Summer is here, and although iron-addicts everywhere still swear by their trusty routines, there is no better time to mix up your workout plan with a few hardcore outdoor challenges. Designed only for the brave and the bold, the true adrenaline junkies among you will instantly feel their hearts race at the very mention of some of these activities.
Inspired by the four elements of life, each and every one of these trends have been ruling the fitness world for quite some time, but now some have a modern twist to them, while others remain in their original form. Dust off your outdoor gear and pick your fitness poison because it’s time to shake things up with some good old-fashioned excitement!
Test your street stamina
You’ve heard about it, you’ve seen intimidating videos and photos of it, and now it’s high time you gave it a go. Based on military obstacle courses, parkour has become the urban equivalent of training for the army nose-deep in mud. This is a perfect solution for those who cannot get away to nature, or simply prefer the city hustle and bustle.
Hit the Central Park in NYC with your parkour gang or solo, or you can join one of many parkour associations such as Steel City Parkour where you can learn tricks and stunts on several levels and based on your preferences.
Winter amidst the summer heat
Remember the brave and the bold? This is the quintessence of an adventurous endeavor, exclusively for those who dare head to the mountains for more than a leisurely hike. Book the Great Himalaya Trail based on your experience, ability and desire to push your limits, because this will be one lengthy training session.
Pass through the villages of Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal and India (or just some of the offered), see some of their highest mountain peaks over the measly distance of no less than a few thousand kilometers and help some of their poorest regions recover. After this one, every other workout will seem like a breeze.
Experience the real big blue
The exotic paradise of the Cayman Islands needs no special introduction, but for those visiting the region for more than soaking up the beach sun, there is an entire world of underwater life waiting for you to discover. Explore the depths of the Caribbean Sea in several exciting locations with the crew of Cayman Turtle Divers and you’ll visit shipwrecks, hang out with stingrays and hundreds of other curious underwater creatures inhabiting the area.
The breathtaking reefs alone will be more than enough to get your adventure-juices flowing, but it’s highly recommended to prep thoroughly before you take the leap. Diving is no joke – master the skills and you’ll be hooked for life (pun intended).
Awaken your inner Marvel hero
Another one not designed for those faint of heart, the Ironman race encompasses the holy trinity of physical challenges – running, biking and swimming. You can choose to prep for the spectacular Ironman 70.3, or a smaller event that takes place in several spots across the world, but each as taxing and terrifying as the other.
If you’re a novice, fear not, as you can find a level that suits your abilities and work towards the race that fits your category. Then again, even advanced athletes will find the longest, most strenuous routes challenging despite their endurance levels, so there’s something for every appetite.
Trailblazing at its best
One of the latest trends that counts both as a fitness challenge and a passion among nature-enthusiasts all over the world, canyoning has become the new outdoor craze. It involves a blend of various skills such as climbing, hiking, abseiling and swimming among others, in order to trail through canyons of various complexity.
From the tropical gems in Bali to the rugged cliffs of Scotland, there’s a whole spectrum of options out there, providing you with a thrill of a lifetime. Head to the mecca of adventure sport, Switzerland, and you can join an Outdoor Interlaken team for a tailor-made adventure.
Marie Nieves is a travel blogger who loves unusual trips, active holidays, gadgets and creative ideas. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag.
Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences.