Sea-to-sky adventures for men’s physical and mental health

Do you enjoy exercising outdoors? Compared to indoor exercise, numerous studies have shown that guys who turn the great outdoors into their workout studio are more motivated to exercise, push themselves harder, and feel more grounded and restored. Get started with al fresco adventures.

Embark on a unique exercise adventure

“Nothing improves my mood and perspective more quickly than a scramble up a peak on the Great Divide Trail,” says personal trainer Chad Alexander. “When I’m stuck in my head or worrying about something, I remember how alive I felt on that mountaintop cliff.”

Here are some thrilling activity ideas to inspire your next adventure.

  • Travel from sea to sea to sea on foot by hiking or bikepacking (which is mountain biking fused with backpacking and camping).
  • Go rock climbing.

Consider scuba diving (or shipwreck diving!).

  • Soar to new heights with kitesurfing (where a strong gust of wind launches you sky-high off a cresting ocean wave or propels you quickly across a smooth lake).
  • Try out hang-gliding or paragliding.

Forge some friendly competition

For something a little closer to home, unique team sports can get you moving in the fresh air.

Ultimate frisbee and disc golf have recently exploded in popularity. The number of local disc golf courses, for example, has jumped by 300 percent in the last few years. Other off-the-beaten-path outdoor sports include archery, handball, and even Harry Potter-inspired quidditch.

Team sports are some of the best ways for men to build long-term, positive mental health outcomes. “Outdoor activities have changed my life in terms of mental health,” says Robert Puharich, a high school teacher. “Having teammates gives me a sense of community.”

Rise to the challenge: 3 benefits to pushing your limits


Friendly competition in team sports has been shown to raise your testosterone levels. This hormone is key for strength, endurance, and your sex life.


Once you’ve beaten your competition, or even beaten your own self-doubt, you’ll feel more motivated and driven to tackle life’s challenges.


Pushing yourself on a grueling adventure forces you to tap into your own confidence, self-trust, and skills. Over time, psychologists say, this builds self-efficacy and resilience.

The best time to exercise outdoors

With longer daylight hours, your window of opportunity is wide open. The best time to head out and get your sweat on depends on your goals.


If you’re trying to lose weight, morning exercise on an empty stomach may reduce your food cravings later, and it also leads to burning more fat.


Exercise reduces stress and boosts your energy, making it the perfect escape in the middle of your workday.


Your muscles contract more effectively when you’re warmed up. For peak physical strength and endurance, your body’s natural temperature peaks in the afternoon.

By Joshua Duvauchelle