Why Venture Outdoors?

By: Jacob Tumminello

For many of us, the most time we spend outdoors comes from transitioning between cars and buildings, if that even counts.  As we continue to develop new technological advancements to make our lives easier, we have slowly begun to remove ourselves from the outdoor environment to shift towards safer and less demanding settings. 

We as a species are less challenged to obtain food which is now carried by large machines to our destinations, and we spend most of our time sitting or sedentary.  Millions of people are damaging their eyes and backs sitting in front of computer screens for hours each day, and some individuals spend little to no time outdoors.  

 Although the removal from our once hostile environments has many advantages, it has also created problems for individuals who struggle to maintain a proper balance of outdoor exposure and indoor refuge.  Many health and social science specialists have taken a closer look at the disconnect between modern societies and the outdoors.   

From cultivating creative inspiration to increasing your physical health, here are five reasons to Venture Outdoors.   

Physical Health 

There are many ways simple exposure to the outdoors can benefit your physical health.  Warm rays of sun provide your body with Vitamin D, an essential nutrient for stabilizing mood.  The oxygen outdoors can be much purer than the air inside your home which, despite your best efforts, can still be filled with dust and dirt particles.  In combination with the sun and clean air, walking the streets or hiking trails is a very moderate form of exercise which provides cardiovascular support as well improving leg muscles.  


Mental Health 

Everyone has a method for clearing their heads on a stressful day, but one method proven to work universally is outdoor exposure.  Along with your physical health, your mental health can also be directly affected by the elements.  A break from the monotony of the indoors reminds us of our childhoods relieving stress and boosting our mood.  Many people make use of the natural environment’s ability to soothe the senses.  The sound of water falling creates a blissful ambiance.  The scent of warm, damp earth reminds us the exciting summer months approach, and few people can witness a shooting star without marveling at the mysterious wonder. 


Social Exposure 

With people spending more and more time online, it can be easy – especially for younger generations – to develop poor communication habits from lack of face-to-face interactions.  For children, much of this development takes place outdoors.  Becoming familiar with community builds a sense of trust with others and leads to strong relationships.  Though the internet provides an adequate social forum, face-to-face interaction is a completely different form of communication.   


Return to Center 

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, there is much evidence to suggest that human beings once rose from the very waters we now pollute.  Since this is evident in the positive interaction between body and earth, we can begin to understand how essential outdoor exposure truly relates to humanity. 

The molecules that make up our bodies are the same that make up our environment.  The water in our bodies is the same as the streams, the iron in our blood the same as the stone, and oxygen in our lungs the same as in the sky.  While our efforts as a society take us farther from the outdoors, finding balance reminds us of our “roots”. 


A Creative Advantage 

Sometimes the greatest cure for writer’s block is a break from the monotony which – in this case -happens to be staying indoors for too long.  Sprawling landscapes, endless horizons, and the mysterious sounds of wildlife can often stimulate creative inspiration which cannot be found within the confines of rooms and buildings.  A simple nature walk can create feelings of nostalgia from childhood and a morning stroll can change a stressful commute to a sightseeing adventure.  Familiar surroundings can take on completely new appearances providing inspiration from once overlooked places. 


Venture Outdoors offers a variety of activities year-round activities from snowshoeing to kayaking on Pittsburgh’s rivers.  Whether venturing alone or with Venture Outdoors, the organization has something for everyone.  The Venture Outdoors team is eager to share outdoor experience, so if you find yourself seeking new and exciting ways to spend time outdoors then call or visit us at ventureoutdoors.org to start your next adventure. 




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  • Lakeside and Treetops

    November 14, 2017

    By: Chrissy Ludwikowski

    As the days become shorter (and the work days seemingly longer), it can be hard for families to make time to be together, and one’s mind doesn’t normally put colder days hand-in-hand with outdoor activities. Fortunately, we live in a city that has opportunities available year-round to invoke our sense of adventure, even during our daily grind (and don’t worry, these adventures will get your blood pumping to keep you mighty warm)!

    Thanks to Venture Outdoors and Kayak Pittsburgh, my family has adopted a love for everything that the outdoors has to offer,

     » Read more about: Lakeside and Treetops  »

  • Women In Nature

    November 7, 2017

    By: Sheila Stagnitta

    Women In Nature Hike

    Women in Nature (WIN) hikes are by women for women – all the leaders and participants come together and bond as only women can. The October WIN hike started off with a bit of adventure – the road to the starting point was closed for a charity run. Just by luck, three of the leaders arrived at the same time. Quick change to the plan – Sara started calling everyone to give them a nearby meeting point. Pauline stood at the corner before the closed road to flag down our participants. I walked to the meeting location and rounded up three people who were already there.

     » Read more about: Women In Nature  »

  • Searching For Fall – Photos by Nanci Goldberg

    November 1, 2017

    The start of fall this year was less colorful (and much warmer) than usual. Earlier last month Volunteer Trip Leader, Nanci Goldberg, drove up to Linn Run State Park in search of SOMETHING that looked and felt like fall. Below are some images Nanci would love to share with Venture Outdoors blog readers in the hopes that this makes everyone’s fall a little more colorful!


    Fall Photo 1 - Nanci GoldbergFall Photos 2 - Nanci GoldbergFall Photos 3 - Nanci GoldbergFall Photos 4 - Nanci Goldberg

     » Read more about: Searching For Fall – Photos by Nanci Goldberg  »

  • Hiking Toward A Haunting: Ghost Hunting

    October 31, 2017

    By: Ken Sikora

    H.P. Lovecraft once said, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”. Have you ever been alone in a quiet room and heard someone whisper your name? Maybe you were on a late-night walk through the woods, you see what could be a human-like figure standing still, looking back at you.  It’s probably nothing you tell yourself. Then it moves. Perhaps your mind is just playing tricks on you, or maybe these are experiences of the paranormal.

     » Read more about: Hiking Toward A Haunting: Ghost Hunting  »


    October 24, 2017

    Dog Hike

    By: Samantha Sektnan

    If you are an outdoor enthusiast and dog owner like myself, then you too may have considered ways to include your furry canine in your outdoor activities. A hiking trip is a great way to get some exercise, explore the world around us, and bond with your dog too. In order to bring your dog on a hiking or backpacking trip, here is a guide on everything that you need to bring and complete in order to prepare your dog for the trip.

    It is important that your dog has proper obedience training in order to handle the possibility of seeing other people and animals on the trip and to follow your commands and stay with you if you are able and willing to let your dog off-leash.


Kayak Pittsburgh

Sunset Paddle

Thank you for another great season!
We’ll see you on the water in 2018!


Featured Outing

Cedar Creek Walk

Cedar Creek Walk
Sunday, November 26
1 – 3 PM

Cedar Creek Park is the perfect fall destination. Located along the Youghiogheny River in Westmoreland County, the park trails follow Cedar Creek and include two suspension bridges. We’ll cover 2 to 3 miles at an easy pace.