The great outdoors can be a wonderful place to work out and move your body. You might be lucky enough to have your own outdoor space dedicated to working out, or you might utilize local parks, recreation areas, or even something as simple as park benches.
Is it possible to have an effective workout without the gym equipment you’ve gotten used to? Shake up your workout! Read on to see how to increase your physical activity, meet your fitness goals, and support your health and well-being by exercising outdoors.
The Health Benefits Of Being Outdoors: The Feel Good Factor Of Outdoor Fitness Training
No matter what activity you choose, simply being outdoors can provide a variety of benefits in itself. In fact, just 15 minutes of exposure to Vitamin D from sunlight can help reduce stress.1
Need another reason to take your workout outside? Low to moderate physical activity in an outdoor space, especially one with greenery or water, can lead to a higher sense of self-esteem.2
And who knows, taking your workout outside may even help you connect with the world around you. Just think of all the new neighbors you might meet by simply taking a walk. Or if hiking is more your style, let it lead you on an adventure and discover parts of your local area that you may not have known existed.3
Save Money – Nature Is Free
The average annual cost for a gym membership is $500.4 Consider the cost of fitness classes, personal training, and other amenities, and things really start to add up. Using the outdoors as a gym can save you a ton of money. Check with your local parks and recreation department to see what kind of equipment parks in your area offer. Otherwise, you can get a great workout by simply going for a run or hike, doing some yoga in the grass, or using your own body weight to perform basic exercises like jumping jacks, sit-ups, or pushups. You can even put together your own bodyweight workout plan to do outside or easily find one online.
Fun Ways To Get Exercise Outside: Group Sports And Activities, Hiking, Biking, And More
There are plenty of ways to get a great workout in while taking in some fresh air and vitamin D. Continue reading for some ideas that are sure to be more fun than heading to the gym or weight room day after day. Just make sure you get your doctor’s approval before trying any new exercise.
Take Your Equipment Outside
If you’re feeling up to it, you can install some equipment in your own backyard. Try securing a suspension trainer to try or bring out some battle ropes to work your upper body. Benches can also be utilized for bodyweight exercises. If you’re looking for something even more simple, take your yoga mat out into the grass and try some basic exercises. You can also purchase a basic resistance band which is easy to transport and can be used just about anywhere.
Outdoor Fitness Classes
Group fitness classes, as well as organized sports are great options for when you want to skip the gym but still work towards meeting your fitness goals. These sessions are usually led by a fitness instructor or personal trainer and can consist of workouts that focus on different muscle groups, strength training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or a boot camp type of workout. Additionally, working out in a group can be extremely motivating and a great way to make some new friends.
Check out your local parks and recreation department’s website to see what group activities are being offered locally, then grab a friend or spouse and go join in!
If you put your mind to it, the list of outdoor physical activities is endless! Here are some other ideas:
- Dog Walking
- Rock Climbing
Consider This: What To Know Before Exercising Outside
- Getting outside can be a cheap, fun way to work out. However, there are several things to consider before beginning an outdoor workout routine:
- When the weather is cold, dress in layers. Protect your hands and feet with gloves and warm socks. Know the signs of frostbite, and don’t let the cold weather deceive you! You will still need sunscreen and will need to hydrate properly.5
- When the weather is hot, know the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Be prepared with plenty of water and sunscreen. Try to exercise during the cooler parts of the day, such as the early morning or later in the evening.6
- Use the buddy system. Having a buddy is a wonderful motivator and just a smart idea in general. There is safety in numbers, and having someone else around can help in the event of sudden illness or injury.7
- Turn down your headphones. Not blasting your music will allow you to hear cars, dogs, or any other hazards in your area.
- Don’t get off the beaten path. Trails and roads are marked for a reason. Resist the temptation to take the road less traveled and stay in a well-lit, well-marked area, especially in unknown territory.