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Take a good look at the mirror. Do you see a bulging tummy? How about that double chin? Many of you likely gained some weight over the holiday season with all those eating and partying. You’re probably aching to go back to your normal weight. Some of you perhaps included losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle on your list of New Year’s resolutions. This definitely calls for some outdoor adventures to welcome the new year.

We’re just a couple of weeks or so removed from a fun vacation but you should definitely look forward to the next weekend so you can start with your weight loss goals. So what do you have planned on your next day off? Are you going on a hike? Maybe go on a camping weekend? How about a ride on your bike or even a few laps in the pool? There are lots of outdoor activities you can do to start the year right.

 

 

Running or Jogging

It’s great to hit the new year running, figuratively and literally. It may shock your body, however, if you suddenly take running after years of stagnation.

Start slowly. Check with your doctor first before you take up a new exercise or physical activity. Once you get the go signal, you need to take things gradually. Start with an hour or two worth of brisk walking. As your body gets used to the exercise, move on to jogging or running.

Photo by Happyphotons/Bigstock

(Related: Top Outdoor Activity for Introverts to Do)

But before you hit the road, you need the proper gear. Don’t buy the first pair of running shoes you see or what’s being shown on TV. You should also not base your decision on look and price alone

Surprisingly, there’s a lot of science involved in choosing the right pair. As Runner’s World stressed, you need to know the “little details of the shoes that will be with you over the next several hundred miles.” Simply put, you can’t get too far if you choose wrong.

Basically, you want shoes that are designed for your foot type. You also need to consider the shape and size of your feet. If you don’t buy a pair that’s the right fit and size, then you’ll have trouble running comfortably. In fact, you can get hurt wearing the wrong pair.

Once you’ve determined what kind of shoes your feet needs, you can now go further with the details. Each model of shoe has some kind of technology or unique feature that helps the runner. Do a bit of research before you can finally decide. There are tons of lists out there saying detailing the best running shoes in the business. For CNET, for example, the best pair for runners who prefer to be light on their feet are the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit while the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 is great for people with knee issues.

Aside from running shoes, you also need to wear the proper attire. Rei suggests having running clothes for warm and cold weather. Warm-weather running clothes, including shirt, shorts and socks, should keep your body cool by helping wick away moisture, particularly sweat.

For winter running, you should have another layer on top of the first one. Look for running clothes that wick away moisture and dry quickly so you won’t get cold when you get wet. Polyester nylon and merino wool are the preferred fabrics for running clothes.

Then there’s the running gear or accessories. Most runners love listening to their favorite tunes while running. You can get yourself a music player though your smartphone and earphones are sufficient. Other gear you should consider getting to inspire you more to take up this simple yet important outdoor adventure include a water bottle or hydration pack to keep you hydrated, sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun and glare, a hat, gloves, sunblock, and a fitness tracker.

Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU from Pexels

(Related: Top Tips to Prepare for A Marathon)

When it comes to fitness trackers, two of the most popular in the market right now are the FitBit Charge 3 and the Garmin Vivosmart 4. The FitBit Charge 3 is one of the best fitness trackers you can use for different outdoor adventures to welcome the new year.

The Garmin Vivosmart 4 boasts of a pulse ox sensor, which monitors your oxygen saturation, and an advanced sleep monitoring feature, which includes REM sleep. It also has a bigger screen than its predecessors while still looking chic with its slim design.

 

Triathlon

Perhaps this is the year that you’ll finally push yourself to the limits. Make it your goal to join a triathlon event by the end of this year. That means you have to start training now if you’ve never exercised in your life.

Pacing is an important aspect of triathlon. You need to determine the heart rate zone in which you should train in, according to t3. That’s where triathlon watches come in.

Every triathlete could use a fitness tracker or smartwatch that’s specifically made to work when you’re running, riding a bike, and swimming. Plus, these wearables need to withstand the rigors of such activities.

The Garmin Forerunner 945 has all the impressive features of a typical fitness tracker and then some. It now sports new hardware and a new heart rate sensor called ELEVATE, which is more accurate than that of the Forerunner 935. Plus, you can now download your favorite music, which will help make your training a lot more fun.

The Forerunner 945 also has a better battery thanks to its new Sony GPS chip. It lasts 10 hours in GPS mode with music, 60 hours in UltraTrac mode, and an impressive 2 weeks in smartwatch mode.

The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Titanium is another smartwatch popular among outdoor enthusiasts and triathletes. Its claim to fame includes rugged look, large 1.3-inch display, and long battery life.

This particular Fenix 6 Pro sports a titanium bezel, which gives the rugged smartwatch a sophisticated touch. There are stainless steel and carbon coating versions, which are heavier than the titanium one.

The battery lasts for 10 hours in GPS and music mode and 14 days in smartwatch mode. Even more impressive is the 28 and 48 days the battery lasts in expedition GPS activity and battery saver watch modes, respectively.

 

 

Mountaineering

Since you’re setting goals this year, why not go for something a tad extreme. There are a number of extreme outdoor adventures to welcome the new year and climbing a mountain is one of them.

