When baby boomers were children, they just about lived outside. They rode their bikes, played hide & seek, organized impromptu baseball or football games, climbed trees and just loved being outdoors. Many of them still have that desire today. The baby boomer generation continues to enjoy the outdoors and spends as much time as possible engaged in outside leisure activities.
Today’s baby boomers are active, exercise regularly, play organized sports and enjoy walking and jogging. While some are involved in arduous outdoor sports, others simply enjoy the outside as they plant a garden, go hiking, go camping, bird watch or spend time relaxing on the deck.
The baby boomer generation was introduced to the wonders of nature by their parents in the 1950s and 60s. Family outings were regular occurrences and usually involved outside activities. Parents of boomers took their children on picnics, camping trips and bike rides, to the zoo and the park and on Sunday afternoon rides out in the country. This instilled a love of the outdoors that lingers in baby boomers today.
While many baby boomers are involved in outdoor leisure activities for exercise and physical fitness, others simply enjoy being outside to appreciate nature. Humankinetics.com reports over 60 percent of all baby boomers want to be outdoors ‘for the element of nature’ and over 40 percent choose the outdoors for the ‘relaxation of mind, body, and spirit.’
Some of these boomers become naturalists. Nature projects have increased in popularity over the years and many boomer naturalists are involved in:
- tree plantings;
- wildlife observation;
- forest sitting;
- recording patterns of nature;
- counting spawning horseshoe crabs on the beach; and
- protecting sea turtle eggs on the beach.
Then there are the baby boomers who seek adventure in the outdoors. These boomers engage in more rigorous “extreme sports” like skydiving, parasailing and rafting. Extreme sports carry an element of risk or danger factored into the activity to push the boomer’s physical and mental skills.
The most popular outdoor activities for younger boomers, 45-55, include walking, swimming, hiking, boating, golf, bicycle riding, and backpacking, according to a National Sporting Goods Association survey Older baby boomers, 55+, rank walking, swimming, golf, fishing and canoeing/kayaking as their favorite outdoor activities.
Whether baby boomers opt for leisure outdoor activities, want to experience nature or go for extreme sports, they simply enjoy being outside. The baby boomer generation continues to spend as much time as possible outdoors. The love of nature instilled in baby boomers by their parents when they were young is still with them today.