Getting up and getting outside can benefit your health in so many ways. Fresh air and vitamin D from the sun are great for your skin, heart health, bone strength, and mental clarity. If you’re looking to advance your workout routine, try taking your workouts outside. This means getting your daily dose of exercise, along with the other benefits provided by mother nature. Here are some of the best outdoor workouts that can elevate your exercise regime to the next level.
1. Beach Runs
If you’re a beach bum, why not bring your workout to the sand? Not only will the scenery offer a pleasant and welcomed distraction but the sand brings an additional element of strength training to your workout. That’s because sand, like water, provides resistance to your movements. Running on the beach or sand can actually burn more calories that running on pavement. That’s because your legs and feet are working harder to displace the sand with each movement. This, in turn, works your muscles harder and differently. Incorporate a beach run into your weekly regime to help keep your workouts interesting and varied.
2. Park Workouts
Certain cities have outdoor parks with gym facilities built right in. That means outdoor areas with pull-up bars, weight benches, rowing machines, and even stationary bikes. If you’re lucky enough to live near one of these outdoor workout parks, utilize it! You might feel a little funny at first working out in front of people, but once you put your reservations aside you’ll get the most out of your experience. Just think of it as working out at your regular gym, just without the walls and ceiling! Not to mention, you’ll be so distracted by the warm sun, gorgeous sky, and fresh air that you’ll hardly notice other park goers. And chances are, they’re too distracted with their own activities to pay attention to what you’re doing.
When you look hard enough, nature provides its own exercise equipment. Hiking is a great workout for multiple reasons and is considered a weight-bearing exercise. This means that you’re building muscle mass. You may think the only benefit is strengthening your muscles and while hiking will help tone your calves, quads, and thighs, it’s also a great cardio workout.
Hiking uphill takes extra effort. When your body puts forth that effort, it gets your heart pumping and blood flowing. Hiking can also reduce your risk of osteoporosis, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even some cancers. As with any workout regime, having the right equipment is essential. When heading out for a hike before to plot your course beforehand, carry a map and/or compass and plenty of water. Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for wildlife. Equipping yourself with the right hiking boots and best hiking socks will ensure your feet and legs remain dry and sturdy.
4. Jump Rope
Jumping rope is one of the best workouts you can do. Not only does it promote leg and arm strength but also balance, coordination, and even core strength. And there’s nothing like some classic jump rope to make you feel like a kid again. All you need is a rope with secure handles and a flat space for jumping. Start with single jumps and then work yourself up to double jumps. This means two jumps per rotation of the rope. It may take time to work up to this and that’s okay. Listen to your body and progress at your own rate. But jumping rope outdoors is almost guaranteed to put you in a great mood while also working key muscle groups and torching calories.
If you’re looking for a total body workout, look no further. Swimming burns calories while also strengthen all your muscles groups. Regardless of your skill level, exercising in the water provides resistance. This resistance helps work your muscles doubly as hard as a regular workout on dry land. While your gym or workout facility might have an Olympic size swimming pool perfect for laps, you can take your aquatic exercises outdoors as well.
Lakes and community pools are great locations to swim for exercise. Many community pools offer a lap pool reserved for just that. Which means you won’t be dodging kids performing cannon balls or playing Marco Polo. You can focus on your breast and back stroke while the sun beams down on you. But you don’t necessarily need roped off lanes to swim in. If you’re a strong swimmer, take your workout to a nearby lake. Just be sure to swim safely which means being mindful of boats, your distance from shore, and your abilities.
If you enjoy water sports but want to stay on dry land, kayaking is the perfect workout. Not only does this outdoor activity work your arms but also the muscles in your back and core. Kayaking is similar to canoeing and is done on lakes, rivers, and other small bodies of water. Kayakers use a single oar, which you alternately place in the water to push and gain momentum. This twisting acting back and forth is the perfect oblique workout. You need to use core and arm strength to push through the water. Not to mention, most backdrops for kayaking are picturesque and peaceful. You can work your muscles while also enjoying the benefits of mental clarity and rejuvenation that accompany time spent outdoors.
7. Bring Your Workout Gear Outdoors
Sometimes, an outdoor workout can be as simple as bringing some basic exercise materials outside the house or gym. Whether you’re using light weights, a medicine ball, resistance bands, or even sand bags, gather your materials and bring them to a nearby park, field, beach, or other outdoor space you enjoy. You can easily perform the same exercises you normally do inside your house, outside. The change of scenery is the perfect way to switch up your workout routine, helping to avoid feelings of boredom that surface after doing the same workout multiple times. Bring along some music and even a workout buddy to make the experience even more enjoyable.
If you’re workout routine is getting old and boring, it’s time to switch it up! Incorporating outdoor workouts into your normal routine will help challenge your mind and body in new and different ways. Without change there is no progress, so try adopting a few of these outdoor exercises and breathe new life into your exercise regime.
Article Submitted By Community Writer