Most health enthusiasts agree, living an active lifestyle is crucial to a healthy life. The problem with most people however is that first, crucial step into an activity that promotes a non sedentary lifestyle. Some activities may require some knowledge and skills that may not be easy for most to acquire. So what’s a person to do? The answer is to face it head on but to help you out, I’ve compiled a list of activities most popular among first time users. Based on research by the Outdoor foundation, these are 25 most popular recreational activities For First Time Participants.
Salt water fishing
As the title indicates, salt water fishing takes place out at sea giving fishermen the opportunity to catch large and exotic fishes such as the Marlin. The big draw back to this activity is that you have to have access to a boat (either own, know someone who does, or rent), and own special fishing gear that can handle large catches.
With about 10,000 species of birds and only a handful of people who can claim having seen over 7000 of them, bird watching is become a popular recreation activity. It’s believed that bird watching is an expression of the male hunting instinct while others links it with the male tendency for “systemizing”. Either way, bird watching is a great, safe way to enjoy nature.
Also known as downhill skiing, Alpine skiing began as a club sport in 1861 at Kiandra in Australia. Today, most alpine skiing occurs at ski resorts with ski lifts that transport skiers up the mountain.
An American born sport that is getting world wide attention, snowboarding was developed in the 1960’s and became part of the Olympics in 1998. Like any other extreme sport, snowboarding does present risks of injury (especially for new participants), in fact, you are twice as likely to get injured while snowboarding than Alpine skiing.
Not to be confused with backpacking for traveling purposes, overnight backpacking describes a multi-day hike that involves camping. Aside from the health benefits, backpacking allows adventurers to enjoy remote places that are usually un-accessible by any other means.
Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors during winter months while maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. In fact, as of 2006, at least 500 American schools have started offering snowshoe programs in their physical education curriculum to help combat obesity.
Skateboarding appeals to people all over the world. In a 2002 report, it was found that there were 18.5 million skateboarders in the world. 85 percent of those who had used a board in the last year of the poll were under the age of 18.
An increasingly popular sport, trail runners have increased from 4.5 million to more than 6 million in the United States alone between 2006 and 2012.
If you want to check out an underwater world without the mess of complicated equipment and tanks, snorkeling is for you. Not only is it simpler than scuba diving, but cheaper as well since you are not required to have a license and or permit to dive.
Unlike hunting with a riffle, Bowhunting places the hunter in closer proximity to its prey and is more physical (in that you burn more calories by using a bow rather than firing a gun). This activity entices many new participants, however it is a controversial sport due to the fact that animals tend to die slowly when struck by an arrow.
Skiing (cross country)
Considered to be one of the most grueling endurance sports out there, cross country skiing promises to test your fitness. If you are looking for a sport that burns the most calories per hour, this is it.
No waves? No problem. Wake boarding makes up for the lack of waves with a boat by dragging you along. This activity is relatively safe, popular, and will definitely keep you fit if done consistently.
A perfect activity for enjoying the outdoors, fly fishing requires some technical skill (mainly casting techniques) but these are relatively easy to learn.
Probably one the most romantic outdoor activity on this list, sailing captivates the imagination and offers participants a chance for a relaxing trip on the seas. The only downfall to this activity is the price of a sailboat.
BMX bicycling is an impressive sport to watch, which is probably why so many people attempt to get into it. If you are thinking of doing the same, be warned, you can’t fear getting hurt as falls, scrapes, and fails are common.
A challenging sport, surfing definitely requires some skill development. Nevertheless, many people attempt this dynamic sport.
With the opportunity to experience a rare and stunning encounter with a world outside the norm, it’s not surprising why so many people try out scuba diving. Just be careful as scuba diving can get a bit expensive and certification is required for solo divers.
The danger factor should be obvious with this one. Nevertheless, climbing appeals to many first time participants and many more find it to be a great outdoor activity. If you’re thinking about giving this a try, I suggest starting out in an indoor climbing facility.
White water rafting
With six grades of intensity, white water rafting appeals to veterans and novices alike. With that said, if you want to try rafting for the first time, be sure to stick to the lower grades since white water rafting can be dangerous.
Kayaking in the sea will allow you to enjoy an active lifestyle while gliding through open waters. It’s a relatively easy sport to get into and for the most part safe (unlike the next item on our list).
Kayaking (White Water)
A surprisingly popular activity for first time practitioners, white water kayaking is a pretty intense sport. If you’re not careful, you can end up seriously hurt, or worse…dead. Nevertheless, 35% of first time participants indicate that this is their sport of choice.
You just never know what you will get with adventure racing. As the name suggest, the ‘adventure’ can consist of swimming, running, climbing, kayaking, etc. There usually is no time limit and some races can even last days.
Triathlon (Traditional and Non-Traditional)
Consisting of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines (running, bicycling, and swimming), a triathlon does not require a particular high level of skills per se. However, the training for such an event can be grueling.
An engaging combination of sailing and surfing, windsurfing takes the #2 spot on our list. If you’re itching to try this sport, know that it does take some patience and perseverance to become proficient. You must develop your balance and core stability; acquire a basic understanding of sailing theory; and learn a few techniques.
Stand Up Paddling
Stand up paddling (SUP) is the #1 activity for new time users. Similar to surfing in that you stand a board. In SUP, waves are not required and you can enjoy a tranquil stroll while enjoying a total body workout.