Outdoor Sports You Can Do Alone, Part 2: On Land

Outdoor Sports You Can Do Alone, Part 2: On Land

Not really a water-sports person? Not a problem! There are tons of ways to get your exercise outdoors, on land. Here are some of the best land-based options for staying active and socially-distant.

Mountain Biking

If biking on the road in a tight pack makes you nervous, then head into the woods for some solitary mountain biking. Riding through the forest allows you to burn hundreds of calories and keep a safe distance from other bikers. Just be sure you invest in the proper equipment. If you plan on spending most of your cycling hours out in nature, it’s smart to purchase a mountain bike, as opposed to a road bike. Unlike the latter, a mountain bike is specially designed to help you clear leaf piles, rocks, logs, and small streams.

Cross-country skiing

Though it’s hard to tell when ski lodges will re-open to the public, why not try out cross-country skiing? Head into nature and burn up to 800 calories an hour. Unlike alpine skiers, who use gravity to guide them down a hill, cross-country skiers really work their muscles to push themselves across flat terrain. Just be sure to bring a cellphone in case of emergencies.


Snowshoeing is cheaper and requires less gear than cross-country skiing. Go with your quarantine partner, or go alone. The great thing about snowshoeing is that it’s easy for beginners and there’s really no rush to get anywhere. Just move at your own pace. Don’t forget some snacks and water!

Horseback riding

Love animals and outdoor sports? Many farms offer horseback-riding lessons and day-trails for riders of all experience levels. Even if you are riding in a group, you are likely to have six feet of distance from others, as your horse will act as a natural buffer. This sport works your leg muscles and your core, and after your first day, you may discover muscles you didn’t even know existed!

Trail-Running and Hiking

If buying or renting gear is too much of a hassle for you, then head to the hills and do some trail-running or hiking. Be sure to prevent ticks in the summertime by always wearing bug spray and socks that cover your ankles. If you plan on spending all day outside, bring a Camelbak for hydration, some protein bars so you don’t get too hungry and always wear shoes with good support.

Bonus: Fencing

Fencing was practically made for the age of social-distancing. This combat sport already requires participants to wear a mask, gloves, and a bodysuit, and a cardinal rule is that you keep six feet of distance from your opponent. While it’s not exclusively an outdoor sport, you can definitely choose to fence in the fresh air.

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