Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is said to be one of the most amazing places on Earth. In fact, the Northeast Kingdom–your NEK, your backyard–is listed as one of the “1000 Places to See Before You Die.” What’s the allure? Natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor recreation are two major draws.
But let’s face it, getting outside to soak up mud season and the other “four” seasons, isn’t always easy. Beyond work/family/life obligations, finding time for exercise is notoriously challenging. For many, though, outdoor exercise is also intimidating–even scary.
Some feel the need to get “in shape” first before being seen by others outside, and that alone discourages them from starting on a fitness routine. Others don’t like the thought of going it alone–the great outdoors has many unknowns, bugs, bears, strangers, and the perception (real or otherwise) of risk. Some need the motivation that comes from working with others, and still others feel more secure working out in with someone else or in group.
End Outdoor Intimidation
The good news, however, is that it is possible to get beyond the intimidating obstacles that prevent you from feeling and looking your best or achieving fitness goals. Assuming you have the green light to exercise from your doctor, reading up on getting started with exercise is a good place to build confidence and self-assurance that YOU CAN DO THIS! For example, you may want to read articles like, How to Get Started with Running, How to Mountain Bike, How to Walk for Absolute Beginners. Picking up the phone and reaching out to family or friends, or posting a FB message to your trusted friends asking for exercise buddies may also be helpful. Research suggests that people who workout with others or have a network of fitness support are more likely to stick with it.
You can also join organized community groups. Like frisbee? Did you know that there is an organized ultimate team that meets weekly just outside of Lyndonville? Interested in learning how to mountain bike or hone your skills? Did you know that there are weekly group rides on Kingdom Trails? There are also local “learn to” clinics, like Mountain Bike clinics offered by IdeRide. Interested in learning to Cross-Country Ski? There’s the NEK Nordic Club. Want to “become” a runner or walker? Participate in the Kingdom Trail Running Series that starts next month on Kingdom Trails–don’t let the name fool you, it’s for runners and walkers of all ages, paces and abilities, even young kids.
Importantly, remember intimidation often comes with the territory of starting anything new–or doing anything that’s beyond our comfort zone. Really, you can do this, NEK Moms and Dads. See you out there!