15 Best Outdoor Activities for Adults
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Spending time outdoors can be seen as necessary for human survival. Being in nature is believed to decrease levels of stress and depression while increasing your energy levels and boosting your mood. It’s almost like there’s magic in the fresh air and trees outside.
While it is very important to spend some time outdoors every day, it can be difficult to do this when you’re an adult with lots of responsibilities. Maybe you want to go outside, but you’re not sure what to do when you’re out there. Or you just can’t seem to find the time to do so.
Well, it’s time to introduce you to the best and most fun outdoor activities for adults. This is your sign to try a new hobby or pick one back up that you used to enjoy! Maybe try out a few of these fun outdoor activities and rotate through them during the week. Let’s dive in.
Outdoor Activities for Adults
Starting out with a water-based outdoor activity, kayaking is a great way to explore nature if you have a body of water near your house. Maybe there’s a lake nearby or even a small river; many cities even have local companies that provide kayak rentals and tours. Check to see if there are any near you.
This is a great option if you don’t want to purchase your own kayak, or maybe have nowhere to store it. If you’ve never kayaked before, try renting one first to see if you enjoy it. You might find that you love it so much you want your own kayak, or maybe you just want to get on the water every now and then.
This outdoor activity requires mostly shoulder and arm strength, but it can be made easier or more difficult depending on your personal preferences. Go slow and enjoy your surroundings, or push yourself physically and test your skills in river rapids. Always trust your gut and know what you’re comfortable with.
This one also requires a body of water and a still one at that. The best places to go paddle boarding are on a lake or a large pond. You can try this outdoor activity in moving water, but it will require more balance.
Paddleboarding has become a very popular sport, gaining exposure over the last couple of years. It requires an oar and a board; this is another common activity you can find at local lakes. You can stand up on the board, also known as SUP or stand-up paddleboarding, or you can sit down on your board.
It might take some practice to be able to stand up as it does require some balancing, but don’t let this discourage you from trying! Paddle boarding is so much fun, and remember you can always sit down if you need a break.
Immerse yourself in nature and explore the hiking trails near your house. You might be surprised by what you can find near your home. Often large city parks have nice long trails or see if there are any bigger state parks near you.
Another fantastic place to go hiking is in national parks. Plan your own adventure trip and throw some beautiful hikes in your itinerary. One of my all-time favorite places to go hiking is Big Bend National Park.
The great part about hiking is the variety of trails available out there. You might have to drive a little further from home, but the views and refresh of a hike will be worth it. Take it easy and admire nature on a short, no-incline hike, or work your way up to tackling a 10-mile hike. Whichever you prefer, there are options for you!
Stay on land and take in the outdoors by bike. If you’ve never learned how to ride a bike, head to your local REI store where they offer biking lessons, or ask a friend if they're willing to help. Biking is fun to do in a park, or even in a city, which makes it one of the best outdoor activities for adults.
If you’re traveling, try renting a bike as a fun way to explore a new city. Just make sure you know the rules of the road so you can stay safe. One of the best cities for biking in the US is Chicago; there are many bike lanes as well as a plethora of rentable bikes.
If you’re feeling really daring, try your hand at mountain biking. This will take more practice, but start with easier trails and work your way up to the more intense mountain biking trails. Many state parks have designated biking trails, you never know what might be available in your community!
Where are the daredevils at? This is your sign to try rock climbing! If you’ve never been before, I recommend heading to your local rock climbing gym first to try it out. You can see if they offer any lessons, or even have gear available to rent so you don’t have to buy your own at first.
If you want to try climbing in the great outdoors, make sure you go with a friend who knows what they’re doing. This is a much more difficult and dangerous activity. But if you’re well prepared, it is so much fun! New River Gorge National Park has many popular climbing routes, from beginner level to more advanced.
If you’re new to rock climbing, you can also try bouldering. This requires less gear and less height to tackle. Without being strapped into harnesses and ropes, bouldering is essentially the basic form of rock climbing. It is free climbing on boulders, hence the name, and rock walls.
Before you head out to try this activity, make sure you understand how to properly do it. Your safety should always be a priority, especially as you’re not in a harness. However, this is becoming a very popular sport, and it might be your new favorite.
See if your local climbing gym has any bouldering trips you can join. This is also a fun way to meet people who are also interested in participating in outdoor activities for adults.
No, not skateboarding. Longboarding is quite different, and way more fun if you ask me. While it is similar to skateboarding, the boards are, yes, longer, and they’re much more flexible. This allows you to turn easier and maneuver trails and roads better.
The best part about longboarding is you can go at whatever pace you want. Take it nice and slow and go for a longboard around your neighborhood. I truly think it’s much easier to learn than skateboarding, and it’s so enjoyable to cruise around a pretty part of your community or even a park.
Live out your Barbie or Ken dreams and try your hand at skating! There’s roller skating, which is what you’ll find in roller rinks, and there’s rollerblading. The latter is when the wheels are in a single line; I recommend trying rollerblading.
It’s easier to stop and accelerate on rollerblades, but if you’re more comfortable in roller skates, put them on and head to a city park! This is a fun activity to try around your neighborhood, or venture out and try it on a paved trail. A great place to learn how to skate is an empty tennis court!
