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Outdoor Hobbies and Your Health

Have you been outside today? If you’re like many Americans, you didn’t spend much time out there. Americans, like many people all around the world, are often sedentary folks who shuffle from indoor space to indoor space and spend too much time lying or sitting down.

It would be better if we all spent a bit more time outside, but that’s easier said than done. Transforming our whole lifestyle might not be possible, but consider this: if you spend your free time on hobbies, an outdoor hobby is the best way to get some fresh air.

Being outside is good for you

According to the latest research, it’s healthy to be outside. That may sound obvious, but the research says even the very act of being outside is good for you. Hiking isn’t just good for you because you’re walking, in other words. You could be standing still and you’d still benefit.

But of course, many outdoor activities do involve moving around. And that’s a very good thing, because we need at least a half hour of exercise per day. This is pretty common knowledge, yet Americans aren’t doing a good job of following this advice. Less than a quarter of Americans get enough exercise. That’s understandable, though. Exercise and diet plans often fail because they take so much willpower to maintain, and they’re so temporary. We need habits and lifestyle changes, not just commitments to short bursts of health-focused change.

Hobbies as a way to get outside

Some people work outside, but if that isn’t already your situation, then making the switch will be tough. If you’re very rich, you might be able to quit your job and spend all your time outside, but that’s not an option for most of us. So let’s assume you have to work indoors — when can you get outside?

During your free time, of course. But that’s your “you” time, which you spend on hobbies and pastimes you enjoy. You could set up your video games outside or ask your darts league to move the dartboard to the outside of the bar, but that seems like a little much. Here’s a simpler idea: find a new hobby, and deliberately choose one that takes you outside. That’s how you make your outdoor time a lasting habit and lifestyle choice.

We’re not saying you need to quit your old hobbies. Video games can be fun, and with the arrival of mobile-ready systems like the Nintendo Switch, maybe you can combine that passion with the outdoors. But seeking out new hobbies to add to your interests will lead to great ways to get fresh air and exercise.

Building a new outdoor passion can be transformative, and it can also bring great new people into your life. Take archery for example, say the pros at an archery store in Jasper, AL. It’s almost always done outside, and archery clubs are great social opportunities for busy folks. Archery is something you can really get deeply involved in. There’s gear to buy and debate, different techniques and schools of thought, and even different types of bows, arrows, and archery-related sports.

This doesn’t have to be intimidating. Try a new hobby by renting gear and taking lessons, or explore it when you’re on vacation. You could find that when you surf Hawaii on the vacation of a lifetime, you also gain a new hobby. After all, you don’t have to be in Hawaii to surf (though surfers will tell you Hawaii really is something special).

And of course, there are hobbies that involve very little gear and training. Hiking, for instance, is a simple hobby that gives you fresh air and exercise. Americans are too often indoors and too often sedentary, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Find a new passion, and make getting outside a habit. You’ll be happier, healthier, and in better shape.

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