise providing you a challenge while also giving you excellent views and sights.