This might be at your outdoor community pool, a gym pool, or in a natural body of water! Maybe there’s a popular lake by your house you can swim in during the summer, or maybe you live near the ocean. Swimming is a nice way to enjoy the outdoors, and it’s extra refreshing after a hike.
Many hikes have waterfalls or streams you can swim in. Look ahead of time to see what the swimming rules are, and wear your suit under your hiking clothes!
Before you jump in, know what your swimming abilities are. There aren’t always lifeguards, and if you’re swimming in the ocean, there are currents that can make it more difficult.
This one requires less physical exertion, other than setting up a tent if you have one. Many people are put off by the thought of sleeping on the ground, but there are so many other ways to go camping. And what better way to enjoy the outdoors than being fully immersed in it?
If you don’t wish to go tent camping, the traditional style, you can also try car camping if your car is large enough, or rooftop tent camping. Another option, if you opt for tent camping, is to bring a really nice camping mattress so you’re not just sleeping on the ground.
You don’t have to be a skilled gardener or have a green thumb to try your own hand at growing plants. If your home has private outdoor space, dedicate a small section of it to a garden. And just do it for fun! Don’t put any pressure on yourself about making it look good or yielding a certain number of crops.
It’s fun to grab some cheap seeds from the gardening section of your local supermarket, and just see what you can grow. I started my own little garden in my apartment by finding cheap and used pots of varying sizes and setting them up on my balcony.
If you’re a fan of winter, or you don’t know how to enjoy being outside in winter, have you ever tried skiing or snowboarding? Many people think you can only pick these sports up when you’re a kid, but don’t miss out on this awesome sport because of this assumption.
Many people pick up skiing or snowboarding as adults and come to love it. Most ski resorts, like Park City, have amazing ski schools that offer lessons of all levels to people of all ages. And remember you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy skiing or snowboarding. You can have fun in the snow even if you never leave the beginner slopes!
13. Dog Walking
Sometimes dog owners dislike having to take their pups outside so much, but make this activity fun for you as well. You might enjoy walking around your neighborhood; try adding on a block or two every week. Or load up you and your dog in the car and head to a nice park with walking trails; your dog is bound to love this excursion too.
You can see if there are any dog-friendly hiking trails near you! If you enjoy music, grab your headphones and calm your mind with music and fresh air, or put on a podcast. This activity is beneficial for not only you but also your dog!
And if you don’t have your own dog, see if any of your neighbors might let you take their dog on a walk. If you personally know them, it might be super helpful to someone if you can help walk their dog. Or apply to a dog walking service, like Rover, and get paid to walk cute dogs!
14. Sunrise or Sunset Chasing
The early bird catches the worm? More like the early bird catches the sunrise! If you’re naturally an early riser, use this time to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature. Sunrise is a peaceful time, especially if it’s a dramatic and colorful sunrise. It’s generally very quiet outside in the early hours of the morning, and there’s something so peaceful about watching nature wake up around you.
If you find it difficult to wake up early, get outside in the evening and catch the sunset. Still just as beautiful and peaceful, watching the sunset is sure to refresh your mind. Plus, this time of day is so much cooler in the summer, making outdoor time more enjoyable.
If you live near the ocean, head to the beach to catch sunrise or sunset. Find a local hiking trail, bring plenty of flashlights, and go for a sunset or sunrise hike. Or watch the sunrise or set over the mountains if you live near them.
If you’re looking for a slow-paced outdoor activity, try fishing! This requires more patience as it can take a while to catch a fish, but it’s so peaceful if you can find a quiet spot on a lake’s shore, or take a boat out to the serene middle of a lake.
Maybe you have a friend or family member who’s been fishing? Ask them for pointers or if you can borrow some of their gear. You can find pretty cheap fishing poles, but if you can find free poles to try first, this is even better. Remember to always check local fishing rules; just because you catch it doesn’t mean you can keep it.
Fun Outdoor Activities for Adults
Spending time outside is a great way to live a happier life. It is thought that sunshine increases serotonin levels or the “happy” chemical in your brain. Spending time outside is believed to help reduce stress and depression levels. People often become more focused and feel more energetic after getting fresh air and being outdoors.
So if you don’t already, this is your sign to pick up one of these fun outdoor activities for adults and spend a little time each day outside. It’s easy to stay inside all day, especially when you work a 9 to 5 office job, but I hope you quickly see the benefits of committing some time to being outside every day.
Maybe you want to just enjoy your surroundings on a peaceful nature walk or wake up early to catch a dreamy sunrise. Or burn some calories and get your daily movement in while biking around your neighborhood or finding a nearby lake to kayak on.
Whatever you choose, you’ll be outside breathing in fresh air and admiring the beauty of nature. These outdoor activities for adults are all great ways to spend time in nature; try a few and see which is your favorite, or alternate every day to get a mixture of them in.
It's never too late to pick up a new hobby or start learning a new sport. Just go out there and do it! And don’t forget to pause a moment and soak in the peacefulness of the outdoors. Watch how much your mood positively changes day by day!
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