The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on the mental health of all Coloradoans. Fortunately, outdoor activities are still available, whereby we can give ourselves some self-care both physically and mentally. If you are lucky enough to live in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado, here are some of our favorite ways to relax and unwind out of doors.
TAKE A HIKE
Hiking in nature is one of the many outdoor activities that are not only good for you physically but also improves your mental state. Hiking oxygenates your heart, helps keep your body calmer, your mind sharper, your creativity more alive, and your relationships happier. Enjoy the soft earthy feel of the trail under your boots, the warm sun on your face, and the sound of the wind in the trees.
There are many hiking trails in the Pikes Peak region. One of our favorite trails is Crags Trail, an easy to moderate hike of just under six miles round trip. The stunning views of the lower section of Pikes Peak and the surrounding areas are sure to fill you with awe and appreciation.
BACKPACKING AND CAMPING
Take hiking even further and invest in a backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and other camping gear. This way, you won’t have to leave that beautiful spot you’ve just spent six or more rigorous miles to reach. You’ll still be there to hear the dawn chorus and greet the sunrise. What could be better for your mental health!
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RIDE A BIKE
Biking combines physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new views. You may like riding solo to give yourself time to process your worries and concerns. If you suffer from depression, listen to Graeme Obree, a previous cycling record holder. This is what he said:
Getting out and [biking] will help [those who suffer from depression]… Without cycling, I don’t know where I would be.
If COVID restrictions allow, you can also ride with a group of friends or broaden your social circle with other riders you don’t know well.
Do you remember the thrill of riding your bike down a big hill as a kid? Well, why not experience this all over again by riding down a really big hill! You can hop in a van and let it take you to the top of Pikes Peak. At the summit, a guide will gear you up (including a bike), and you’ll be ready for the ride of your life! Of course, if you’re UP to it, you can skip the van.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN WINTER
The cold weather months should not keep you indoors. Getting outside in the wintertime is worth the extra layers. There are a variety of ways to stay fit and ward off winter’s gloom. Here are a few suggestions.
Don’t hang up your hiking boots at the first sign of frost. Gear up with warm clothes, winter hiking boots, and something on your feet to cope with ice and head out into a winter wonderland. Imagine trekking through a giant snow globe with fields of white-dusted pines and silence so deep it warms your soul. It’s like that!
A popular location in Colorado Springs is Garden of the Gods Park, which offers numerous trails and beautiful views.
Snowshoeing is a fantastic and easy-to-do-sport that doesn’t require much training. You simply strap on some cool snowshoes and start walking. Snowshoeing is a calorie-burning, strenuous activity that helps build bodily and mental strength and endurance.
At Mueller State Park, you can enjoy snowshoe hikes at all levels, whether you’re a beginner or more experienced.
Cross Country Skiing
Cross-country skiing involves the navigation of snow-covered terrain relying on your body’s strength and stride rather than the gravity used when skiing downhill. Escaping town to the pine-forested winter outdoors will give you much needed therapeutic thinking time.
Maybe you’re a rock climber who stores your climbing gear away at the first hint of cold weather. Or, perhaps you’ve never hoisted yourself up a rock face, but you find the idea of climbing a wall of ice enticing. Ice climbing, like rock climbing, has countless physical benefits. You develop great core strength and really learn to keep your mind in the moment.
WHERE TO GO FOR GEAR FOR ALL YOUR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
The Pikes Peak region is bursting with the possibilities for outdoor activities. We get to enjoy four true seasons here, and each one has its own magic and charm. What’s more, you don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy them. At Mountain Equipment Recyclers (MER) in Colorado Springs, we are dedicated to providing you with quality used outdoor gear bargains that you will love just as much as you love the beautiful Colorado outdoors. Call or visit us today!