Physical Activity

5 activities to get moving outside

People exercising in a park

Warmer weather is here, which means it's time to get moving outside and enjoy the fresh air. Check out these ideas to do just that — whatever your level of fitness. 

1. Walking 

Walking is one of the best physical activities to do while enjoying the outdoors. If you've been sedentary in recent months, start with short distances and challenge yourself to spend a little more time walking each week. You will gradually build up your strength and stamina.  

If balance is a challenge, using walking poles can help and make walking on uneven terrain more enjoyable.  

2. Swimming and other aquatic activities 

Swimming and aquatic activities like water aerobics are a fun way to cool off on hot days, improve muscle strength and boost heart health and endurance. And they have the added benefit of putting less weight load on your joints: for people who suffer from sore or stiff joints, choosing low- or no-impact activities is important to reduce pain and stay active longer.  

3. Low impact land activities 

Other low-impact activities that are great practiced outdoors include cycling, yoga, tai chi, Pilates and golf. As a plus, these activities are often said to have "meditative" benefits so you can take care of your physical and mental well-being at once!  

4. Forest therapy 

With the return of warmer weather, nature is springing back to life with its numerous smells and sounds.  

Forest therapy, or forest bathing as it's also called, is much more than a simple walk in nature and gaining increased attention for both its physical and mental health benefits.  
Refresh your mind and body by immersing yourself in the calming environment of your neighborhood parks, woods or forests, while mindfully focusing on your "green" surroundings.  

5. Gardening 

Gardening is another great way to spend quality time outdoors. On top of the physical and mental benefits it can have, you can reap the added bonus of delicious home-grown produce and cutting costs at the grocery store.  
For people with arthritis, working in an awkward position or doing too much at once can leave you feeling sore and exhausted. So, make sure to check our Top 10 tips for gardening with arthritis before jumping into it.  

Regular physical activity can help strengthen bones and muscles, reduce stress and improve your overall health. 

"Any physical activity that you like to do and that is safe for your joints is beneficial," says Trish Barbato, president and CEO of Arthritis Society Canada. "Try to incorporate positive movement in your daily life. Think about what type of movement brings you joy and do more of that."    

Enjoy the warmer weather while managing your arthritis symptoms, by incorporating some of these activities into your weekly routine.  

And make sure to properly prepare, using this 20-minute warm-up for the joints, to limit risks of injury.