If you’re been backpacking for a while now, it should be easier to transition to mountaineering compared to being a complete newbie. As Rei explained, the main difference is that you “complete a scenic loop or hike out and back while camping along the way” when you go backpacking while your goal is to reach a peak’s summit in mountaineering. As you may have imagined, it takes a healthy mind and body to attain these goals. That’s why you need to train now to be ready when the time comes.

Start the year by doing some hiking and backpacking. On days you can only train for a few hours, do some hiking. If you have more than a day for your outdoor adventure, carry a little more gear and go backpacking. Multi-day hiking is best done on a weekend so you don’t have to miss time at work or school.

The Best Backpacking Gear You Need to Enjoy the Outdoors

Photo by Maridav/Bigstock

(Related: The Best Backpacking Gear You Need to Enjoy the Outdoors)

Since it is still winter, you can go camping to get your body ready for the cold. It will be cold in the mountains so a winter camping trip will definitely help. Then there’s the issue of climbing. Unlike backpacking, you’ll be spending a lot of time climbing steep slopes. Get your body used to hiking long distances in cold weather with gear on your back.

Winter Camping Tips to Keep You Safe and Warm

Photo by Marmoset/Bigstock

(Related: Winter Camping Tips to Keep You Safe and Warm)

Speaking of gear, you need the right ones if you wish to make it to the mountain peak and back in one piece. When you’re up in the mountains, you’ll be more exposed to the sun. Simply put, the higher you are, the worse solar radiation exposure is. Clouds won’t really help. The UV rays can still pass through cirrus clouds and fogs. Plus, you can’t see well if the sun is too bright.

Protect your eyes from the sun as well as wind and cold with the proper eyewear. The Julbo Sherpa Mountaineering Glacier Sunglasses is designed to do exactly that. It’s a modern take on the traditional glacier glass.

The Julbo Sherpa is made of polycarbonate and covered in leather. The leather side shields are breathable and removable while the pre-curved temples are adjustable and flexible.

You want your mountaineering gear to be the best in the business. Why? Because your life will depend on them. Take climbing ropes, for example. When you slip or lose hold while climbing a 90 degree face of a mountain wall, would you rather have the strongest climbing rope keeping you from plunging down to a sure death or something you got from the thrift store?

Don’t get me wrong. There are tons of amazing things you can find in a thrift store but when it comes to gear for your outdoor adventures, it’s best to get them from a specialty store.

The X XBEN Outdoor Climbing Rope is made of high quality and durable nylon fiber. Each one is made of 13 whole core ropes so you’re sure about its durability. The rope skin of the X XBEN has a sliding rate of less than 0.05%, which is a lot lower than other climbing ropes.

They also used heavy duty stainless steel thimbles rigging. Plastic ones have a tendency to split, which can damage the rope. The X XBEN climbing rope is available in lengths of 32, 64, 98, and 160 feet.

Another staple in mountaineering is the climbing helmet. Every person who plans on taking up this outdoor adventure to welcome the new year will need one. Choosing the right climbing helmet is not as easy ABC. You need to consider a number of factors such as foam type, shell type, adjustability, weight, comfort, and ventilation.

Road Affair considers the Mammut Wall Rider Climbing Helmet as one of the best climbing helmets today. It is made of a combination of expanded polypropylene (EPP) mold and hard plastic shell that will keep your head protected in case of impact. The EPP is also keeps the helmet light at only 7 ounces.

The Wall Rider Climbing Helmet also comes with an easy-to-use adjustable chin strap to keep it comfortably on your head at all times. The helmet also sports 16 openings to keep your head ventilated. You can also use it in the dark thanks to a bungee strap at the back that’s specifically designed to secure your headlamp.

Contrary to popular belief, mountaineering axes are different from ices axes. The former is used for both mountaineering and vertical ice climbing while the latter, which is actually referred to as ice tools, are used for technical ice climbing.

They differ in size and shape. The longer and straighter mountaineering axes are used to traverse not-so-steep terrain similar to how trekking poles are used. Technical ice tools, meanwhile, are shorter and sports a curved shaft. To know more about this vital mountain climbing gear, check this out.

The Black Diamond Raven Ice-Axe is an example of a mountaineering axe. The traditional piolet is made of smooth and durable 7075 aluminum body and investment cast stainless steel head and spike. The lightweight body (total weight of 15.9 ounces) makes it easy to swing and plunge the CEN-B certified Raven while the curve and teeth of the pick are designed for secure self-arresting.

 

Aside from investing on the best mountaineering gear possible, you also need to take mountaineering classes. These will give you a better idea on what to expect with such outdoor adventures. Of course, you will undergo a more thorough training to prepare you for what lies ahead.

 

When it comes to your health, you have to start exercising regularly if you failed to do so last year or the years before that. We’re not getting older, you know. So get off your bum, do some stretches, and go do some outdoor activities to welcome the new year. While you’re at it, visit Gentleman Pirate Club for more valuable information on outdoor sports and other physical activities that are good for you.