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Last Updated on January 29, 2021 by Diane Hoffmaster
It may be chilly outside but outdoor workouts are a great way to get in shape without stepping foot in a crowded gym! Our bodies and brains crave fresh air and sunlight to truly thrive. Check out these eight outdoor workout plans to burn calories and sculpt your muscles without ever going to the gym.
Rev Up Your Run
Instead of a boring run around your neighborhood, head to a local park for your morning jog. Invite a workout buddy. Give her a head start and then spring to try to catch up with her. Try a lap or two of backward running. The New York Times notes that running backward requires 30 percent more energy than running forward and may be easier on the knees.
Park Bench Exercises
On your next trip to the park, use an empty park bench for your workout. Try park bench push-ups or a series of park bench dips. Sit on the bench and place your hands on either side of your hips.
Scoot your butt forward and off the bench, supporting your weight with your hands. Bend your elbows, bringing your arms almost parallel to the ground. Then return to your starting position. Make sure your lower back stays close to the bench during the exercise and work up to 10 or 15 repetitions before resting.
Whether you choose to use your kid’s jungle gym or a tree with low-hanging branches, work your upper body and abs by doing pull-ups or vertical stomach crunches. The weight of your body is all you need to work your arms and core.
Real-life Stair Master
Head out to your local high school and utilize the stairs at its outdoor stadium. Running stadium stairs is a great way to strengthen legs and glutes. Who needs expensive gym equipment when a few stairs gives you the same workout?
Achieve Zen in Nature
Yoga and Pilates can easily be done outdoors on a flat surface with a yoga mat. Float the idea of outdoor workout plans with your pals and see if one of your yogi friends is interested in leading an al fresco yoga sesh.
More workout tips to check out:
- Hiking with Teens: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Here are some tips for hiking with teens so that your outdoor family adventure is one you will want to repeat!
- Tips for Staying Active with Your Dog Staying active with your dog can be beneficial to both of you, but don't jump into it too quickly!
- Hiking Tips for Women: What the books don’t tell you! Going hiking is great exercise and a lot of fun. Don't let lack of experience make it a not so enjoyable time!
Make your outdoor workout FUN
Years and year ago, you spent hours outside exercising and didn’t even realize it. You can get a great workout by riding bikes or strapping on your roller blades. Play street hockey in your driveway or kick around a soccer ball in your backyard.
Head Into the Woods
Hiking is a great workout resulting in cardio and muscle toning benefits. Invest in a good pair of hiking boots and find fellow outdoor enthusiasts to join you on your journey. If you’re really adventurous, consider adding rock climbing to your outdoor workout!
Hit the Water
Yes, winter swimming is an actual thing! Women’s Health says swimming is great for resistance training. Also, if you’re beat from all the other exercises you enjoyed, the water makes you feel weightless, giving a well-deserved rest to your tired muscles.2
If you’re bored of treadmills, fed up with waiting in line for the elliptical, and craving some fresh air and sunshine, design your workout plans to take advantage of the nice weather. Alone or with a friend, working out in nature can help you reach your health goals without spending a dime on a gym.
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.