In the warm months of the year, it’s great to get outside as much as possible. This spring and summer, soak up some sun and get fresh air by swapping your indoor exercise routine for an outdoor one. While there’s nothing wrong with hitting the gym, it can be great both mentally and physically by shaking your routine up and spending some time in the great outdoors. You’ll get the benefits of an indoor workout while adding beautiful scenery, different stimulation, and new and exciting locales. Whatever your choice of exercise activity, change it up this season by heading outside for a fun and challenging workout.
A great and easy way to exercise outside is to swap treadmill time to outdoor walking and running. You’ll get the same benefits of increased heart rate and body motion that you’d get at the gym but you’ll feel even more active by changing your scenery. Looking at the sights you pass while running or walking will help your workout go by faster and keep you moving. You can wear the same workout clothes or joggers that you would at the gym and keep your body active in your own neighborhood. Do you use other equipment such as weight machines or stationary bikes? Instead, go for the real thing! Carry weights outside with you, look into rowing at local rivers, or get your bike tuned up and hit the streets. You’ll get all the benefits you would at the gym with the added bonus of fresh air, sunshine, and vitamin D, and taking in all the beauty your neighborhood has to offer.
Want to take walking in your hometown even further? Find a local hike that fits your exercise intensity and hit the trails! Many towns have trails and pathways that are as casual or strenuous as you desire. Lakes, ponds, and recreation areas are popular destinations to get your workout in while being outside. You can even make a day of it and explore hiking destinations that are further away or more outside your comfort zone. Got kids in the house? Take them with you! Being in nature and learning about plants and fauna is a great way for kids to disconnect from their technology and experience life outside their tablets and phones. Packing a picnic or planning a camping trip can take hiking from an afternoon activity to a family fun night or weekend trip. Don’t overthink this one—it’s as easy as finding a good spot and hitting the trails. You might even learn something new about your area’s history or plant and animal life!
The warmth of spring or summer allows for more exercise outside the gym. Swimming is a fun way to get exercise and enjoy the sun and surf. Pools, lakes, rivers, and the ocean are often just a few minutes away from home, but that time outside can make all the difference. Take to the internet to find the best swimming spots in your area. There might even be hidden gems like natural waterfalls or swimming holes in your neck of the woods! There’s nothing like that sweet exhaustion at the end of a busy day in the water, and you can enjoy outdoor swimming all season long. Work out while working on your tan! Don’t forget your SPF and put on your sun-protective swimwear to help protect against sunburn and other skin damage.
Want to get an outdoor workout in while staying close to home? Build a do-it-yourself exercise oasis in your own backyard. Yoga, stretching, and cardio exercises can all be done from the outside spaces you already have. Set up your exercise mats on backyard grass or your patio. Plus, staying in your space means wearing whatever you want and avoiding interaction with others if you’re in the mood for solo exercise time. Use existing outdoor furniture to make your backyard into an outdoor home gym. Planks, push-ups, and crunches can all be completed on lounge chairs or outdoor benches. Got a soft, grassy patch? Make it your own yoga studio and do your daily exercises on the lawn. Deep breathing is enhanced by the oxygen produced by trees, flowers, and plants. Take it a step further by meditating outside to work your mind out as much as your body! Another plus of staying close to home is preventing yourself from getting caught in a bad weather situation—if it starts to rain or storm, you can pop back indoors and continue your workout inside. An at-home exercise zone lets you be active inside or out and eliminates the need for gym membership dues or money spent on exercise classes.
Getting outside is important for your health. While we love the gym and our indoor exercise zones, even the most habitual gym rat can get something different out of the outdoors. The benefits of fresh air and changing scenery will keep you coming back for more. You can have a great day outdoors solo or with the family, whatever your preference. So get outside and get moving, you might be surprised by how good it makes you feel.