Adequate exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and there are several ways a person can approach the goal. Most people have a job that fills their weekday hours, so they may choose a gym membership as their best opportunity to exercise whenever time allows. The most important advantages of working out at the gym is that members are protected from the weather and there are multiple activities from which to choose. The major disadvantage is that repeating the same routine can get boring after a while.
Outdoor activities also offer a wide variety of exercise opportunities, and many can be enjoyed with other family members. Children enjoy getting out into nature and exploring hiking trails through the forest and near lakes or rivers. Biking is a popular outdoor activity that demands a higher level of physical fitness, and even younger kids are able to learn how to ride a bicycle. Many communities provide scenic bike paths that are safe so families are able to ride together. Biking is also a great exercise for seniors and people with arthritic knees because it offers great cardiovascular exercise without the high impact of jogging.
While horseback riding may not be considered an effective way to exercise; after all it is the horse that is working, right? Actually, riding correctly is a very good form of exercise since the core muscles come into play as the aids are applied properly. Owning a horse can be an expensive proposition unless it can be kept on the owners property. Boarding rates can easily top $200/month and more, but many stables offer lessons on a trained horse that can be rented by the hour.
Swimming is one of the most effective forms of exercise since nearly every muscle of the body comes into play. Exercise classes in water is also a good choice for overweight people who want to increase their muscle mass and lose weight. The water supports their weight, making the exercise easier for them and reducing fatigue. Parents should make sure their kids should have swimming lessons before being allowed to swim in a lake or river to make sure they are safe, and they should always be accompanied by a responsible adult.
While the climate and area influences the availability of outdoor activities, there are also cold climate activities such as skiing, skating and snowmobiling that many people enjoy. Technological advances in cold weather clothing keep kids and adults comfortable even when the temperature drops below freezing.
One great advantage of exercising outdoors is that it can be enjoyed in so many places and so many ways. Water sports such as waterboarding, skiing and snorkeling are exciting and interesting, and these activities are popular at warm weather vacation destinations around the world. While most people do not plan a vacation around their exercise routine, having the opportunity to try new and different outdoor activities can be a great experience. Exercise in any setting is a good thing, but exercising outdoors can be much more enjoyable.