7 ways to get a great outdoor workout
Spring is here, and with its arrival, who among us doesn’t itch to get outside? If you’ve been exercising indoors all winter, you’re probably eager to get in an outdoor workout. Here are seven ideas for changing things up and taking your exercise outside:
1. Walk around
Simple and surprisingly effective, walking is the cornerstone of a fitness routine. Almost anyone can do it, even if you don’t have the conditioning to run or do more intense sports. The Harvard Health Letter explained that walking helps build cardiovascular endurance and is one of the best forms of exercise you can choose.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity on a weekly basis. Walking can be a great way to get to those numbers.
2. Swim and boat
Live where there’s water? Jump in for a swim because it’s a great way to get some cardiovascular benefits while soaking in the outdoor sun and fresh air.
You can simply swim, or you can learn how to kayak or canoe, which provides a great upper-body workout, Trails.com explained. Your legs stabilize you in the boat, so they’re working, too.
3. Traverse the beach
Running or walking in sand provides extra resistance, providing a more intense workout and helping improve balance and ankle stability. The sights, sounds and smells of the beach will also give you a natural, emotional boost.
4. Play on the playground
Chances are, there’s a playground near your house with some great equipment for getting fit and giving you a solid outdoor workout. Women’s Health suggested hanging knee raises from the monkey bars. This way, you’ll strengthen your upper body and core, even if you can’t do an unassisted pull-up. Jump up, grab a bar and hang from it with legs straight and touching. From this position, raise both knees to your chest and pause there. Lower your knees to the starting position. You can try 10 to 12 reps, but stop before your form is compromised.
You can do incline push-ups, box jumps, squats, step downs and dips on any park bench, Women’s Health noted. Use the swings to do a swing plank. Get in a push-up position with your hands under your shoulders and your shins on the seat of the swing. Brace your core and hold for 30 seconds or as long as you can. For more intensity, pull your knees toward your chest, keeping your back flat, pause, then return to the starting plank position.
5. Cycle the neighborhood
Bicycling is great for your cardiovascular system and helps build your quads, the Harvard Health Letter explained. If you commute to work but live fairly close, consider biking to work instead of driving.
6. Hike a trail
Hiking gives you all the benefits of walking and then some. The sights and sounds of the forest will relieve stress, while the varied and changing terrain builds balance, core strength and leg muscles. Make sure you’re aware of any dangers in the area, such as snakes, the American Hiking Society noted. It isn’t likely that you’ll get bitten by these animals, but if you see one, stay clear.
7. Yoga from anywhere
Yoga and bodyweight exercises don’t require any equipment. So take them outdoors whenever possible. Enjoy your familiar forms of exercise in a new venue, soaking in the sun.
Whatever outdoor exercise you choose, make it something you enjoy. If you enjoy working out, chances are you’ll work out more often and more consistently.