Fun in the Outdoors | Melissa Offner
“I just want to share my passion for movement and the outdoors with everyone. Whether that’s through a park workout, a run, a hike, etc. my goal is to get people moving while also getting fresh air and discovering the world around them.” -Melissa Offner
Melissa Offner is on a mission to help people stay active, healthy and fit. Bt she doesn’t take your typical gym approach. She helps people discover fun ways to keep healthy with a variety of outdoor and other physical activities. She proves that fitness doesn’t just have to be a boring routine. That it can be adventurous and exciting!
Melissa has a lot of passion for fitness and she always has. She began playing sports at a young age and that inspired her to stay on the path to being healthy and fit. “ I was always super active growing up, playing every imaginable sport but it’s only a few years ago, while I was working as a full-time television host in Toronto and was going through a really hard time at work – feeling super anxious and stressed because of the pressures of my job that I really turned to fitness and movement again. First and foremost, it was a way for me to relieve my stress and then realizing the benefits it had on me, I wanted to share that with as many people as possible. That’s when I started training a lot more, working with brands in the fitness world and also getting my CPT certification,” Melissa says.
Because Melissa doesn’t take the typical approach to fitness, I had was interested to find out what does she feel are the benefits of outdoor activity over the gym. “Many times outdoor adventures can be physically taxing but so much fun that you don’t really realize how much work you’re putting in at the time. I would suggest hiking, it’s a great way to build up cardio, strength and gets you in some of the prettiest locations you’ve probably ever seen. If not, trail running has become my favourite activity to practice while traveling or even at home. Being in the forest or on a mountain and just spending that quality time in nature is the most peaceful thing ever. I also have a thing for the ocean, so whether that’s open water swimming, surfing, SUPing or even just doing a little workout on the beach, the ocean has such a profound impact on my mood and overall wellbeing,” Melissa explains.
Melissa is full of tons of advice for those looking to get fit. I asked her if she would share a couple tips for us! Without hesitation, Melissa gave me two suggestions that she feels everyone can benefit from. “It’s all about taking baby steps and also finding what works best for you. I’m personally not a gym person so I never consistently went to a gym to workout. However, I eventually found running, swimming, boxing and other activities that really interested me and kept me coming back. The trick to being more active is finding an activity or something you’re really passionate about and slowly incorporating it into your lifestyle. Also, finding or having friends to do those activities with can also help your motivation and help you stay accountable,” Melissa states.
Another key point that Melissa made was that the mind is very important to making progress. A healthy lifestyle starts in the mind and from there you can achieve any goal that you set for yourself. “It was key for me to change my way of think so I know from experience that when you switch your mindset from being down on yourself and actually become pro-active and make the changes necessary in order to lead a healthier and more fulfilling life and take that control, it’s crazy how quickly you see changes and how much better you start feeling,” Melissa advises.
Where should they focus most of their energy to get the most bang for their proverbial buck?
Honestly, I think it’s finding that 1 or 2 activity they like and pursuing that. Some activities are more costly than others but it’s all about what makes you feel good and what will keep you coming back.
What motivational/inspirational books have you found to be most helpful?
Lately, I read Rich Roll’s “Finding Ultra”, I’m also reading “Lands of Lost Borders” by Kate Harris, I love reading about people’s fitness journeys, adventures and explorations around the world through movement.
What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?
I always try to make myself an overnight chia bowl that I take with me in the morning. I always put almond milk, chia seeds, nuts, fruits, hemp seeds, peanut butter and rolled oats. If not, I love a cold-pressed juice. When I’m going for a hike, I often bring the CLIF Nut Butter bars with me, I love anything peanut butter!