Stay fit in Vancouver – Top 10 Outdoor Activities part 3
If you’ve tried all the outdoor activities from part 1 and 2 or would like a couple more options throughout the week, I’ve got some exciting news for you. There are even more great alternatives to rollerblading, kayaking, and hiking!
Our top 10 favourite ways to stay fit outside
By Allen Lee
Outdoor activity 7 – beach volleyball
Volleyball? Isn’t that a sport that requires a lot of skill, practice and small swimwear to run around in? Well, sure it might take some practice to spike with blazing accuracy but whatever you want to wear is up to you!
Volleyball is a great recreational sport because it is easy to pick up, you don’t need a lot of equipment (just a ball and a net) and is a lot of laughs when you have two teams of people who have the same goal – to play for fun. You can have up to twelve friends or family members sharing one court and enjoying the sport together.
Did you know that beach volleyball can significantly help with weight loss? You can burn up to 585 calories after 45 minutes of playing! In addition, this sport helps with strengthening muscles in your upper body, arms, shoulders, and legs because it demands quick bursts of power over a short amount of time. Leaping in the air to block or retrieve the ball and exerting force from your arms to hit the ball are all factors that contribute to building more muscles. Not only does volleyball improve your cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular system, it can help with improving quicker reflexes, better coordination, and balance.
Vancouver has a few public outdoor spaces such as Kits beach and English Bay. To find out how many spaces / courts each location has, click here!
If you are new to volleyball, try volleying (passing the ball with your wrist) with a couple friends for warm up. When you are more use to the motion and idea, split off into two teams to start a match. The rules are quite simple (http://www.fivb.org/en/volleyball/Basic_Rules.asp) and may the “better” team win!
Outdoor activity 8 – Ultimate Frisbee
The level of throwing a Frisbee can range from being casual to very intensive; it is also a remarkable way to lose weight while having lots of fun. Over the last 40 years, the simple Frisbee toss has developed into a serious game that requires technique, coordination, and cooperation. As a result, this is a great activity to do with your friends or family if you are having a picnic or outing at a park. Due to the high amounts of endurance and short distance running, this activity can greatly enhance your cardiovascular and respiratory system. In addition, your arm and legs muscles are worked when you are squatting and jumping to retrieve the Frisbee or when you are using every bit of strength to throw the disc across the field.
For starters, I recommend throwing and catching the Frisbee closer to each other. If you and your friends are very comfortable with the Frisbee, it’s a great idea to start a game where one team tries to get the Frisbee to the other side of the field without the other team intercepting it (kind of like football but with a Frisbee). That is why playing Frisbee is so great; you can play recreationally by throwing a disc to one another at a local park or intensively with two teams battling to get their Frisbee to their opponent’s side of the field.
Outdoor activity 9 – Paddle boarding
Lucky us, we get to watch paddle boarders float past our windows at Le Physique in the summer time! Despite the pictures being so casual, paddle boarding can actually give you an intense workout. Because you have to balance at all times, paddle boarding provides a great core work out. Your back muscles, leg muscles, and abdominal muscles are always working to maintain balance while your arms and shoulder muscles are strengthened from the constant paddling motion. And of course, this activity will lead to better cardio fitness and decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
If you’ve never paddle boarded before, try paddle boarding at lakes where the water is calmer. The ocean waves can make it very difficult to balance when you are a beginner.
Always wear a life jacket and go with someone who has experience!
Outdoor Activity 10 – Boot Camp!
Looking for a challenging workout but don’t have a lot of time? Try the boot camp! Simply find yourself a grass field or wide open area with a mat. This full body workout will give you a great sweat if you only have 15 – 20 minutes to spare on the weekend. We’ve run quite a few bootcamps before, and this is a simple series that you can try out:
15 reps – push ups
1 minute – high knees
15 reps – bicycle crunches
1 minute – line drills
1 minute – body weight squats
10 reps – burpees (for a breakdown of how to do burpees click here)
1 minute – plank
Aim for 3 rounds of the exercise series. Challenge your friends, family, and kids to see how many they can do! But most importantly, have fun!
BONUS Activity – Bungee Jumping
We thought it would be fun to give you an activity that would get your heart rate up without any running around and physical exertion of that type! Ziplining is also a favourite for “adrenaline-lovers, but not that much adrenaline.” While technically not in Vancouver, Whistler is close enough to make the trek out to and give it a shot! Read more about our bungee jumping adventure here!
Dinsmoor, R. (1993). Volleyball: a net gain. Current Health 2, 20(2), 14.
Chew, N. (2013, August 18). What are the Health Benefits of Volleyball. Retrieved
Krustrup, P. (2015). Physical Demands in Competitive Ultimate Frisbee. Journal of Strength and conditioning research, 29(12), 3386.