From kitesurfing to scaling mountains, these outdoor women show you that spending time in nature means you'll look and feel tougher and more energized.

By By Jenna Jonaitis
Updated: March 12, 2018

Spending time in nature offers real-deal health benefits and gives you a chance to step away from everyday stress. In fact, nature can improve your overall well-being, encourage positive thinking, and make you feel kinder and more connected to your community, according to a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology. If you think back to when you've come back from a short hike or bike ride, you can probably attest to having this feeling of inner peace and elevated vigor for life.

And there are plenty of women who have harnessed these outdoor positive vibes in really badass ways. They're out hiking, climbing, surfing, and exploring-soaking in views of snow-capped peaks, pristine lakes, and stunning trails. Get inspired by these outdoor adventurers to reap the rewards of fresh air and exercise for yourself. Coming home feeling high on life is a given, and the memories and Instagram photos are just icing on the cake.

"I utilize my weekends and vacation time to the best of my ability," shares Holly Johnson, who is often hiking and backpacking across the western United States. "Sometimes I use sick days for 'mental wellness' days and turn those into 'mountain wellness' days-because, to me, they are one and the same." Whether it's a grueling overnight mountain hike or a peaceful walk near the lake, follow in Johnson's footsteps (literally) and hike your way to some physical and mental benefits.

Riding big waves is what Moona Whyte does best. As a professional kitesurfer based in Oahu, she's out on the water almost every day of the week. She doesn't just care about staying active and sharpening her surf skills, though. She's also an advocate for organic and eco-friendly products. If kitesurfing on massive waves isn't your cup of tea, you can still appreciate Whyte's attitude about taking care of the planet she loves spending so much time playing around in.

Elise captures landscapes and wildlife as a photographer while climbing some of the world's most stunning peaks (often in the Cascades). She's always exploring new trails-whether the trek requires steel crampons or a full climbing harness. "The challenge and struggle involved in going to the tops of high mountains make me feel so alive," she shared with her followers. "It's these extraordinary experiences that teach me patience and respect and offer new perspective-it's addicting."

Jainee Dial incorporates a mix of outdoor activities into her routine: riding horses, hiking with her dog, and practicing yoga on the beach. Her collection of photos and stories encourages every woman to live boldly: "Risks might just be worthwhile in the end, and running away from fear and risk and doubt will never lead you to the truth or the light." She took her passion for the great outdoors a step further by cofounding Wylder Goods, an online marketplace for modern adventure women.

Frolicking from one mountaintop to another, Brooke Wilson treks high and low for spectacular landscapes and quality outdoor workouts. "I've been a 'runner' for about ten years and I can honestly say I love it more and more every single day," she writes in one caption. "The places it takes me. The things I see. The lessons it teaches me. It's my therapy." For Wilson, the outdoors is her happy place, especially when it includes exercise with her adorable canine companion, so grab your pup and just take him for another walk around the block.

An avid camper and hiker, Paulina Dao speaks her mind, saying that "being a woman who goes outside doesn't mean you have to be feral. Wear makeup on the trail. Climb in just a bra and shorts. Backpack the Enchantments with a dress. Nature doesn't judge. You do you." Let her passion encourage you to be yourself, just as Dao stays true to who she is whether she's practicing yoga in the mountains or snorkeling her way through Iceland.

Snowboarding and backpacking are tough enough when you're just carrying yourself and your equipment, making Kate Ediger's adventures that much more impressive. She brings her son along (apparently sometimes on her back) while climbing mountains and shredding powder. Consider how you can get the family involved in some of your favorite outdoor activities. "Getting to do what you love all the time is one thing, but getting to do the things you love with the ones you love most is a whole different story!" writes Ediger.

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