Learn an activity that works your mind and body at the same time

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that everyone get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. But that’s sometimes easier said than done, especially when it can be tough to get through another boring session in the gym. Thankfully, many activities serve the dual purpose of being fun and helping you get the exercise you need. Consider any of these outdoor workouts as a way to strengthen your body and mind simultaneously.

Rock climbing/bouldering

Why:

Rock climbing stimulates your senses and makes an adventure out of working several muscle groups simultaneously.

How it works as a workout:

Rock climbing strengthens your core as you dig for strength, and it is particularly helpful for building upper body strength as you pull your body weight skyward while ascending a wall using grip points positioned above you. The rock climbing variant known as bouldering works many of the same muscles but focuses on shorter heights without the use of ropes.

Where to find it:

Many cities have indoor climbing gyms that offer a way to test your skills and improve your stamina and confidence levels. You might want some indoor practice before you attempt an outdoor climb.

Distance running

Why:

Running is an exercise you can do anytime, anywhere.

How it works as a workout:

Popular apps that get people moving have opened up running to a new generation of soon-to-be athletes. One of the benefits of distance running is that there aren’t many barriers to stop you. There’s no team or equipment required other than a good pair of shoes. You just have to go. Running is particularly beneficial for building leg muscles and cardiovascular strength but comes up short on the upper body. You may want to supplement it with stretching and weight training.

Where to find it:

USA Track and Field has cataloged nearly 600,000 running routes at usatf.org/routes and runningintheusa.com lists known races if you’re ready to test your skills against competition.

Find a sport that strengthens your mind and body simultaneously.

Kickball

Why:

The game you might remember from childhood is fun, accessible and burns a surprising number of calories.

How it works as a workout:

When the action comes your way, you’ll react quickly to field the ball, or you’ll sprint down the baseline to make sure you’re safe. That gives you a dose of cardio and a method for developing your reflexes.

Where to find it:

Adult kickball leagues are growing in popularity. Check with your local parks and recreation department to see if they have a league, or visit the websites of adult kickball aggregators bigleaguekickball.com or kickball.com/kickball.

Rowing

Why:

Enjoy a day on the water and build up a sweat at the same time.

How it works as a workout:

This Olympic staple creates athletes with whole-body fitness. The idea that rowing only works your arms is a myth — rowing also engages your glutes and lower back and provides a dose of cardio as well. As a low-impact sport, it’s a good one for those worried about injuries.

Where to find it:

It takes a team effort to move one of the fiberglass shells, but organizations such as USRowing can help you find a group. Rowing machines inside a gym are a good place to start, though they don’t offer the competitive spirit or calming effects of the water.

Beach volleyball

Why:

When you take this game outside, you get to enjoy a little sun and sand but also get a boost in the amount of calories you burn as compared to a game on a court.

How it works as a workout:

To chase down a fast-moving ball (or an errant hit), beach volleyball players require explosive speed and flexibility. As you work, you’ll develop those traits as well as strength in your arms, legs and core. It’s good cardio, too — a 30-minute game burns an estimated 300 calories.

Where to find it:

There isn’t a central governing body regulating recreational league volleyball, but a surprising number of cities have leagues. Look to your city’s parks and recreation division to see if there’s a group or summer league near you. That goes for you landlubbers, too — many noncoastal cities have sand volleyball leagues that play in city parks.