Outdoor Sports You Can Do Alone, Part 1: Water Sports

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Most of us have been stuck indoors for almost two months now, dying to get some real exercise. Virtual workout classes just aren’t cutting it and in the vast majority of states, gyms are still closed.

Let’s look at the bright side: Summer is just around the corner, and there are plenty of outdoor sports you can enjoy, even if you have to maintain your distance from others. That’s especially true if you live near a body of water. So let’s take a look at some water sports you can try out en solo.


Public pools are likely to be closed for the time being, but even in ordinary times, it’s not exactly liberating to be surrounded by your neighbors in a tub of chlorine and sweat. Head to the beach instead, and discover the underwater museum that is the deep blue sea.

Snorkeling is by far the cheapest option on this list—a pair of snorkels and fins will cost you less than $70 on Amazon. Plus, you’ll have so much fun exploring the world beneath the surface that it won’t even feel like you’ve been exercising.


Paddleboarding is the hot new trend in the world of water sports and it’s easy to see why; paddleboarding is easy to learn and it’s a great workout. While an inflatable board is a bit of an investment (they go for about $300-$400 on Amazon), it’s perfectly portable and will fit easily in the trunk of your car.

It’s also a perfect sport in the age of social-distancing, as paddleboarders have to maintain a safe distance from others while on the water. For beginners, try kneeling on your board at first, before rising to your feet. This will strengthen your stabilizer muscles and give you a strong core, not to mention toned legs and arms. Hello, bikini!


Kayakers have long enjoyed the meditative quality of this solo sport, and in a time when we need both separation from others and a way to relieve stress, it’s a perfect choice. Like other sports on this list, you might need to borrow or rent equipment, including a kayak, oars, and a life-preserver. Be sure you pick up a single-person kayak, as opposed to a double, if you plan on testing the waters alone. And don’t forget to bring a phone with you in case of an emergency. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to spend lots of time alone on the water.


Windsurfing is a killer workout that combines the sail from a boat with a flat surfboard. Using the wind to propel through the waves, you’ll be moving so fast you won’t have time to engage with anyone else on the water. You’ll probably have to invest in some equipment and lessons, but most windsurfing instruction is one-on-one, so you won’t get too close to anybody else as you learn the ropes.


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