There are many ways to get and stay in shape that don’t involve boring trips to the gym or expensive personal trainers coming to your home. Finding some of the best outdoor adventures is a great way to experience something new as well as stay in top shape. By combining various forms of exercise such as biking, hiking, swimming, surfing, jogging, etc. you are able to condition your body like a top-tier athlete would. Below are a few examples off National Geographic’s 100 Best Adventures in America.
Remember, good health isn’t always about paying for expensive industry experts or following a strict exercise regimen. It’s simply about being active and constantly engaging your body. Keep that in mind when you look through these 100 challenging adventures.
Bodysurf the Wedge, Newport Beach, California
For those Southern California readers, you’ve probably heard about the Wedge in Newport Beach. This wall of water can top 30 feet when conditions are right, typically the result of a south swell coming from far off Pacific islands. While this is absolutely not something a beginner should try, it is definitely something you will remember for the rest of your life. If you time things perfectly, you are rewarded with a 50 yard glide through the water, reaching speeds up to 30 mph. However, as the locals say, if someone has to explain how to bodysurf the Wedge, you shouldn’t be there.
Image courtesy of, and rights belonging to, Ethan Ladof (pictured).
Climb the Gunks, Shawangunk Ridge, NY
Just a short, 2-hour drive from New York City lies some of the best climbing in the nation. The Gunks, as they are commonly referred to, are the equivalent of Jackson Hole skiing; the ultimate proving grounds. While there are so VERY tough climbing routes, there are also a plethora of climbs for people of all skill levels. The high-quality holds and hard quartz rock make for an unusually safe and fun climb. Several climbing companies provide lessons and group runs for those interested.
Kayak the Everglades, Everglade City, FL
Everglade City is just one jumping off point. Realistically, this fragile ecosystem can be accessed from many points across Florida. Take a guided tour or lead yourself as you explore the backwaters of this highly diverse environment. A 40 mile kayak in these waters would provide some extremely interesting sites as well as some terrific exercise.
The point of all this is that there are so many things to do to exercise your body, you don’t need to feel constricted to the elliptical, or weight room to get your exercise. Any of the above three would challenge multiple muscle systems across your body, as well as tax your cardiovascular system under real-world conditions. Check out the link above and find something to do in a state near you.