As the weather gets warmer outside we begin preparing for the summer. With this comes unpacking of your summer attire, such as that bikini or shorts. We also become less motivated to go workout at a fitness club because of the beautiful weather outside. So, rather than abandon your fitness routine altogether, why not take your fitness routine outdoors?
Exercising outdoors can have a variety of benefits such as the following:
• Requires little or no equipment
• Do not have to deal with a crowded gym or waiting for machines
• Can reduce travel time by exercising in your own backyard or a nearby park
• Can exercise anytime and anywhere, including when you travel
• Enjoy nature and the fresh air which can increase motivation
• Save money on a gym membership
These are only a few reasons to enjoy the benefits of exercising outdoors and you can probably think of many more. There are a variety of outdoor activities that one can participate in. The key is to find something that you enjoy doing. Walking and running have always been very popular, but these are not the only options. If you live close to a lake or a pool, swimming or water jogging can be an excellent workout, especially on those hotter days. Other great ideas include in-line skating, bicycling, ultimate Frisbee, water skiing, or finding an outdoor boot camp or fitness class. Just find something that will get your heart rate pumping for at least 30 minutes, 3-4 times per week.
In addition to these cardio based activities, it is important to also include a strength training component at least twice per week. There are a variety of exercises that can be done outdoors with little or no equipment. Whenever possible, utilizes outdoor objects such as playgrounds, benches, picnic tables, stairs, and hills. Some exercise ideas include:
• Bench Step-ups
• Calf Raises on stairs
• Tricep Dips
These exercises can be done anywhere and at any time!
Now there can be a downside to exercising outdoors. As summer progresses, and the weather gets hot and the humidity soars there a few things to keep in mind. Try exercising during the morning or evening hours when the temperature is cooler. Try to avoid the peak hours between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm to avoid overheating and dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids to keep the body well hydrated and if you’re going to be active for long periods of time consider a sports drink. Lastly, wear loose fitting clothing that contains either cotton or a wicking material so you can stay comfortable.
So take your exercise routine outdoors and let nature be your gym.