Who doesn’t like to have fun?
That’s an easy one to answer, … Adults!
Adults are always too busy to have fun. They have things to do, places to go to, and a job to finish. No wonder they look so gloomy and boring.
Kids, and especially teenagers, don’t like to hang around with them because they bring everyone down.
Sound familiar. How many times have you been told this one?
This post is the result of a survey conducted on the younger generation, aged 5 to 25 years.
When asked, “what is the biggest issue you have with adults”? … 19 out of 20 young respondents said, … adults are boring!
They are always too busy to have fun! Based on this and similar surveys, I took up the challenge.
I began an intensive research campaign to determine, once and for all, if this was true or simply a fabrication of the said respondents.
Can we rely on our children to define “outdoor activities”?
When questioned in greater detail, the respondents suggested that adults should spend more time “outside”.
This appeared to be an odd reply, given the fact that many of these respondents had trouble defining “outside” and often referred the outside as; walking to the kitchen, going to fridge, and going downstairs to the TV room, as outside activities.
Undaunted, I decided to find out for myself what “outdoor” activities, really were.
Here are the results of this exhaustive survey.
What are outdoor activities?
Outdoor activities are simply things we do out of doors. Some examples are Camping and Hiking, Hunting and Fishing, Canoeing, Biking, and Horseback Riding. Working to save fish, mammal, or bird habitat are also other examples.
How many people participate in outdoor activities on a yearly basis?
In 2011, statistics showed that nearly 50% of all Americans participated in at least one outdoor activity, totalling 11.6 billion outings and this year Americans enjoyed 1.5 billion more outings than the previous year.
Suffice to say that spending time out of doors is still quite popular, regardless of what we read or hear.
What are the most popular activities?
The top 5 most popular activities in North America have been defined as 1 Running, 2 Biking, 3 Camping, 4 Fishing, and 5 Hiking. Walk down any street or road in your town or city and people are running, biking and walking somewhere.
Camping is a popular weekend getaway and there are more fishermen than fish, at least that’s how it seems to me, sometimes.
It would be very hard to determine which of these exercises is the most popular because they are all populated by passionate and biased individuals.
Running, Biking and Fishing are all very competitive sports and it is easy to get involved intensely and even at professional levels.
Which activity was the favourite when measured by frequency?
Bird-watching, Skateboarding, and Triathlons were among the top favourite activities when measured by frequency. I’m still chasing statistics here, and this appears to be the result of more biased groups of individuals wanting to popularize their brand of recreation.
A Canadian study conducted from 2013 to 2015, showed that 72% of Canadians participated in outdoor recreation activities close to home.
Some Canadians consider drinking beer outside, as an outdoor activity, and legally, it would be difficult to argue against such a motion, in a court of law.
What are the benefits of outdoor activities?
There are definite physical and mental benefits of spending time outside. If you look at the top 5 most popular activities, running, biking, and hiking, these are 3 of the top all-time best cardiovascular exercises known to science. Without question, these are physical health benefits beyond all argument.
Mental health benefit statistics fill many volumes and have been proven by countless medical and educational studies.
Time spent outdoors increases our awareness of the environment and this always translates into a health and wellness benefit for the natural world itself.
Our use of public lands such as parks and campgrounds increase our awareness of the need to maintain them and ensure that they are protected and free from overuse and development.
What are the economic benefits of outdoor recreation?
It has been estimated that outdoor recreation activities contribute in the range of 750 billion dollars to the American economy each year.
Think about all the merchandise that is created to take part in outdoor sports and recreation. The equipment, the clothing, the travel and fuel, the meals, and the jobs created.
The benefits accrued by spending time outdoors are too numerous to include in this short blog.
Where can you find these great spaces?
Simply step out the door and you are there. From here you can begin your exploration of this space.
Your city parks, a walk around the lake, or along the river are always easy to access and free of charge.
Walk to your local library. Walk to the next bus stop.
Walk to class, unless you are of the younger set. Walking to class or school for the young is strenuous and difficult. Best get a ride to class, especially on nice days, when it’s sunny and warm and you have last year’s sunglasses to deal with.
The Internet contains a plethora of ideas and actual places for anything your mind can imagine.
What can we conclude?
The great outdoors is everything that is not inside your house or apartment. Think about this for a moment. You are already doing and enjoying the great outdoors. Don’t let anyone define the outdoors for you and be especially wary of the young.
If you have any comments or suggestions please Contact Me to describe them in better detail.
Are Canadians correct in believing that beer-drinking out-of-doors is a form of outdoor recreation that induces physical and mental health benefits?
Come to think of it, I may have to haul myself outdoors and see if this is a feasible option worthy of further research!