The summer is the best time of year to get outside and get active! Working out at a gym club or in your home is great, but there is nothing like getting outside once in a while and enjoying all the benefits nature has to offer. There are a lot of great outdoor activities that provide a fun experience coupled with a healthy workout.
Running and walking are the two most popular forms of exercise and both offer great fitness benefits. They both provide a full body workout and excel at bringing the heart-rate up. Most importantly, running and walking are most easily performed and enjoyed outdoors! Also, running and walking are excellent ways to get into shape for hiking.
Hiking at a nearby mountain range, park, or campground can be enjoyable for you, your family, and even your friends. Hiking trails offer incredible views, challenging obstacles, and a wonderful connection with the great outdoors. Additionally, camping out between days of hiking can add another element of enjoyment to a weekend of outdoor exercise. But if running, walking and hiking don’t sound appealing, consider biking. Mountain biking or road biking are both fun ways to get outside and dig into an intense workout. There is nothing like sweeping down a mountain pass or speeding along a back road on a bike. Also, biking to and from locations instead of driving is a great way to add some extra exercise to your daily life.
If the weather gets too hot for running, walking, biking, or hiking consider a jump in the pool! Swimming is a very challenging full body workout that causes little to no-impact on joints. Swimming a few laps in a pool or doing some water resistance training are great ways to get the heart-rate up while enjoying the sunshine. If activities on the water spark you interest, kayaking, canoeing, or any form of rowing exercise are also great workouts. Rowing works the entire body and in the instance of kayaking, keeping the kayak afloat requires a lot of balance which trains core muscles.
Step back onto land and consider rock-climbing as yet another great way to get in shape and stay active outdoors. Rock-climbing is a challenging form of exercise that combines cardiovascular fitness, strength training, and a great deal of finesse into one workout. Rock-climbing can be performed outdoors, but necessary safety precautions should always be taken. This activity can be a daunting so if you want something a bit less intense consider some outdoor sports.
Soccer, tennis, basketball, and ultimate frisbee are just a few of the many great outdoor sporting activities that are cheap, simple, and easy. Throwing a frisbee with friends or playing soccer both offer incredible cardio workouts while combining competition and teamwork. Tennis is another great outdoor sport because the constant intensity changes between volleys jump start the metabolism. Basketball is also a cardio-rich sport that challenges the muscles a great deal. The constant jumping, blocking, rebounding, and dribbling all require a great deal of motor coordination and muscular fitness.
All of these activities are great ways to get some outdoor exercise. However, the great outdoors can sometimes put a damper on many of these workouts with rain or bad weather. If the weather does become a factor, heading home and hoping on the treadmill, elliptical trainer, home-gym, exercise bike, or even doing some indoor stability ball workouts are all great alternatives that simulate outdoor activities. Also, most gyms have rock-walls, indoor basketball courts, and indoor swimming pools for when the weather just won’t cooperate.