We like to stress the the importance of using the great outdoors as your personal playground for getting in shape. For many people today, it can be exceedingly difficult to live active lifetstyles and exercising outdoors can help us all stay healthy, active, and exploratory all at once.
In a previous post we talked about the benefits of outdoor workouts, but what kind of exercises can you do outdoors that will really help keep you in shape? Now there are many many outdoor sports that provide amazing fitness benefits, but can also get very expensive. For the sake of simplicity, we will focus on the exercises you can do for minimal or no cost.
1. Trail Running – trail running provides a softer surface to lessen the impact on your feet and also frequent changes in elevation to work different muscles. A recent article in Runner’s World discusses the details of how trail running is good for your body. A good pair of trail running shoes will help keep your legs and back happy.
2. Park Workouts – lots of local parks provide perfect workout ground for exercising with benches, stairs, and low tree branches. Use them for pushups, pullups, stair runs etc. Get creative!
3. Jump Rope – most portable, lightweight cardio machine you use just about anywhere
4. Swimming – swimming provides fantastic cardio and full-body strength training. If you’re adbenturous, try your local lake for some swims. All you need is a pair of trunks.
5. Cycling – Biking is one of the best forms of exercise on the planet, and if you don’t have a bike handy, you can find decent used bikes for cheap prices online
6. Hiking – Enjoy discovering new places? Hiking is a great way to get the legs pumping and see some beautiful new sites at the same time.
7. Kayaking – Kayaking is great cardio and arm strength training. Lots of lakes provide cheap kayak rentals or even buy one from your local store for a couple hundred bucks.
8. Bodyweight Exercises – Any bodyweight exercise you can do at home or in the gym can be done outside.
9. Kettlebells – Grab your kettlebells and head to your favorite outdoor spot.
10. Hill Sprints – Sprinting up a hill, one of the simplest motions you can think of, provides an amazing workout for cardio and leg strengthening.
11. Snowshoeing – Feeling a bit left out living in the colder regions? Snowshoeing is an awesome way to get out and exercise. Just like hiking with more layers.
12. Rock Climbing – this is one workout where you may want to invest in some good equipment, but rock climbing is incredible for building upper body strength
13. Roller Blading – Outdoor roller blades are super cheap and it’s usually easy to find a paved trail or sidewalk you can use for it.
14. Beach Running – if you’re lucky enough to live by a beach, or maybe you’re just on a little trip somewhere and want some cardio, try a beach run. Running in sand activates different muscles when running and can be a welcome challenge for any runner.
15. Tree Climbs – Much like rock climbing, tree climbs can be a great workout for your upper body.
16. Rock Movers – Find yourself a big old rock, something you struggle to pickup. Once you pick it up, carry it as far as you can as fast as you can. Repeat.
17. Slacklining – Slacklining has picked up a lot of momentum lately, find two trees and stringing a cord between the two sets you up for all you need.
18. Tire Flips/Drags – If you can get your hands on a big old tire, using it for flips and drags is a great strength building and cardio workout.
19. Team Sports – You might need a whole lot of people to help you achieve this one, but games like soccer, frisbee, tennis, basketball are all great workouts and wonderful to do outside.
20. Circuit Runs – Circuit runs are easy to setup outdoors with very little equipment needed. Do these for time trials and you will challenge yourself.
21. Burpees – More an exercise than a workout, but burpees are extremely easy to do anywhere and fantastic full-body workout.