Even the most die-hard gym rat has to get outside sometimes. To break up the monotony of your routine, find ways to mix it up can be key to motivation, especially through the cold months.
Get out on the water (just not in the water). River kayaking, white water or otherwise, is a great workout, and exhilarating to boot. It engages your upper body and core and will leave you sore in a way that weights wouldn’t. One of the best places for the intermediate kayaker is the Upper Iowa River. With spellbinding views of hulking cliffs, chimney rocks and wildlife, it is one of the untouched tracts of land in the United States. It provides a healthy dose of fast currents and rapids, but does not challenge kayakers with advanced conditions. Provided you have some experience on a kayak, you’ll be able to handle everything the Upper Iowa throws at you. In terms of our favorite kayaks, we’re fans of the Dagger Mamba 8.1 ($1,155, available at www.dagger.com) as it is equally well suited for advanced riders looking for class III rapids and first-time adventure-seekers.
The prescription on vacation. There are few better places to paddleboard than on Oahu, particularly Puaena Point at Hale’iwa Beach Park. Just make sure when you’re out there to be generous with sunscreen and hydrated. Our favorite paddleboard is the Eradicator Carbon SUP ($3,199, available at www.rockcreek.com). While it’s not the most beginner-friendly, it’s a great board for the more advanced rider, and is suitable for casual paddling and racing alike.
FALL: TRAIL RUNNING
Commune with the great outdoors. The Fall is the perfect time to get outdoors and hit the trails. The mild temperatures and the changing foliage make it comfortable and enjoyable. Some of our favorite Fall trail-running is a short drive outside New York in the Hudson Valley. Its heavily-wooded mountains make for the perfect terrain. Make sure you outfit yourself with the right gear. We’re fans of Pearl Izumi’s Peak II ($120, www.pearlizumi.com) as it brings both the benefits of a minimalist shoe (light weight, flexible) while some benefits of more heavy-duty trail shoes (significant traction, toe cap, forefoot plate).
Channel your inner Eskimo. Snow shoeing is hiking made exponentially harder. Few sports match its level of serenity, especially if you find the time to hike early in the morning across ski slopes before they open. Our favorite place to snow shoe is in Beaver Creek, Colorado, early or late in the season (when the mountains are not especially crowded). You can traverse much of the mountain and make pit stops at exemplary restaurants throughout (Beano’s Cabin is exceptional). Our favorite snowshoe is the Tubbs Xpedition ($240, www.tubbssnowshoes.com) – it’s beginner friendly while accommodating significant backcountry excursions.