As an avid rock climber, runner and cyclist I find myself constantly wanting to get outdoors, but most people out there work a full time job and may have a hard time getting enough time outdoors. I now consider myself very privileged to be self employed and starting up my own business. Even though I’m spending a lot of time working I can flex my schedule more and get outdoors more frequently, but seeing as how most people don’t have that luxury I thought I would share with you some tips on getting out more.
1. Work it into your weekly schedule. If you set aside time each week that is reserved for outdoor activity you are more likely to pursue it. This is especially a good idea for runners and cyclists. Scheduling time throughout the week that is reserved for those activities is essential to a good training regiment.
2. Taking vacation time for extended trips may be the most difficult thing for some people. If you don’t currently have a job that allows for a flexible schedule, taking time off, and at least three weeks of vacation a year, I highly recommend you search for a new job. I’m a HUGE advocate of work/life balance. Spending too much time working can drag you down, and is harmful to your health. The more vacation time you get (to pursue your outdoor hobbies) the happier and healthier you will be.
3. Seek a job that rewards productivity. I realize these types of jobs may be hard to come by, so consider yourself blessed if you have one. I have heard of ski bums that have careers without a set number of hours per week. They merely work the number of hours needed. This not only rewards the employee, but is beneficial to the company. When you aren’t required to stay in the office after the job is done, the job is going to get down a lot quicker.
4. Workout on your lunch break. More and more organizations are recognizing the value of healthy employees. Ask your boss if you can go for a run or bike ride during your lunch break and eat your meal at your desk when you return. The mid day run will also be a great stress reliever as well. At my previous job there was a hand full of people that would take advantage of this.
5. Schedule your time well in advance. I can’t tell you how many times a friend has had to back out of a climbing trip because they were called away on business. Penciling in your time off request well in advance (as much as possible) will give your boss plenty of notice so client meetings can be scheduled around the time off.
6. Become a weekend warrior. When I was living in North Texas I made countless trips to Arkansas, and several to Colorado for a weekend of climbing. We would leave work Friday evening and arrive at our campsite late at night, we would climb all day Saturday and 1/2 – 3/4 of the day on Sunday, and would arrive home around 10 p.m. on Sunday night. My friends and I became masters of the weekend trip. We love the outdoors so much we make it a point to get out there as much as possible. The longer trips, such as Colorado require at least a three day weekend, which we would usually take on Memorial Day or Labor Day Weekend.
7. Become a master packer. This goes hand-in-hand with becoming a weekend warrior. Create a gear closet or shelf, where all your essential climbing, camping and other gear is kept. When the opportunity for an impromptu weekend trip arrises, you simply throw everything into the car, toss some close in a bag, and your ready to roll. This saves valuable prep time for the trip an allows you to get on the road much faster.
8. Kill your television. Seriously! Especially with so many shoes online now, you can watch programs anytime you want. Not to mention, most programs today are not that great to begin with. Since unplugging my television from cable I have become a more active and productive person. I’ve had people ask me how I survive without one. I honestly don’t know how I would survive with one. I would never get anything done, and I would certainly be less active. Getting rid of your TV will give you more time to be active.
9. Join a club! When I first started climbing I had a hard time finding people to go climb with. I only knew a hand full of people that even liked to go camping, even less that climbed. So, I found myself joining The Texas Mountaineers, and before you know it I was outside climbing rocks at least once a month, in peak climbing season I would be outside two weekends out of the month.