Rising Temperatures outside are calling for the Shorts and bathing suits to be out of the winter storage. That can mean only one thing – we are in the middle of our summertime! Summer brings many wonderful things with it, like long hours of daylight, warm temperatures, and the opportunity to finally spend time enjoying the outdoors, giving unlimited opportunities for your fitness routines. Exercising indoors can be less than motivating when you have all the options to spend time outside. Adding some outdoor activities that you enjoy while also enjoying the calorie burning benefits and overall physical as well as mental fitness, can get you the best out of the summers.
A few reliable sources (e.g. Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor foundation etc.) reported that there are quite a few encouraging signs from the various surveys being conducted to report on increasing participation in outdoor recreation activities across the US and other countries as well. Year after year, there has been a certain steady rise in the number of people turning towards nature based activities such as trail running, swimming, mountain biking and hiking, social marathons etc. A leading executive for an outdoor foundation presents this change in the following words “In today’s economy, people are returning to simpler lifestyles-the ‘less is more’ ethic.” and to back that theory up, the economic downturns have also been playing a role in increased participation in outdoor activities. Hopefully, this movement will continue to gain momentum in the years ahead.
Looking at the trend above the argument settles towards that any outdoor, close to nature activity is a blessing in disguise for an individual’s health as well as the society including some mixed, majorly positive impact on the environment as well. The more people and especially the younger populations get outside and exercise, the more likely they are to appreciate the clean air, water and value environmental preservation and restoration as one of their key result areas with any other interest areas they might have.
The industry leaders for the same also have a very optimistic outlook to the outdoor activities and the number of people participating in them now or in the near future. The well spread sentiment is that by all measures, the outdoor industry looks healthy and poised for growth except for one discouraging concern which has been brought up in many reports and surveys is the continued decreasing participation of the youth age group 8 to 18 years in the outdoor activities.
Our ever expanding society needs tremendous insight and perspective to help the youth to participate more in the areas where this young strength and energies can be utilized productively. Given that, parents, friends, family, and relatives introduce the majority of youth to outdoor life, where in ‘fun’ is the most common motivation for anyone who is involved or looking forward to get involved in the outdoor activities. Some of the other common motivating factors, which really have got people to experience the outdoor world, include discovery, exploration, relaxation, fitness, new experiences, and exercise.
The main show stoppers for today’s youth forcing them not to come forward and get involved in many outdoor sports and activities, is mainly the lack of interest, time and over availability of the indoor fun like access to whole wide world of internet, video games, over protective parents at times etc. The above lists the main, rather a few barriers in keeping non-participating youth in outdoor recreation, indoors.
Help the youth and all the other age groups to enjoy this free outside world, as the outdoor belongs to all of us and is full of lot of hidden treasures to know and experience in order to keep yourself mentally and physically fit to face the day-to-day challenges in one’s life.