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Julianne Hough Wants You to Spend More Time Outdoors (And Out of Your Comfort Zone)

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Photo: Eddie Bauer

If you follow actress Julianne Hough on Instagram or saw her rocking it on Dancing with the Stars, you know she's a source of serious fitness inspiration, dabbling in everything from yoga to boxing. (Check her out in the ring as she trains for an upcoming role.) But for her latest active adventure, she and friends Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson, both of Kind Campaign, and actress Jessica Szohr, headed on an expedition to the Canadian Rockies. We got all the details from Hough on the trip and why she loves spending time outside.

"I've always been a fan of the outdoors and have gone on adventure trips my whole life, but I've never done a trip like this," Hough told Shape.

The crew helicoptered deep into Banff National Park where they hiked, fly-fished, canoed, and rock climbed, all led by Eddie Bauer guide and pro skier Lexi duPont. "We literally hiked to the top of a glacier, all connected by rope so we wouldn't fall into a crack."

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Photo: Eddie Bauer

Sounds totally scary, but Hough says she was more excited than anything. "Getting outside of my comfort zone and pushing myself is one of my favorite ways to grow," says Hough. "It challenges me to recognize my weaknesses, dream bigger, and place value on the journey of reaching those goals."

One thing she realized she wants to work on is getting better at rock climbing. "I want to work on my forearm strength!"

But the big surprise of the trip was that Hough ended up loving fly-fishing: "Everyone got out and was ready to head back, and I honestly could not leave," recounts Hough. "One more, just one more cast...30 minutes later…"

Aside from pushing herself to try new experiences, Hough says she also really appreciates the power of the outdoors to ground you, help you connect to the things that are truly important, and disconnect from the things that aren't.

"You can't help but feel a sense of gratitude and love being outside breathing in the fresh air, listening to the sounds of the wind against the trees, tasting the fresh water in the stream and being surrounded by some of your favorite most empowering women of all time," she reflects. "When you have gratitude in your life, it's easy to be kind and compassionate."

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