Outdoor Fitness Goals

running

Is getting fit one of your goals for 2013? If so, you’re not alone — getting fit is one of the top New Year’s resolutions. You probably knew that.

What you might not know is that going outdoors to get fit increases your chances significantly. People who exercise outside are more likely to keep it up, make faster progress, and are also happier than those who sweat it out on a treadmill.

What does it take to get fit and get fresh air at the same time?

First, be realistic. The people who are most likely to hurt themselves while hiking, climbing, and biking are those who try to go from couch potato to backpacker overnight. If you haven’t been walking regularly, you shouldn’t expect to do a full day hike the first time out.

Work your way up to it. At Uncle Sam’s, we have a good selection of books listing local hikes from easy to challenging. Start with the easy ones this weekend and keep it up. Walk every day in between hikes and you’ll gradually develop the strength and stamina you need for more challenging outdoor adventures.

Second, get the right gear. You don’t have to have a whole new wardrobe or every cool outdoor sports gadget (though there’s nothing wrong with that if it motivates you), but you do need the right shoes or boots, the right socks, and a good water bottle. If you’re taking your dog or baby along, you need the harness or carrier to keep that loved one safe and comfortable.

Whichever sport you’ve chosen, come on in and let us help you find the gear you need. Tell us you’re a beginner, and we’ll help you get started within your budget.

Third, set goals. “Get fit” isn’t really a goal that you can measure, so you’ll never be able to celebrate if that’s all the goal you’ve got. Instead, work your way up to a 5 mile hike and then a 15 mile hike. Try a more challenging bouldering problem each week. Give yourself a time to beat when you go mountain biking or running.

The challenge will keep it interesting, and you’ll know when you’ve succeeded.

By the way — every time you get out and move, you’re succeeding. Don’t wait to celebrate!

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