Fit lady stretching along a path

Setting Goals For Outdoor Fitness And Adventure: Strategies, Locations, And Workouts

For a happier and healthier life, it’s important to think about what your goals are. People approach outdoor fitness with a wide range of targets. Since Outdoor Fitness is part of a total health program, there are many different types of goals and paths you can take- physical, mental, and social, competitive , recover from an illness and even restorative.

Perhaps you have a certain amount of weight you want to lose at the end of 12 weeks. Or Maybe there is a 10K race you want to run. It could even be turning a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes around. As you can see, goal setting is a very personal and individual process.

What’s important is that you set them in the first place, measure and monitor those goals and then reward yourself once accomplished!

Outdoor Fitness is not just about getting firmer thighs or stronger biceps. It’s about your health, and well-being and creating a better lifestyle! Outdoor Fitness is about combining the healing power of nature with physical exertion for an all-round boost to your health.

Choosing to venture outdoors for fitness means you’re also embracing a more holistic lifestyle – one that values the role of your surroundings in the quality of your exercise.

Now, engaging in outdoor fitness isn’t just about setting any goal – it’s about setting the right goals. That’s going to include customizing aspirations to your individual fitness level, considering what you genuinely enjoy, and setting objectives that challenge you and keep you coming back for more.

So, let’s get into the first steps necessary in setting goals.

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Planning for Success: Setting Realistic Outdoor Fitness Goals

Setting goals for outdoor fitness not only gives you a sense of direction but also fuels your motivation to stick with your plan. When I talk about setting realistic goals, I’m emphasizing goals that are ambitious enough to excite you, but achievable enough for you to stick with it.

Now, how do you strike that delicate balance? Start by assessing your current fitness level honestly. If you’re picking up mountain biking, for example, it might not be wise to aim for a rough mountain trail off the bat. Begin with flatter terrains, then work your way up. As I mentioned in one of my other articles, I started off mountain biking 3 miles and then slowly worked my way up to more.

One of the challenges of goal setting is not setting a goal that is too far out of your reach. You could end up frustrated if you set a goal to lose 20 lbs in a month or to run 5 miles after a couple of weeks.

One main strategy I use is to divide your goals into short term and long term. Short term goals could include a 4 week jogging program where you go 2 times a week for 30 minutes or losing a certain percentage of body fat within several weeks. Longer term goals would be things like running a marathon, losing 50 pounds or reducing the risk of heart disease. The shorter term goals are going to increase your confidence for the longer term goals.

Here is another common goal setting strategy you’ve probably seen before. It’s called the SMART goal-setting. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. So, if you want to take up hiking, a SMART goal could be, ‘I will complete a 5-mile trail at the local nature park in under two hours by the end of next month.’

Sticking to your outdoor goals can sometimes feel like you’re trying to climb a mountain in a snowstorm. You will have challenges, but the key is to understand that it’s all part of the process, and learning from your challenges is what will make you stronger in the long run.

Types of Workouts

Choosing the location and type of workout can be the most fun part of your goal setting! Start looking at where you live as an opportunity for exercise!

Whether you live in the country side or downtown, there are so many different possibilities. All places have props that are great for exercise. Each one has their own challenges as well. Here are some following types of workouts, places and props.

For each of these following locations, you can make into a single site, multi-site or traveling workout. For the single site, you’ll stay at one location. Multi-site workouts are great for long stretches of beach or large parks to name a few.

You can create a fun route and stop for exercises along the way! Finally, the traveling workout is where you can plan to cover between 1-5 miles. You can take a long cardio session out to a site where then you’ll do your exercises. Or- intersperse your exercises along the route.

Urban Workouts

If this is your only option, the city can be an excellent place to workout. Different locations include: parks, plazas, stadiums, athletic fields, and public greenbelt. When I lived in Boise, ID the Greenbelt was my absolute favorite place to workout! I would run, rollerblade and raft the Boise River.

Prop ideas: Curbs, concrete blocks, tables, benches, walls, steps, stairs, and bleachers. Getting even more creative you can use lamp posts, parking meters, volleyball pits and park jungle gyms.

Rural Workouts

The rural area is going to be more quiet than the City. You have a variety of locations to choose from in this setting as well. Locations include hiking trails, dirt roads, orchards and groves, parks, open fields, school tracks and even backyards. For some of these places, you may need to get permission ahead of time.

Prop ideas: Logs, trees, hillsides, fences, grass, and creeks, boulders

Beach Workouts

Ever think about a workout along the beach that is more than running? There are so many options! Locations could include: Piers, docks, promenades, boardwalks, bicycle paths, and of course the shorelines.

Props: Lifeguard stands, benches, picnic tables, sea walls, docking cleats, sand dunes, poles and fences.

Mountain Workouts

Now my favorite- the mountains! If there’s a trail you always go on, now you can mix it up with the traveling workout. Great locations for the Mountain workouts include hiking trails, fire roads, campgrounds, mountain meadows, mountain lakes and shore lines.

Props: Boulders, trees, tree stumps, bridges, rock walls, river beds, picnic tables and benches.

Stay the Course

A way to stay motivated is to measure your progress and reward yourself along the way. You can monitor your outdoor fitness progress by using apps or a simple journal. Documenting your activities, tracking your distances, and noting improvements can offer a clear picture of how far you’ve come.

As I wrap up, remember, you’re not in this alone. Joining local clubs or online communities connects you with folks who share your interests. They can be a powerhouse of encouragement and tips, perhaps even become your trail or workout buddies.

As your fitness level improves, don’t hesitate to adjust your goals accordingly. Challenge yourself with harder, more adventurous activities down the road.

I really hope that you find enjoyment in your outdoor fitness pursuits. The fresh air, the scenery, the sheer joy of motion – it’s all out there waiting for you. So, keep lacing up those shoes, because your personal finish lines are just a few footsteps away.

4 thoughts on “Setting Goals For Outdoor Fitness And Adventure: Strategies, Locations, And Workouts”

  1. Hey Misty, 

    Your topic is excellent. It is highly relevant and engaging for anyone wishing to improve their physical activities in natural environments. It emphasizes how critical it is to create goals specific to each person’s fitness level and preferences to maintain motivation and enjoyment when engaging in outdoor fitness activities. The article’s emphasis on varied and creative workouts across different landscapes showcases the vast potential of nature as a versatile and stimulating fitness playground. It encourages a holistic approach to outdoor fitness, blending physical health with the mental and emotional benefits of connecting with nature.

  2. Hey getting outside is very underrated today. And what a perfect way to do it while exercising at the same time. I love how you said that mountain exercise is your favorite. The mountains are very very cool and very beautiful. I also love the beach but it’s obviously harder to run on there. And of course setting your goals is important as well. Have a good one.

    1. Hi Jake, Thanks for your comment!  The beach is difficult to run on- what a great workout though. I live in Arizona, otherwise I’m sure I would love to work out on the beach as well.  

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