Now that it’s finally spring, and summer is on the horizon, you should take advantage of warmer weather to take your exercise outside periodically. While the health club and home gyms are great, fresh air and sunshine can add energy and interest to your regimen and keep you motivated and consistent.
Check out some of these fun outdoor workouts to break up your routine, embrace different challenges and even enjoy yourself!
- Walk or hike – There’s nothing simpler than hitting the pavement, a track or a hiking trail for effective, low-impact activity. Map out a few different routes or find various paths so that you don’t have to follow the same route every time. If you’re walking, maintain good form and a strong pace and pump your arms; if you’re hiking, the incline should increase the intensity.
- Jog or run – Running is one of the most effective exercises, especially when you have some interesting scenery and a good playlist to keep you going. If you’re not a runner, try intervals of jogging and walking; over time, you may progress to all jogging. Just keep moving.
- Cycle – Pump up your tires and enjoy this no-impact leg workout. There’s no learning curve; just grab your helmet and go. Choose a safe route ahead of time with minimal traffic, or hit a forest preserve or beach walk for longer distances. Or join a cycling group for organized rides and opportunities to participate in races.
- Swim – If you have access to an outdoor pool, swimming is a terrific total-body conditioner for the heart, lungs and muscles. Don’t simply splash around, but complete a series of laps using a variety of strokes with a vigorous pace for best results.
- Inline skate – Strap on your skates, knee pads and wrist guards and see how much ground you can cover on a safe, smooth path. Vary your pace and distances in this invigorating weight-bearing activity.
- Try tennis – If you don’t know how to play, enroll in lessons and learn this new skill. Or find a partner and schedule regular matches. Being part of a league automatically connects you with other competitors and matches, and can fuel your competitive spirit.
- Do yoga – Get your Zen on in a fresh new way when you take your yoga practice outside – whether that is in your backyard or during a hike on a hilltop. Check your community for outdoor classes at local parks as well if you prefer company during your downward dogs.
- Canoe or kayak – Take advantage of these different workouts if you have a body of water nearby where you can rent equipment. This can be a solo sport or you can enjoy time with a friend as you share the challenge of the water’s resistance as well as the escape that it provides.
- Be a boot camper – Nothing gets you moving faster than a drill sergeant instructor and a series of intense calisthenics with a group of empathetic exercisers. You’ll work hard, get results and enjoy valuable camaraderie during these sweat sessions. Or create your own circuit outdoors with running and a series of intervals, such as squats, lunges, long jumps, burpees, mountain climbers, push-ups, planks, dips, crunches and more.
- Play volleyball – Hit the beach or park with a partner or a group and participate in this classic sport for some friendly competition. One-on-one matches are ideal because you’ll be moving all the time and won’t stand around. If you need a refresher, look for classes or instruction at your health club or local park district and recreation center.
Have fun enjoying the beautiful outdoors with these workouts! Stay Fueled.