5 Fun Outdoor Fitness Activities to Mix Up Your Routine
Tired of your home gym? Change it up with these safe outdoor activities that give you the benefits of being outside while challenging you to an intense workout.
When the pandemic lockdowns were announced, sales of exercise gear and equipment soared. Suddenly, with so much time at home and the threat of illness looming, everyone engaged in all sorts of fitness activities, whether it was to build up their immune system, finally make good on new year’s resolutions, or pass time.
But after a year and a half of running on your treadmill and building your home gym, you might be jonesing for the outdoors at this point. After all, studies have shown that working out outdoors has terrific health benefits.
“The Great Outdoors: How a Green Exercise Environment Can Benefit All” study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information concluded that fitness activities done in an outdoor, natural environment provides all-around health benefits, such as stress reduction, restoring mental fatigue, as well as improving mood, self-esteem, and perceived health.
While the risk of contracting the coronavirus is massively reduced when you’re outside in the open air, make sure to exercise safety precautions. Wear a specially designed training mask if possible. If not, keep a safe six-foot distance away from other people.
Ready to go? Here are some fun outdoor fitness activities that you can do when you need a break from your home gym.
Probably one of the simplest forms of exercise, running (or even jogging) is easy, free, and physically rewarding. If you’re one of many who think cardio is a drag, you’ll find running outdoors with the changing scenery much more entertaining than the treadmill. You can even just run outside for half an hour to warm up then head back home, invigorated for a more hardcore program.
Bicycles experienced a renaissance during the quarantine. Cycling not only gets the blood pumping, but it’s also practical too, especially after public transportation became limited. Your once favorite childhood summer activity offers a ton of physical and emotional benefits, such as cardio, strengthened bone and joint mobility, better posture and coordination, and decreased stress levels.
The beauty of cycling is you can create a program depending on your fitness goals. Long-distance rides can improve endurance and stamina, mountain biking is a natural HIIT workout, and speed cycling can build power.
Anyone who’s seen the first part of D2: The Mighty Ducks would know that rollerblading is one of the most fun things you can do at any age. Rollerblading is a seemingly casual activity, but it works your lower back muscles, pelvis, glutes, and thighs. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive fitness regimen, however, there are programs online that are designed to challenge your entire body. In-line skating also helps improve skill-related fitness components agility, balance, coordination, speed, power, and reaction time.
Hiking can be done solo or with a friend. Not only is it set in nature, which has well-known emotional and physical advantages, it also boosts bone density, develops strength, and improves balance. According to the American Hiking Society, hiking has a positive impact on combating symptoms of stress and anxiety.
A fitness activity that’s as much an adventure as it is a workout, make the most of hiking by touring the country’s breathtaking trails and mountains, most of which come with equally picture-perfect lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. Swimming is great exercise, too!
Another form of exercise that’s been experiencing massive popularity lately, jumping rope is practical and versatile. You can do jump rope anywhere, even when you have limited space, so you don’t have an excuse to skip on your daily sweat session. Plus, the rope is a great social distancing tool. Programs can vary depending on your workout plan. This all-in-one exercise, which also develops the six components of skill-related fitness, burns calories, enhances stamina, and increases concentration. Studies have also revealed that it can better cardio and pulmonary functions.
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Now you’re really ready to head out and enjoy your outdoor fitness activities.